This was my first National Convention, and it was an amazing opportunity to witness how our union adapts to changes within the country and the changes within our membership. As Delegates having the ability to participate in the voting process was epic, it truly gives you the feeling that you're making a difference. In the room with about 2,000 delegates and alternates from around the country. We listened to speeches from the Governor of Nevada Steve Sisolak, our own CWA President Chris Shelton and CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens.
The Governor Steve Sisolak told us how after 20 years, the state elected a Democratic Governor to oversee this Union Town and to protect, treat workers as they should be!The law was changed to pay workers a wage that they could live on and raise there families. As well with the votes in the legislative Nevada pass a Call Center Bill HB77 /SB71 that now requires businesses to provide 60 days notice before they move jobs overseas, they will also lose funding and incentives for next 5 years. They passed SB135for Collective Bargaining for public workers.Nevada has the correct idea on how to treat there working citizens.
Our own President Chris Shelton said “Pro workers and progressive social change doesn’t just happen, it happens because of people like us. The Labor movement needs all other constituent movements, labor can’t do it by ourselves. We have to work together with other progressive movements. President Shelton spoke about 3 points that we must do to stay viable in the future, and we will make these changes together.
Slavery and racism was and is the cause that is dividing this country, and it’s coming from the White House. Financial dispensary between races, It’s our job is to fight against the 1% not each other. Real leaders breathe life. All of us must breathe life in and become good leaders.
Work place power is challenging our employers and business leaders to do right by all their employees.
Electing pro worker representatives this November, and government that will make the hard choices and decisions to help our democracy not just themselves. Stopping corporate money from hijacking our elections.
His speech was definately worth listening too.
Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffenstold us how under her leadership the Pledge up campaign was launched and CWA was the first union to use. It allows ourmembers that don’t have payroll deductions and alternative way to pay their union dues. And despite the Janis decision our Membership has increased by 10%. Other changes is coming to streamline process and departments to decease the overall budget. She reviewed the new membership database and the continuation of training available as well as assistance with questions. With the future knocking on our door Sara wants all our commitments to “Join me in building a better future “.Our base is growing with the younger age group under 35, and the youngest base 19-29 says they support Unions we must talk with them. Educate them by telling them the history of the union and why we are so important and must always hold the fight for equality, fair wages and benefitsnot just for a few but for all workers. And all of this was Day 1. Then we had the elections that night and the winners were sworn in on Tuesday.
Our own President Vera Mikell was re-elected as the Southeastern Diversity board member and sits on the National Executive board. This allows us to have a voice at the table.
Next was the part that all delegates participated in, the Appeal process, Constitutional amendments, and the Committee reports. There were for, against, questions, privilege and motions microphones set up around the room to allow all Delegates opinions to be voiced and heard. It was something to see, democracy at its finest.
I’m grateful for this opportunity, I learned a lot and I would also like to see some things change, and like Sara said we all must join in to change the future.