Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Talking Up at Home

The election is over and we await the last few results to confirm who will represent us. Now the real work begins to help legislators understand the concerns we have.

We, along with our Labor Coalition partners, are helping coordinate Town Hall meetings in Bethel, Juneau, Kenai, Mat-Su, Fairbanks, and Anchorage over the next six weeks. This is our opportunity to explain to elected officials what the change in the public employee retirement systems means to us.

Firefighters, police, city workers and school district employees will be telling their stories. The most important goal of these meetings is to show the faces and make real connections that demonstrate how Alaska's communities will be the ultimate victims if we fail to recruit and retain high quality employees in public jobs.

If you are willing to tell your story at one of these Town Hall gatherings, please do so. The more we can highlight the problems we are facing, the higher the chance that we will influence lawmakers to make a positive move to put us back into a defined benefit system.

Not able to make it to the meeting? Please write down your story and send it to me. I will make sure that it gets forwarded to legislators.

Keep in touch,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Together We Move Forward

Last week was exciting, to say the least. We still don't have final results of several key races in Alaska. With an estimated 81,000 votes left to be counted, we won't know for sure how things turned out for possibly another ten days or so. Regardless of the outcome, a huge win for NEA-Alaska through this election season has been the work we have done with our labor partners. This is new territory for us, and I hope it continues. The relationships we have developed will help us move forward in the areas we share, and it gives us new friends to help with our own issues as well. I anticipate that this new day in Alaska will serve us well into the future. Not enough can be said about the working partnerships we have forged with the AFL-CIO family.

I am thrilled with the confirmation during our NEA-Alaska board meeting of Lori Miner, CEA member, for the 2009 Education Support Professional of the Year. Additionally, Bob Williams of MSEA, has been chosen as Alaska's Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to Lori and Bob!