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The Rally Should NOT be presented as.....
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Post The Rally Should NOT be presented as..... Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:21 pm
I am strongly in favor of this rally to help keep our beaches open. I will be there, and I will encourage other lifeguards, friends and family members to attend.
However, as a 25+ year Jones Beach lifeguard, I am not showing up to "Rally against Layoffs". I AM showing up to help keep an essential service open for state taxpayers and the public. I am showing up to speak up for those people who do not belong to local town beaches or beach clubs, and rely on the NY State beaches.
We should all be there because we are speaking up for those patrons who might not yet know that numerous ocean fronts are being closed, and that their Lifeguard supervison is being reduced, and that 50% of the pools at Jones Beach are being shuttered. Some "might not know" until they show up on a sweltering summer day.... And their favorite swimming facility is closed.... And their lives, and the lives of their family is at risk.

People DIE when they swim in unprotected waters, and swim in thinly staffed beaches. And people swim in unprotected water when they are given limited options. The state and public should be re-informed of these facts.

Maybe I am off base, but I really do not think that even our employers want to see these beaches closed. I am sure that they too, on an individual basis, want to see these beaches open wide. This is a hard decision that they have made, and it is our responisibilty to help them to see that the public will not be served well by this poor decsion. It must be reversed.

I don't expect anyone in the public to give a rat's ass that a handful of lifeguards, myself included, may have their hours reduced. And, in my opinion, the public certainly will feel no sympathy that there might be 50-100 lifeguard layoffs. This is 2009. They are worried about THEMSELVES, and their livelihoods, and their families. And I agree with that mentality. However the Public will be outraged when they see how these cutbacks affect THEM.
So with all that in mind, I sincerely hope that the message is that "We as Jones Beach Lifeguards are public servants, and we are rallying to Protect the Public, and raise awareness for the State's terrible decision to cut back on NY taxpayers ability to enjoy some affordable leisure time, during the Great Recession of 2009." Like any civil servant, we don't make a lot of money doing this, however it is rewarding to each of us for many reasons.

If we represent the Public properly at this rally, and not for our own "selfish reasons" (ie...rally against layoffs), the awareness and momentum will continue to build in the weeks to come. And the by-product of all of this will hopefully be that NY State will reverse it's decision to cut back.
It has concerned me as to a few comments that I have seen written on this forum. Obviously, I think it is very important that we are out in front of this. Having read about many strong teacher affiliated unions over the years, I do truly believe that our new leadership will guide us properly. However, we (myself included) will need to be educated as to the message we are attempting to send. And again, I do not think the Rally should be presented as "A rally against layoffs".
Post Re: The Rally Should NOT be presented as..... Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:37 am
My response is respectfully posted. You mis-interpreted what was written. I chose the phrase "rally against the layoffs" because it is the layoffs that put the public at risk, as you noted.

There is no mention or inference of "selfish interests". The entire article is about properly staffing the beaches so the danger of drownings is reduced. We're in agreement. You just read the article wrong.

The rest of the feedback I am receiving is all quite positive. They got my intent. Since I became Editor, I have taken the high road in EVERY article. I don't have any personal agendas, and I don't cater to "selfish interests." See you Saturday.
Post Re: The Rally Should NOT be presented as..... Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:55 pm
First off, thank you for your efforts, as well as the efforts of all those union partcipants who go above and beyond for the good of the Jones Beach Lifeguard Corp. I appreciate it. I look forward to meeting you in person at the rally.

A "Rally against Layoffs" is a statement that represents our selfish interests. This is MY OPINION of how this will be interpreted, not the writings of Dennis Kane.

Bottom line, IMO, is that words are very important. There is only one meaning of a "rally against layoffs", and that meaning is that we want the PUBLIC to support US. (ie..."selfish interests")

I feel that this should be a Rally to "Keep our Public beaches Open", and "Keep our Beaches Safe", etc. In this manner WE support the PUBLIC.

There is a huge difference.

Let's all envison two scenarios:
1. Patrons lounging at beach this Saturday.
2. A person reading a recap of the rally in the Sunday papers

Are these people more likely to support:

- "A Rally against layoffs"?
- "A Rally to keep our beaches open and Safe" ?

I am certainly not suggesting that we bury the fact that there will be layoffs. And although this is my last post on this topic, I hope this gives us all another perspective to consider.
Post Re: The Rally Should NOT be presented as..... Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:56 am
Bruce and I spoke about this yesterday. We both agreed. The Bucket & Buoy is the UNION newsletter of the Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps. It is properly focused on the issues confronting its' members. This time, the issue is layoffs. 56 guards will not be rehired, unless we can rally enough support against that.

I agree, the choice of words is important. And in this case, my choices are both doubly accurate and appropriate. They are the source of the danger to the public AND the loss of jobs for our union. I stand by my choice of words.
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