Ken Deitz Elected International Vice President at AFSCME Convention
Another big win for UNAC/UHCP as our President, Ken Deitz, RN, was elected to serve as an AFSCME International Vice President at the AFSCME convention last week. On the heels of many recent contract victories and important Board of Registered Nursing and Optometry appointments, Deitz's new position continues to raise the profile of our union.
"It was AWESOME to see our own president Ken Deitz elected to International Vice President," said Valentina Zamora-Arreola, a UNAC/UHCP delegate to the convention. "I was proud to see a male nurse, still a minority in our profession, hold a position that will help to influence health care policy in our union and our country."
The AFSCME Convention also marked a changing of the guard, as AFSCME's longtime leader stepped down, and a new generation of leaders stepped up to take the reins. Deitz had kind words for departing AFSCME President Gerald McEntee, retiring after 31 years as AFSCME President. "We owe a debt of gratitude to Gerald McEntee for creating one of the most effective political and legislative operations in the history of the American labor movement. AFSCME has become the force it is because of him, and there aren't words enough to convey our thanks."
"Congratulations to Lee Saunders, President and Laura Reyes, Secretary-Treasurer on their election to their new offices," Deitz continued. "As the theme of the convention was 'Solidarity' I look forward to moving forward together to do what is best for those that we represent."
Meanwhile, UNAC/UHCP members who attended the AFSCME convention returned home changed.
"I’ve seen the democratic process firsthand and been a part of history in the labor movement in these past few days as a delegate to the 2012 AFSCME International Convention," said Jess Mangubat, RN. "It truly is an inspiration to be under the same roof with my fellow brothers and sisters. Now I understand the importance of standing with them in solidarity!"
"The election was an historic event. It was the first time in 31 years we have a new President of AFSCME, and the first time we have elected a woman to the position of Secretary-Treasurer," explained Pam Brodersen, NP, UNAC/UHCP delegate. "The process allowed our delegation to have four 'observers' as part of the oversight process for the vote casting on election day as well as the oversight of the actual count. The 'observers' were myself, Barbara Blake, Suzanne Delaney and Tim Uliasz. I was proud to be part of the process and to see how important it is for us to have a voice in the process and work of AFSCME."