From the Desk of the President (4/2006)
and Happy Spring. As
I write this, it is just beginning to get dark after a
rather nice 1st day of Spring.
I am a winter person but welcome spring this year.
Maybe it is because my family just celebrated two
very spring-like events - the wedding of a nephew and the
birth of a great-niece.
Both seem to be harbingers of sunshine and warmth,
which is what spring usually, brings.
hope that many of you attended your precinct caucus last
month and are also attending your legislative district,
county and city conventions as delegates to spread the word
about public employees and the work that we do.
This is going to be an extremely important year for
those of us who work in the social services arena.
The funding for many of our job functions are being
drastically cut back which will translate in the need to
tighten economic belts across the board.
This will affect members at every level of public
employment, directly or indirectly.
Holding our elected senators and representatives
accountable for the bills passed by supporting - or not
supporting - their bids for re-election and the endorsement
of their political party is one tool that we have our
you are not happy with the work that they have done to date,
please let them know that.
If your Senator or Representative has done an
outstanding job, let her or him know that by showing your
support at the conventions.
Wear your AFSCME green and be visible as a labor
delegate to let folks know how important our work is to the
also have several important union conventions coming up this
year. We have the
state AFL-CIO convention and the International AFSCME
convention, both being held the 2nd week of August.
We will need full delegations at both events. The
AFL-CIO convention is especially important this year as the
President and Secretary/Treasurer positions are up for
AFSCME Council 5 Executive Board moved to support the
re-election of Ray Waldron as President and Steve Hunter,
one of our own AFSCME members, as Secretary/Treasurer.
It appears that there might be a contested race for
those positions. Both Ray and Steve have been very
supportive of AFSCME's goals regarding keeping our work in
the public sector and to keep privatization to a minimum.
Please look for more information in future
newsletters for announcements of delegate elections for both
Executive Board of our Local will be holding discussions at
the next several Executive Board meetings on the division of
job duties based on the recently approved amendments to the
Local's Constitution. You should have noticed that we removed
the Professional and Paraprofessional designations from the
titles for Vice President, Chief Steward and
should allow the Executive Board to better serve and
represent Local 34 members wherever we work.
One of the roadblocks that I often bumped up against
was that of being in a job class that was different from the
member I was assisting.
My experience was that the resistance was not from
our membership but from the supervisors and managers who
indicated that they were used to dealing with folks from
specific job classes. I
have seen less of that in the past year, which is a good
sign, but it should not exist at all.
By us taking the lead in designating all officers as
serving the entire membership, we are taking a huge step
towards eradicating that barrier.
If you have ideas or suggestions on how you think we
can better serve our Local, please let us know so that we
can incorporate those ideas in our discussions.
last note before I go - as of March 22nd, I am located on
the 9th floor of HSB. My
phone number remains the same, 348-0266, and, so far, the
mail code is also the same, HSB (880).
The big change is that we have an access card reader,
instead of a number pad, outside the doors so one needs that
card in order to access the work area.
So, if you are coming to see me, you will either need
to call me at my desk before you leave or call me from the
phone in the waiting area on the 9th floor once you arrive
only fear is that I will forget the access card and have to
seek out the Security Guard for assistance.
in the words of the great Helen Keller, "I long to
accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty
to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and
noble." If I can
remember the access card every day, that will be an