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President’s Message, Fourth Quarter of 2010

Sometimes it seems like this is never going to end.

By “this” I mean the incessant attacks on our jobs, our retirement benefits, our personal integrity and on our City. After years of job cuts, pay cuts, political slug fests, and endless litigation, the morale of our City workforce is very low. For many of us, who came to work for the City in part because of our love and calling to do the very best we can in serving the public, coming to work is not nearly as fun or fulfilling as it once was.

But what the opportunistic politicians and editorial writers don’t get, or choose to ignore, is that this caustic environment hurts many more than just City employees. It hurts the citizens we serve and the City we love. City employees are the City.

When we are attacked, our City is attacked. Forcing City employees to constantly fight for survival and to defend ourselves from relentless attacks only hurts the City and its residents.

As the saying goes, “We will overcome.“ We will keep fighting. We will keep successfully defending ourselves and our benefits. And we will keep surviving. We will be here standing when this storm passes, and rest assured, it will pass. And we will be stronger for it because we stood together.

Through all of the muck, City employees still have a lot to be thankful for. We have our jobs. We have our pride. We have always continued to serve our community and our families the best way we know how, all while having our heads up and a smile on our faces. Our well earned benefits are largely intact. And believe it or not the majority of the citizens we serve appreciate what we do for them day in and day out.

And as bad as things are at the City, your Union is as strong as ever and continues to grow stronger every day. We are better positioned, better equipped and more effective than we have ever been, just when that strength is needed most.

Thank God for Ann Smith, for MEA and for each and every one of you.

Be safe and stay strong!