It's been a pleasure listening to, talking to, and emailing everyone and it makes me look forward to our information sessions as well. A few things are very clear to me already:
- Members are voraciously educating themselves to make the most informed decision possible.
- Members want high-quality health care.
- Members want affordable, accessible health care.
All this leads me to believe even more that we were right to put this decision squarely in members' hands. These things are not new. Almost from the day I started I have fielded emails and phone calls, presided over membership meetings and contract discussions, and listened to members at staff meetings and come to the same conclusion.
We want high-quality health care. We hate to see our colleagues denied treatments when a family doctor is over-ruled by a hospital administrator or use crossing their fingers as their deductible plan.
We want it to be affordable for everyone. It kills us to see our brothers and sister in our union and in other unions bringing home 75 cent paychecks or working 3 jobs so they can have health insurance AND an income.
We want it to be accessible. We don't want health care rationed one way or the other. We want sick people to get the attention they need to be well and we want healthy people to get the attention they need to stay that way.
We want to be informed. Time and again members will read about it, study it, question it, and then read it again. We want to make the most educated decisions possible.
The above conclusions have made me realize that we were right to put this decision squarely in the hands of members because we are acting fabulously like the labor union we are. When we are informed we make good decisions. We are the sort of people who care intrinsically about others so we want to make collective decisions for the common good.
Use this blog for any discussions you would like, attend an informational meeting at the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, and return that ballot (being mailed to you on October 20th with instructions) by October 29th at 5 p.m.