Inspired by our members’ action and compassion
I hope that each of you have a safe, healthy and relaxing holiday season. The holidays are an opportunity to decompress from our busy lives and take the time to enjoy family, friends and holiday spirit. The holidays revitalize our spirit and give us the momentum to meet the new year with renewed energy and optimism.
The past few months have been quite busy for your union. It started with a very successful election season, where the vast majority of our endorsed candidates were elected. In fact, we saw victories ranging from our own members and staff being elected to local governing bodies, all the way through the governor’s office. CSEA volunteers were key to the success of many candidates, as we mobilized and worked tirelessly during the months leading up to Election Day. Members and staff walked precincts, made phone calls and informed our communities about the importance of electing legislators who care about our students. Once again, CSEA members showed how activism and mobilization lead to good results. I want to thank everyone for working to inform voters about the candidates and the issues. Now we can continue to move education forward in California.
February is CSEA’s Have-a Heart Month. While this is the month that we celebrate the kindness and compassion of our members toward each other, our students and the communities we serve, I know for sure that we don’t limit that caring to only the month of February. For the more than 25 years that I’ve been a classified employee, I have watched our members—you my brothers and sisters—open your hearts and wallets to help those in need. It’s not lost on me that classified staff, although often some of the lowest paid, tend to give the most of themselves. Your kindness never ceases to make me proud. A shining example of that is the kindness members statewide have shown for the families devastated by the fires in Weed just a few months ago. The Have-a-Heart article in this publication will shine a light on that kindness and I know will warm your heart.
Another great example of how our union’s influence has grown way beyond just our own membership is the great things that we are doing with the living wage campaign for Wal-Mart workers. It has been empowering to stand up with our brothers and sisters in the labor movement and voice our displeasure of the long-standing mistreatment of the men and women who work for the richest family in America—the Walton Family. An injury to one worker is an injury to all workers and I’m committed to stand together in the struggle to improve wages and working conditions for all workers.
In strength and unity,
Michael Bilbrey, Association President
CSEA Board of Directors
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