Inspired by 2019 progress, ready to take on 2020 challenges
By KAY ALISON WILKIE
As 2019 draws to a close and holidays with loved ones beckon, it seems fitting for us to reflect back on the recent past as we celebrate our transcendent union values and victories.
Here are some notable moments and developments I found inspiring about being your PEF secretary-treasurer in 2019:
• Witnessing the bravery of so many stalwart PEF members, serving communities and clients in the face of workplace threats, violence and bullies while tirelessly advocating for safe staffing and healthy working conditions;
• Striding strong to advance PEF’s powerful visibility during a stellar 2019 Convention ‘Solidarity Stroll’ — making the case for a respectful and fair contract, in full view of the state Capitol, with many hundreds joining a beautiful photo op at the Empire State Plaza!
• Participating in a march to the Alabama State Capitol during the October AFT (American Federation of Teachers) Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Conference in Montgomery, and reflecting on how very much more work remains to be done 50 years after the launch of the civil rights movement, # ShowUp4Justice;
• Seeing increasing numbers of dynamic, PEF elected leaders in divisions and regions, meaningfully engaging with members, with great financial management;
• Getting long overdue and much needed IT infrastructure and capital improvements underway at PEF Albany headquarters: starting with a new roof, new computer servers and improved security, with much more to follow; and
• Sharing improved financial results with PEF leaders at convention and Executive Board meetings, including surpluses that fuel PEF’s strategic goals, and effective, ethical and honest policies that bolster our union’s survival.
In the New Year to come, we must redouble our commitment to building our UNION POWER, as we are sure to continue to face daunting challenges. Greedy and malevolent anti-union forces, eager to litigate unions out of existence, continue to attempt to sow division in our ranks, and to diminish our membership numbers. The latest attacks involve massive newspaper ads, and targeted letters soliciting members to drop union membership.
We cannot let them gain ground. WE MUST RISE UP to WIN OUR FUTURE!
Membership numbers represent the power and lifeblood of our union movement. It is our shared responsibility to sustain and grow our union, member-by-member, conversation-by-conversation, and meeting-by-meeting to achieve meaningful results for our members, families and communities..
Looking forward to 2020, may we all resolve to contribute to strategic union-movement success and values with brilliant teamwork among PEF leaders, members and staff, securing a just and fair contract, significantly improved working conditions and greater union power!
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