Where Would We Be Without Ann?
Congratulations and many thanks to Attorney Ann Smith for 25 years of service to MEA and our represented employees. Many years ago, Ann was an invited guest speaker at a conference for independent labor unions in California. The guest speakers were asked to talk a little bit about themselves and what their hobbies were. When it came to Ann’s turn, she simply said, “I work.”
No truer statement could be made! Ann Smith has dedicated herself to the improvement and enhancement of working conditions, benefits, and wages for MEA-represented employees and has given up many of her weekends and nights to make it happen…And make it happen, she did!
Ann has been the Chief Negotiator for MEA for contract bargaining for the past 25 years. So many improvements have been made to salaries and fringe benefits during that time thanks to the courage, fortitude, knowledge and leadership Ann has demonstrated along with the many MEA negotiating team members she has served with over the years. Ann’s creative thinking, rock solid memory, institutional knowledge and negotiating skills have leveraged many an amazing contract. Some of these contracts would have most assuredly gone to impasse had it not been for Ann’s ability to get city leaders on board.
Ann is also renowned for her success in various courts while defending MEA’s contracts and benefits. When then-City Attorney Mike Aguirre began his legal assault on our retirement benefits in 2005, he was met and ultimately defeated by Ann every step of the way. Her courage and effectiveness in that multi-year (and still ongoing!) litigation fight represents the defining accomplishment of MEA over the last decade. (We would also speculate that Mr. Aguirre lies awake some nights unable to get the vision of his nemesis Ann Smith out of his head!)
MEA is fortunate to have such a dedicated, articulate and wise advocate for twenty-five years. She is our Northern Star who continues to guide us through the controversies and litigation of the day.
Saying “thank you” to Ann will never adequately express the true appreciation and gratitude we have for her efforts and the sacrifices she has made for the good working people represented by MEA.