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NYSLC Statewide Election for 2nd VP
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Post NYSLC Statewide Election for 2nd VP Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 8:39 pm
Ryan Clark
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My name is Ryan Clark and I am running for Second Vice President of the New York State Lifeguard Corps.

I have been a lifeguard for 14 years, and am currently in my sixth season at Jones Beach. When I was sixteen I started working on the ocean for the Town of Hempstead, a non-unionized group of lifeguards. After seven years of working without a contract and difficult working conditions, I decided to join the Corps. In the winter I am a high school social studies teacher and am actively involved with the union in my district.

I am running for a position on the executive board of the NYSLC because I feel the strength and expertise of the JBLC can be brought to our fellow state employees in the other regions. Our strength comes from our extraordinary professionalism and dedication in the face of 8 seasons without a contract. I want to take the collective wisdom of over 40 years of union activism to strengthen the position of all New York State lifeguards. A strong state union can only enhance the working conditions and contracts for JBLC members.

As a member of the executive board I will push the existing leadership in both the NYSLC and NYSUT/UUP to ensure that long after the summer heat is gone and the rescues are forgotten, that all the hardworking lifeguards will get the contract they deserve. I propose we take action through the form of letters, faxes, emails, and phone calls to our local representatives long after our fields are shut down. The executive board needs to reach out and make our presence known throughout the winter, and make clear we are not going away until we get what is rightfully ours.

We have been negotiating with the state for over a year, and as soon as the last lifeguard is off the payrolls, the state assumes we are going to simply fade away, and they can hold off on paying us our raise and retro for another year. The worst part of this situation is that as soon as we negotiate the contract currently held up in Albany, we are going to have to go back to work on another. If we make a collective show of force now, and sustain it through the winter, we can get what should have been ours 8 long years ago.

I look forward to working for all the members of the JBLC and the NYSLC if elected.
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Post Re: NYSLC Statewide Election for 2nd VP Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:49 pm
Dennis Kane
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I am the 2nd Vice President of the NYSLC and also the JBLC. I am running again for the position of NYSLC 2nd VP.

The primary role of 2nd VP is Editor of our union newsletters, The Bucket & Buoy, which I created in 1973, and The NYSLC Guardian, which I created in 2009.
I was the first B&B Editor through 1978, and worked hard to create an objective and responsible voice for the Corps.

My JBLC career started in 1970, and I worked at Robert Moses and Jones Beach. I was an active participant in the 1971 Strike, an experience which forged lifelong friendships and taught me the value of union solidarity. During this period, I was also the Shop Steward for WBHO and the JBLC Competition Team Director.

I moved to California for many years, but retained many of the friendships and my love for the Corps. I returned in 2005, to deal with my sister’s Alzheimer’s, and passed the New Hire test at the age of 55.

In 2005, I re-entered union activities as a JBLC Shop Steward (aka “Beach Representative”.) I was elected in 2007 as the JBLC 2nd VP and re-elected in 2009.

I helped create the NYSLC, and I am currently a member of its’ ground-breaking Executive Board. I am a member of several committees, both locally and at the state level. As an example of the vision I bring to this work, the Alumni Committee has currently gathered over 2,000 names of former JBLC guards, with the goal of a Mega-Reunion for every guard that ever wore the blue and gold.

In both 2nd VP positions, I deliberately subordinate myself to Tom and Bruce, and much of my activity is supporting them and the Corps behind the scenes. I am a member of the Constitution Committee, which re-wrote the old JBLC Constitution and By-laws, and created the NYSLC Constitution and By-laws from scratch.

I am a member of the Contract Negotiating Team, and helped create the current raise/retro proposal we recently presented in Albany. My slideshow “Preserve and Protect” can be seen at http://www.jblc.net. I encourage you to view it, as it speaks volumes about my skills and love of the Corps.

As Editor of the B&B, I have completely revamped both the tone and content. The newsletters are important documents. They are primarily for the distribution of relevant information to our members, but achieve much more. They provide our union leadership with a forum to describe their actions and reasoning, and to present their vision of our future.

They are also the public face of the NYSLC and the JBLC. They are read by the public and by management, both here and in Albany. It affords us the opportunity to present our position to the public we serve, and to our employers. My primary responsibility is to ensure that you receive the news in an accurate, objective and timely fashion, and that our public face is always presented in a mature and professional manner.

Much of what we gained in the last four years is because we’ve been respectful and responsible. That will continue. We have made tremendous strides, with more coming.

I enjoy delivering The Bucket & Buoy to the crews. It’s important for EB members to get down on the sand and get the pulse of the Corps. I’m taking pictures and making new friends everywhere I go. I routinely post photos of JBLC activities on my Facebook page, and I’m receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from both active guards and alumni.

I am grateful for your ongoing support, and I ask you to vote for me again. If you like the way things are going, say so with your vote. Don’t go backwards. We tried that way for many years, and it doesn’t work. It is my continuing promise to be responsible and professional as 2nd VP and Editor, and to carry on the JBLC tradition of excellence. See you at the Rally on Sunday.
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