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View Diary: Unions fight for justice for everybody (329 comments)

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  •  A thank you note to my union (15+ / 0-)

    I am a member of my local and state NEA and was, until the end of this year, a building representative. In the past I have also been a state delegate.

    In late April--the day after state testing finished in fact--I discovered that I had breast cancer. I took a couple of days off to complete the testing and diagnosis and, when all was confirmed, took the rest of the school year off. This allowed me to vigorously pursue treatment of an aggressive and metastasized cancer: I had surgery within ten days of diagnosis.

    I am now going through pretty intense chemotherapy (to be followed by radiation) and not once, not one single time, have I had to worry that I might lose my job, that I might have to choose between my job and my health, that I might be forced to do my job badly in order to keep it, that my insurance might find a way to dump me, that I might be "let go" for other reasons but really to get me off of the group plan, that I might not have enough sick days and might not get paid, etc., etc. In other words, I have not had to choose between saving my life and saving my job. (By the way, part of that is due to working for a principal who is a very, very good man, and for whom the union contract also protects him from having to worry about how I affect the bottom line).

    Please know that I say this not to gloat--my heart aches for all of the people on this site and elsewhere who have not had these protections and have had to make such terrible choices. But I have been and will be a fierce advocate for my union and for unions in general because all of us deserve such protections.

    I owe my local union a thank you note. They also sent a gift certificate for a food delivery service. But that was just the parsley garnish on the real gift.

    Do not be overwhelmed by the enormity of the world's grief...You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

    by Albatross on Sat Jul 10, 2010 at 06:37:21 AM PDT

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