Happy New Year! I hope that this message finds you and yours well and rested.
For the first time ever, hindsight is truly 2020, and thank goodness for that! To say that 2020 was a tumultuous time is an incredible understatement, and I do not know anyone who is sad to have it in the rearview mirror.
That said, we have not entirely left our challenges behind. As you know, the 67th Legislative Assembly has convened in Bismarck with many issues to tackle and a financial picture that is quite different than that of recent legislative sessions. The pandemic shuttered world economies and drove down demand for oil, which, in turn, caused tax collections in ND to drop precipitously. The ongoing downturns in agricultural markets also had a detrimental economic impact on our state, which is very dependent on energy and agriculture.
As a result, we can expect that there will be challenges that state employees, higher education and K-12 members will confront together. We know that there will be challenges to K-12 collective bargaining, higher education budgets, and public employee salary and pensions. And you know it, as well. In fact, one member recently asked me what the union is going to do about these challenges. Well, the union is YOU! And together, I am sure that we can successfully fend off our challenges.
To that end, I am encouraging all ND United members to go to CLICK HERE to visit our website and sign up to be a member activist. As a member activist, you will have the opportunity to take direct action on the issues that concern you the most and amplify our voices at the Capitol. In addition, we will be scheduling weekly meetings with member activists around the state so that you will get the information you need to be an effective voice for yourself and your colleagues.
Again, here’s wishing you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!