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When Others Stay Home AME Goes to Work

Friday, January 5, 2018
"No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and
importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
You have heard me say often that "Suffolk County Works Because We Do," and rarely has that been more evident than at the time of this writing. With the Governor declaring a State of Emergency for Long Island just days into the new year, it was our members who responded, keeping roads clear for motorists and emergency responders in the height of intense storm conditions, which conjured high winds and low visibility. It was our members who risked life and limb to report to their work stations to provide essential emergency dispatching services. Yes, these are the jobs we chose and yes, these are the jobs we do well. We keep Suffolk County open; we keep Suffolk County moving; we keep Suffolk County working.

We take pride in our work and we ask, we implore, we demand that the source, the foundation of our work-ourselves-be respected in return. We are each individual workers and it is our actions as individuals, our quality of labor in this regard, that makes us a force capable of keeping Suffolk County working and moving forward. It is our individual contributions in tandem with our willingness to stand together that affords us the power to be recognized as one union, one AME. If we understand this, then we also understand that an attack on one of us is an attack on us all.

Last year, one of our Child Protective Services' Caseworkers was assaulted while doing his job. Rather than retaliate, this AME member stood up, dusted himself off, and continued to act like the professional he is. While a testament to his own individual character, our member's actions also reflected his employer, Suffolk County, and his brothers and sisters in labor, his colleagues. When the judge sentences his assailant at Riverhead County Court on January 23rd at 10:00am, I ask that you join with me and your Executive Board to show how AME is able to mobilize and respond to an assault on one of our own.  

Just as it is imperative to stand up to those who would do us harm, we must recognize those who have stood with us and given us the respect we have rightly earned. I want to thank Presiding Officer Gregory and the Suffolk Legislature for honoring employees who demonstrated excellence and exceptionalism in the workplace last year. These are the faces of AME. Let us thank and recognize our brothers and sisters, listed below, who were honored with a 2017 Employee Excellence Award. Individually, our members are hardworking, dedicated employees, who perform a myriad of invaluable job functions. Collectively, we are AME. Collectively, we keep Suffolk County working.

I thank you all for taking pride in your work, in your labor and for taking pride in your union.