Note: Jenny submitted this letter to the Gazette. It has not been published as of this posting.
To the Editor :
I am writing in support of the recently formed Pioneer Valley NewsGuild, a group of employees from the Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Valley Advocate who are seeking to form a union.
Sixteen years ago I was part of a similar organizing team that sought to establish a union at a local non-profit health care agency. The vote that was subsequently held was overwhelmingly in favor of the union, and I have been a proud member of SEIU Local 509 since 2002.
I want to affirm to the community that I feel that this is one of the best things I have done as part of my career as a health professional. For me, having a voice and a seat at the table where decisions are made that directly effect my life, and those of my fellow workers, is a fundamental human right. That is why having a union that meets regularly in dialogue with management about wages, benefits and working conditions is essential to the health of an organization.
Is it contentious? Yes! Adversarial? Certainly! But I would offer my opinion, born out of my own experience, that the agency I work for has grown and thrived, and is, in fact, stronger than ever, and that the union has played a key role in this
For the thirty years that I have lived in the Pioneer Valley I have been an avid reader of the Daily Hampshire Gazette, and, at times, a contributor of opinion pieces and letters to the Editor, such as this!
We have had, and continue to have, amazingly talented and creative people working at our 'local ' paper, a fact not unrecognized with the award to the Daily Hampshire Gazette of New England Newspaper of the Year in 2017. I want to offer solidarity and encouragement to all of them as they approach the December 12th vote on forming a union.
Yours Sincerely ,