Monday, September 3, 2018
Good Afternoon Sisters and Brothers of the Plainedge Federation of Teachers,
It's always amazing how fast the summer goes by! It seems like only yesterday I was wishing you all an enjoyable vacation, and now, in less than a week, we will be returning to school. As we once again look forward to enriching the lives of a new group of children, I would like to take a moment and reflect on the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend.
Labor Day originally began as a celebration on the State level in the late 1880's, and became a National Holiday in 1894. It was then that the first Monday in September was dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers whose contributions have increased the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.Labor Day is an important day for all working people, but especially for union members. It is the one day out of the year when we celebrate the people who work hard every day to educate our children, protect our families, build our cities, maintain our infrastructure, and do the multitude of jobs that we so often take for granted. As union members, it is also an important day to reflect on the gains we have achieved. Things such as a defined work day, seniority protections, sick and personal days, health insurance benefits, pensions, workplace safety, and more were all achieved because workers came together and stood up for their rights.
Over the past few decades, however, the rich and elite in our society have been doing everything in their power to slowly chip away at the gains made by the labor movement. Corporations and anti-union foundations funded through the likes of Betsy Devos, the Walton family, and the Koch brothers, have been spending large sums of money in an attempt to take away our rights and diminish our voices. The truth is that they will only succeed if we let them! We must push back against those who seek to remove our rights and silence our voices by remaining an active part of a strong, vibrant union, and electing political leaders who share our values via their endorsement of pro-union legislation.
Please take a moment this Labor Day Weekend to let your voice be heard loud and clear on social media, that you support the rights of workers and are a proud union member. For all their money, the one thing these anti-union groups can't buy is our solidarity!
I hope that everyone enjoys their Labor Day weekend! I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, September 4th at Superintendent's conference. In unity!