Friday, August 19, 2016

Thank you to those who serve

I spent two evenings this week with some of the most dedicated people you can find, the teachers, paraprofessionals, tutors, and other support staff of the Windham schools. 

On Wednesday they packed the Board of Finance meeting to urge the board not to cut the school budget before it sends it to a referendum. The next night, they were on the streets to speak with residents at the Third Thursday Street Festival to explain the importance of fully funded public schools and of voting in the upcoming referendum.

It has been my pleasure to come to know education members like this over the past year. They have so much in common with the nurses and healthcare workers I had already come to know. The dedication to students is the same as the dedication to patients that I experienced every day in my 21 years of bedside nursing.  
Nurses and teachers, healthcare workers, paraprofessionals, and support staff, share a love of service that is echoed by our public sector workers.

Financial gain is not part of their equation. Instead, love of students, and patients, and community are their motivation. 

It's easy to become discouraged when you're told, as one of our healthcare Locals was this week in negotiations, that management doesn't feel there's a "market for healthcare in this town."
It's easy to become discouraged when a major party candidate promotes hate and bigotry. When he says declaring bankruptcy time and time again and stiffing workers and small business owners of the time and wages he owes them is "good business."

Education, healthcare and the public safety net are not a "business."
They are a service.
They do not exist for the purpose of making the hospital or charter school CEO rich. 

If you find yourself becoming discouraged, spend some time with the dedicated teachers, paraprofessionals and educational support staff in your community, spend some time with the nurses and other healthcare workers, spend some time with the public servants, and you'll understand as I do.

Thank you Windham teachers and PSRPs, for two wonderful evenings and for the great work you do on behalf of your students and community. 

Maybe we should build a wall.
Then we can put,those who take from society on one side and the those who serve on our side.

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