In this edition, we focus on our recent 108th Annual Delegates Meeting. While we devote several pages to the highlights of the meeting, I want to emphasize why these meetings are so important each year.

These delegate meetings are at the heart of unionism and CSEA. They go as far back as CSEA does, when we were an association of workers who got together to better their working conditions and their lives.

More than a century later, that mission is still the same.

Another thing that hasn’t changed is that the business we do at these meetings is key to our union staying strong. Hundreds of our delegates vote on official union business that includes changes to the way CSEA operates, and the positions our union should be taking on key issues that affect labor.

In this edition, you’ll see a summary of the Constitution and By-Law changes and the resolutions that delegates voted on. What you WON’T see is the discussion and debate that took place over several days, leading up to the votes. Every time a delegate took the floor to speak on an issue, I was impressed with how respectful, passionate and representative they were. Though opposing viewpoints were offered, the debate was courteous and appropriate, and ultimately, the outcomes were fair and democratic. This is exactly the reason the delegates come together — to represent each of us to the best of their abilities and they did just that.

Our delegates also received training to help us meet our challenges and build our union stronger than ever. Each of those workshops was designed to build our delegates’ skills in leading our union. Our delegates not only filled the rooms at each session, but made each of the sessions engaging and interactive, with many wonderful questions being asked and answered.

There were also departmental and division meetings, aimed at getting leaders together who face similar challenges across the state to share ideas, information, knowledge and techniques on how best to deal with the challenges of leadership.

During the meeting, we also recognized several activists within CSEA who have gone consistently above and beyond in their roles as leaders. The honorees, who will be featured in more detail in upcoming editions, help move our union forward and are truly among the best our union has to offer.

Our Annual Delegates Meeting represents the heart of what CSEA is really about. The members who attended are your representatives coming together to learn how to be even better leaders and activists, to represent your best interests when considering serious CSEA business, and to recognize those that model the kind of leadership CSEA needs to keep us moving forward.

If you haven’t already had the chance to do so, I encourage every one of you to seek out and ask your delegate about their experience at our 108th Annual Delegates Meeting, so you can hear about it firsthand from them. I’m sure they would be happy to talk about everything they’ve learned and everything they did with anyone interested enough to ask. Stay Union, Stay Strong!

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