This week we rounded out the year with a panel of guests who helped us understand how COVID-19 has affected their members in 2020, new challenges we face as we head into the second wave, and the steps workers, unions, and advocates need to take in 2021 to ensure a safe, healthy year for everyone.

We were joined by:

Debbie White, President, Health Professionals and Allied Employees, AFT, who spoke to the lack of employer reporting on COVID-19 cases and the dangers HPAE’s members face as a result, and on bills that HPAE has campaigned on to change that.

Nancy Miller, Membership Assistance Program Coordinator, UFCW Local 1262, who spoke to the need for consistent campaigning and organizing to win hazard pay and health and safety concessions as COVID-19 has waxed and waned in cases over the past year.

Michael Rollins, Field Representative – Organizational Development, NJEA, who spoke to NJEA’s emphasis on communication with members and the importance of critical partnerships this year in maintaining health and safety on the ground, and who also highlighted the dedicated work of our schools’ Education Service Professionals (ESPs).

And Barry Kushnir, President, IFPTE Local 194, and Hudson County Central Labor Council, who spoke to the organizing efforts of his members and their challenges this past year, and who emphasized the critical importance of organizing in coalition and across silos, highlighting the importance of understanding the ways in which all workers are connected in this struggle. More than 72 people attended this webinar.

To all of our speakers, both today and throughout the entire year, thank you so much, not just for your appearance on our webinar, but for your indispensable commitment to better conditions for workers everywhere, for your vitally important input, and for the organizing, advocacy, and expertise you have put forth during this difficult time. Your work has saved lives, and that is an incredible achievement. We are so proud to have worked with you, and to continue doing so into 2021. Thank you again, and happy holidays!