I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas. I would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy New Year. I look forward to working with everyone in 2014 in order to build off what together we have accomplished over this past year.
With the Local 528 Executive Board taking the lead we have committed ourselves to using the technologies available to us in order to improve communication and distribute information in a easy, quick and concise fashion. With continued steady growth of the Local 528 email list participation has grown to nearly 300 members. This has allowed for the sharing of information at an unprecedented level. Thank you for taking the time to participate and stay informed! Last year under the stewardship of Brother Don Lapp we embarked on a complete revamping of the Local 528 Website. With the re-design and additions of new user friendly options I am proud to say our website is being accessed at a record pace. Everything from links to job postings State wide, to the latest news regarding our Brothers and Sisters nationwide can be obtained with only a couple of mouse clicks. Just last month we began a new method of communication by forming the “Local 528 Protest team” through simple cell phone/ text messaging we can mobilize large numbers of Local 528 Members in the defense of workers. Whether it be an informational picket in NK, a Committee Hearing at the State House, rally in defense of working men and women, or in defense of our way of life right here on Campus with nearly 80 Members signed on so far we are gaining the ability to mobilize our Local and with that ability comes power “Union Power”. If you have not done so please contact the Union Office with your contact info to take part. Today more than ever the ability to mobilize is vital to the growth of our Union! Not to be overlooked Shop Stewards and elected Union Officials are also working hard to provide information in the work place through direct communication. No matter the new technologies created* direct communication is a priority and will remain so moving forward. * I am also personally proud of the important work of the newly formed “Welcome Committee” who over the past couple of years have put together info packets, and reached out upon arrival in order to engage our newest members and educate them about Local 528.
Once again this past year we continued our work providing professional support services to the URI Community. Once again our commitment to this university as well as our dedication to one another was reaffirmed by the day to day hard work of each and every Member of Local 528. It is for this in addition to many other reasons I am proud to serve you. Once again in the face of budget pressure both at URI and State wide we continue to welcome new members into our Union. From Health Services to Lands & Grounds, to URI Public Safety and Dining Services from the licensed trades to Printing Services among others our work touches every corner of this campus. It is our work and we do it well! Thank You!
There are challenges ahead in 2014 no question. We continue to engage in court ordered mediation as it relates to our 2012 lawsuit over the pension changes of 2011, we also continue to bargain with the State in good faith on a contract. As well as continuing our efforts to remain relevant by obtaining the ability to perform newly created functions. The budgetary pressures of years past also persist both at the State level and at URI. What we have here in Local 528 is special. I truly believe that. We have a voice in the workplace, and with that voice comes responsibility. A responsibility to those who came before us and to each other to protect our work! By working together in Solidarity and remaining committed to one another there are no challenges to great for us to overcome!
I hope you enjoy ringing in the New Year with friends and family however you choose to celebrate.
May 2014 be our finest year!