Draft for discussion
1. a. Work more closely with Iraq Veterans Against the War & Military Families Speak Out. Including Workers Center/Iraq Vets Against the War Fundraiser October 19th.
b.Identifying union members who are Iraq war vets, or family members, for one on one discussions.
c. Organize IVAW & MFSO talks at union meetings, e.g. September VSEA and AFl-CIO and October NEA conventions – other union meetings as possible.
d. Dawn go on Bert Thompson’s (Green Mtn Vets) TV show in Burlington, on 8/5.
2. Build a strong VTLAW contingent in the Burlington Labor Day parade with Adrienne (IVAW, AFGE & VWC) speaking. Also tabling there, and have info about all the events available at Labor Day event.
3. Participate in the Iraq Moratorium by planning actions that people can bring to their work places in hopes of turning people from passive to active (even if in a small way/small step) – like wearing stickers, calling politicians on cell phones during breaks, signing petitions at work, etc. Have well known union folks sign & send a letter to all union locals urging unions to organize their rank and file to participate in Iraq Moratorium days and letting them know these leaders will be participating on those action days.
4. Campaign, along with workers at the White River Junction VA Medical Center, to adequately fund the V.A. so we don’t continue to have the disgraceful situation that we currently do, and to end to the war that is causing the casualties in the first place. Requires internal organizing with American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).
Could include working with Sen. Sanders, who’s on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, to increase resources to adequately support the veterans who are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, plus all of our older veterans,
Nationally, we are working with USLAW to explore a major campaign with AFGE, which represents roughly 150,000 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as well as Iraq Veterans Against the War & Military Families Speak Out to demand that Congress fully fund and staff the VA, and end the war that is causing the casualties.
Such a campaign’s demands might include:
· meeting the demands of AFGE members at the VA hospitals – which include increased staffing, a better nurse- and staff-to-patient ratio, and extended bargaining rights to include doctors hours, nurses assignments and staffing.
· full funding of the Department of Veterans Affairs
· separating VA funding from war funding
· ending the war which is causing the casualties
5. Do more to educate people about how the war is costing jobs and public goods and benefits. This is particularly true for public sector workers. Would a workshop be a good way to get people educated to talk to their co-workers? Produce popular written materials by Labor Day, like those from the National Priorities Project, into peoples’ hands.
6. Build VTLAW’s Organizing Committee – a requirement for carrying out this ambitious work plan – and seeking another union affiliation to USLAW.