SEA Members Gather to Get All In to Win

Convention 2012

SEA Re-elects Diana Lacey as Next Union President at 2-day convention

October 28, SEA Convention members re-elected Diana Lacey as the President of the organization for another two-year term. The election took place on day two of the organization’s 72nd Annual convention held at the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel.

Of the 148 votes cast, Lacey received 94 votes, defeating her opponent, Bruce Vanlandingham who received 54 votes.  It was a strong vote of confidence in Lacey, having completed her first term in office, which began just two days before the most anti-labor legislature in nearly a century was elected.

“The delegates made clear that they are All In To Win and are committed to ending the race to the bottom approach that some politicians have taken with working families in NH,” said Lacey who is the first full time female SEA President and is a 20+ year veteran of state service.

Other elected Officers included, Ken Roos, for a second term as First Vice President, Betty Thomas as Second Vice President, Ralph Tilton as the long time SEA Treasurer, and Shelley Elmes, Secretary.

The theme for the convention was All In To Win, a campaign members have adopted to shine a spotlight on the need for members to work together for the greater good, so that all SEA members and citizens can start talking about what the right things for NH’s families are, rather than dismantling all that has made NH a special place to live.  The campaign calls upon members to routinely volunteer to help create a better future, one where working families are once again valued and families can thrive.  It recognizes that all of the gains working families need to thrive can’t just be achieved at the collective bargaining table; it takes a combination of solid public policy (legislation) and funding to make sure the work we do is valued broadly in our state.

The SEA Convention is held each autumn, between October 1st and November 15th.  It is at the Convention that the direction of the organization is determined by democratic process.  Delegates vote on such things as:  changes to the union’s Constitution, dues, election of union officers and all other significant policy decisions.  Convention delegates are themselves first elected in prior months, and may include members of the Board of Directors, Councilors, and Chapter Presidents, all of whom may vote on motions and for elected offices.

Convention Highlights

At 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 27, 2012, First Vice President Ken Roos opened the 72nd Annual SEA Convention. Approximately 150 delegates were on hand to start the day off by pledging allegiance to the American flag and observing a moment of silence for deceased SEA members.

President Diana Lacey presided over much of the agenda, which began with an introduction of the Board of Directors. The convention’s theme, “All in to Win,” shifted much of the focus of the program to the members and their achievements over the past year. You can see excerpts from the President’s Report here.

Presentation of the Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award

Chapter 60 was honored as the 2012 Outstanding Chapter. The chapter from Keene, NH, received the accolades because of their significant contributions in their community and for their role in the Keene area Local Strength Team. Over the past year they were unified in their work fighting back Right to Work (for less) at the State House and in their community. Among other endeavors, they held a “Legislator Appreciation Night” where they introduced supportive legislators to other SEA and community members, presented the legislators with certificates of appreciation and engaged in dialogue about key labor issues.  You can view a video of the presentation here.

Presentation of the Charlie Stevens Award

This award, named after Charlie Stevens who served as a chapter president in the Lakes Region DOT Chapter for many years, is presented to an Outstanding Chapter President each year. This year’s recipient, Magnus Pardoe is the president of Chapter 59. Filed staff members Andy Capen and Michelle McCord nominated Magnus because of his ability to mobilize members and politicians; knack for building consensus; and his commitment to advocating for members. Magnus was unable to attend the Convention.  Andy and Michelle surprised Magnus with the award the week before Convention. You can view it here.

Magnus’ words of acceptance:

It is with great humility that I was presented this award on Friday. 

I accept this award on behalf of every single member of Chapter 59.  It is because of each of you that the SEA has seen fit to award me this honor.  Whether you have chosen to agree or disagree with me over the last few years, every member has contributed something to make this Chapter and school the best it can be.  Once again I say thank you members of Chapter 59.

The plaque will be in my office.

Magnus Pardoe Chapter 59 President\Steward

In addition to honoring the Chapter President of the year, the SEA recognized all Chapter Presidents as “the engine of our union,” according to President Diana Lacey. “They help lead us in the fight to win respect on the job; obtain better wages and benefits; more flexibility for work and family needs; and provide a voice for all the members SEA represents.”  All Chapter Presidents in attendance were acknowledged and presented with a gift bag containing NH made products. You can view this presentation here.

In the afternoon of day one of the convention, attendees were treated by a motivational speech by David Lang, President of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. As is his usual practice David combined his great sense of humor with his down to earth words and inspired members to continue to work together for our common goals.

Presentation of the John B. Parker Award

The John B. Parker Award for the Outstanding Member is the highest award given by our union. It is given to those who have exhibited exemplary dedication and service that has resulted in strengthening the labor movement. This year’s recipient is Cheryl Towne, Ch. 9. Cheryl received multiple nominations for this year’s award.  Board of Directors Betty Thomas and Jim Nall made the presentation to a very surprised Cheryl.  Cheryl is outspoken in her support of labor issues, the importance of our SEA PAC fund, and our union.  She was described as “a fabulous employee who is generous, knowledgeable, friendly, and an all round wonderful person. She definitely deserves this award.”

Tom Woodruff, Executive Vice President of SEIU Presented the Keynote Address

Convention attendees received the treat of being addressed by Tom Woodruff who flew in ahead of Hurricane Sandy from Washington, D.C. Tom has overseen the organizing efforts of SEIU since 1996.  His efforts over the past decade alone have helped well over one million workers unite their strength in SEIU.

Tom’s presentation focused on the stark contrast between the two competing ideologies driving our country’s political leaders. He presented a number of very sobering facts and statistics that concretely demonstrate the ever increasing disparity between the uber wealthy and the rest of us.  His presentation was concerning, inspiring and at times humorous, and he made it clear that as organized workers – we make a tremendous difference in advancing working families everywhere.

1st District Executive Councilor Raymond Burton Addressed the Convention

Councilor Ray Burton graciously shared his time with SEA members on Sunday morning. He arrived at approximately 10:00 a.m. and addressed the convention. As is his style, he spoke frankly with the delegates and conveyed his thanks to all of the public workers who are the true backbone of the varied workings of the state.  He shared his dismay with much of what he is seeing going on at the State’s legislature and is hopeful of more cooperative days ahead.  “They don’t use common sense,” he stated.  He also spoke to his frustration with partisanship saying that leadership should not be crippled by political rhetoric and ideology. He recognized that forward motion is assured by applying “common sense” and compromise.

“I have served under nine different governors over the years,” he said. “And it takes a while to get them trained, you know.” He shared the key to his political longevity.  “It’s two things,” he said. “Common sense and good humor.”

Burton pointed out SEIU Political Organizer, Jay Ward who was standing across the room watching the presentation. “And, one thing you should all know is that at every Governor and Council Meeting Jay Ward is watching me, just like he’s doing now,” Burton quipped. “You should know he’s doing a good job watching over your interests.”

From Zombie to Ray Proulx Award for Political Action Recipient

Ana Ford Receives Annual Award

Ana Ford, Chapter 50 President and Board of Directors member, received the 2012 Ray Proulx Award for Political Action at the Convention.  Established in 2002, this award is named after Ray Proulx, a well-known political activist who fought for social and economic justice.

Ana has served on SEA’s Political Education Committee over the years. She recently took a deeper dive into politics to hit the political trail with Jackie Cilley during Cilley’s Democratic primary run. In addition to an assortment of campaign jobs such as setting up candidate house parties, Ana also played a leading role of zombie in Cilley’s notable TV commercial.

SEA Elections

As the general elections quickly approach, our organization engaged in its own elections at the 72nd Annual SEA Convention.  The positions being decided at the gathering were: President; First Vice President; Second Vice President; Secretary; Treasurer; Director County and Municipal; and Director State (three positions).

Candidates had the opportunity to address the delegation Saturday afternoon in anticipation of the voting on Sunday morning. The polls were open from 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning to 9:30 a.m.

Following the counting of the secret ballots, Chuck Vanasdalan, Chapter 20, Election Monitor, announced the elected officers. They were President Diana Lacey, Ch. 45; First Vice President Ken Roos, Ch. 16; Second Vice President Betty Thomas, Ch. 37; Secretary Shelley Elmes, Ch. 4; Treasurer Ralph Tilton, Ch. 44; Director County & Municipal Kathleen Mayo, Ch. 65; Directors State Germano Martins, Ch. 45; Juli Carter, Ch. 37; and Brenda Thomas, Ch. 45.

Bittersweet Departures

At the 72nd Annual Convention three members of the SEA/SEIU 1984 Board of Directors elected to not seek re-election. The outgoing Directors are Laurie Aucoin, Ch. 4; Randy Hunneyman, Ch. 24; and Brian Pike, Ch. 3. Each retiring member spoke with fondness of the time they served and of continued commitment to serve SEA in different capacities.

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