Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Another Year Behind Us, Another Year Ahead

Hey Guys,

Forgive me for the long break between emails-- being the good union guy I am, I've been taking advantage of some of that contractually mandated vacation lately and have found myself away from the keyboard. As the year drew to a close, we were able to coast for a bit, but we'll be back in force now that the calendar page has turned.

There's no major news to report at the moment, just a reflection on how far we came in 2005 and some thoughts about the year ahead. I'm glad to report good news on both fronts. We rounded out one year with one of the strongest, most energized bunch of union members since the Daily News was first organized and begin the new one with new tasks to tackle.

Due to your hard work and dedication, we made tremendous progress in 2005. Most significantly, we're all enjoying the benefits of a new contract, resulting in better wages, increased compensation and professional development. We've brought in new members and built stronger relationships with management. We've helped resolve disputes and when problems with managers arose, we were there to ensure everyone was treated fairly.

Most importantly, I really believe we've made the paper a better place. We've pushed for more decisions from the ground up, rather than being handed down from the glass offices. When you saw problems in the workplace, you spoke up and got them fixed. Through your dedication to making a better workplace and a better product, we can pick up something we can be proud of each morning (or in my case, if my neighbor doesn't steal it first, I can pick it up).

So while there's been a slight lull after the big push to get the contract bargained, we've still got plenty of work to do in the coming year. The Daily News is improving, but we've got to keep pushing to make it better. The union's strong, but it'll never be as good as it can be unless we get more people involved. That's going to mean more time sacrificed and more hours spent figuring this puzzle out, but I guarantee we'll all enjoy the benefits of that investment.

In coming months, we'll be making some moves to build up our presence. We'll add more representation, we'll reach out to the newsroom to get the people who haven't yet joined involved, we'll work with the local to make this unit into a more clever, responsive organization. To do all of those, we'll need more of the help you've so generously offered in the past.

But we'll get to that when the time comes. Until then, let me say thanks for everything you've done and everything you've won for us all. Thanks for a great '05 and here's to an even better 2006.



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