Happy New Year! As we begin 2018, we have many things to look forward to.
Let me rephrase that more accurately — we have many historic challenges to face together.
As you may remember, in 2016, we faced a case in the U.S. Supreme Court, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, that threatened our future. This case, along with other ongoing challenges, spurred us to launch our Never Quit member engagement initiative.
The Friedrichs case ended in a court deadlock in March 2016, shortly after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. This deadlock effectively resolved that case in favor of the lower courts’ opinions, which sided with the union.
Despite this reprieve, we knew it would only be a temporary break. We knew we needed to push forward with engaging members and having conversations about what it means to stand together. We knew that the ONLY way we could meet our challenges is to build our union.
In 2016 and 2017, we visited many of your homes and work sites to meet you and listen to your concerns. Many of you participated in Never Quit activities in some way. Some of you made phone calls, knocked on doors or spoke with members in the workplace. Many more of you simply opened your door or answered your phone to talk, which is the very heart of what Never Quit is all about.
All these conversations have focused on what’s REALLY at stake here. Our jobs, workplace protections, respect and our very futures are on the line in 2018. We have to work that much harder to protect all those things in the face of right-to-work, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, and corporate-backed groups that oppose us, including the Freedom Foundation, which has made it clear that their goal is to destroy us.
If the past year has proved anything to us, it’s that our Never Quit campaign is working. The momentum is here for us going into 2018. The proof of what we can accomplish together can be best seen in the overwhelming way CSEA — all of us — united to defeat a potentially disastrous constitutional convention. We truly proved that when we stand together, we can win.
This year, it’s important to keep our Never Quit conversations going so we can keep building our union. We can take the energy we used to defeat the constitutional convention to defeat the corporate special interest groups and the wealthy people who would like nothing more than to break the backs of unions so they can profit even more.
We can beat them if we continue to talk with those around us, and remind everyone why it’s so important to Never Quit on each other. We must be diligent, we must remain energized, and most of all, we must stay united together as one CSEA!