If you are a member of SEIU Local 668, I ask for your vote to reelect me as 668 Trustee.
The 668 Constitution says Trustees will conduct annual audits of all financial systems and related records of the treasury and present the results to the governing body, and shall insure adherence to the financial policies of the Local Union and that its president and secretary-treasurer are honoring their fiduciary responsibilities. In other words, SAFEGUARD 668 members dues; ENSURE 668 is spending wisely and within its means; REVIEW 668 spending with integrity, honesty and diligence; MAINTAIN a strong strike/emergency fund; MAKE SURE 668 adheres to its financial policies, bylaws and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act; and KEEP 668 accountable to its members. At times that makes Trustees unpopular, but that comes with the duty of looking out for YOU and how YOUR dues are being used. I have served on the 668 budget/finance committee for 36 of the past 40 years.
I was hired by the state as a seasonal Energy Assistance Worker at Luzerne County Assistance Office in November of 1980 and retired from the state as an Income Maintenance Caseworker at Lehigh CAO in August of 2016. I first got involved with 668 when the seasonal EAWs were not recalled by Luzerne CAO in 1981. 668 stepped in and got us recalled by the CAO. Grateful that the union had saved my job, I got involved with 668 and unionism.
The reason I stayed involved with 668 and unionism was I knew that without a strong middle class, our country would evolve into chaos, anarchy or fascism, and unions are the primary reason a middle class exists. I got involved with the Lehigh Valley Labor Council because like all AFL-CIO labor councils, it fights for collective bargaining, a living wage, safe workplaces and a strong middle class. I have served as a vice president for the council since 2011 and as co-chair of its committee on political education since 2018. I was responsible for helping set up the council's annual candidates’ boot camp, where we instruct political candidates of all parties on labor's viewpoints on several issues.
I have served 27 years on the 668 statewide executive board, 12 as chapter 13 chair 2006-2017, six as Trustee 2018-2023, and nine as a CAO rank & file work committee statewide representative 1996-2005. I was a member of the state contract negotiating teams in 1996, 1999 and 2003, and served as state contract mobilizer for the former Northeast chapter in 1985, 1988, 1991 and 1993. Ray Martinez and I are the probably the only 668 activists left who took part in the 1988 state contract strike. I was chief shop steward at Luzerne and Lehigh CAOs for eight years. In 2010, I was a member political organizer. In 2009, I organized state worker and community opposition to the closing of Allentown State Hospital, getting extensive media coverage and involving Lehigh Valley politicians and community leaders, which delayed the closing by a year. I organized and led chapter 13 opposition to payless paydays for state workers each year they occurred beginning in the early 2000s. Passed over for IMC Supervisor 20+ times due to my union activities even though I scored in the top three in my county on the civil service promotion test, I don't regret enforcing the contract and attempting to make work life better.
I endorse Ray Martinez Jr. and Patti Defibaugh for Trustee, and, if I could vote for them, Alan Gordon and Joe Novak for CAO Supervisors committee, Christine Bolen for BDD committee, Harold Longmore for BVS committee, Essex Christie for IMH committee and Christopher Good for OUC committee. Ballots will be mailed to members at their residential addresses by the American Arbitration Association beginning Oct. 5 and are due back to AAA by Oct. 25, so please mail your ballot by Oct. 20. Please keep an eye out for it, follow the voting instructions, and VOTE! Thank you for your consideration.