By Gary Feist, NDU Vice President for Public Employees

North Dakota United provides many opportunities for you to be active in your union. One of those opportunities is the NDU Delegate Assembly, which will be held April 14 in Bismarck. If you have never attended a Delegate Assembly or haven’t attended since NDU was formed in 2013, I want to personally invite you to join your fellow NDU colleagues this year for the annual business meeting of the organization.

Gary Feist
NDU Vice President Gary Feist

The Delegate Assembly will recognize the organization’s accomplishments achieved through the activism of its members, and establish a vision and goals for the coming year. Public services are important to everyone in our state. Significant reductions in the number of full-time state employees and higher education faculty and staff over the last few years has made it difficult to provide the services that the residents of our state have experienced and enjoyed in the past. As members of NDU, we need to advocate for sufficient funding for services and an adequate number of employees to provide quality services.

Our goal to restore services must start now as the political season has begun. Candidates for state-wide offices, Legislature, county commissions and school boards are starting their campaigns. As an employee providing public services, you have the opportunity to educate and provide insight on what is working and what improvements could be made to better serve the citizens of North Dakota.

It has been my experience in discussing issues with elected officials that, in many cases, they are unaware of how a program works and are looking to hear from public employees to learn about programs and the potential changes that could be made to better serve the citizens of North Dakota.

We can help to better communicate the tremendous work that our public workers do each day, for the public and policymakers to hear. In the pages of our magazine, United Voices, on our website, www.ndunited.org, on social media and through our public relations efforts, we are able to not only tell our existing members what is happening within their union, but help to inform the communities we serve. If you have an issue or story that you’d like to spotlight, please contact NDU Communications Director Kelly Hagen at 701-223-0450 or kelly.hagen@ndunited.org.

Attending the Delegate Assembly will help you become more informed on the issues and give you a voice in setting the agenda for the organization. NDU member activism during the upcoming campaign will enable us to elect legislators that will make public services and the employees who provide them a priority during the next legislative session.

You can help NDU reach its goal by talking to your follow employees, friends, and neighbors about the issues, so that we elect candidates that will work with NDU to ensure that quality services will continue to be provided every day in North Dakota. Join us in Bismarck on April 14.

To be a delegate for NDPE (our statewide public employee and higher education local) or for additional information about the Delegate Assembly, please contact your chapter president or me at gary.feist@ndunited.org or 701-471-9628.