Local 7032


News You Can Use

October 4, 2006
To: CWA Local Presidents

Dear Colleagues:

We met last week to plan our follow-up on Ready for the Future and the Strategic Industry Fund. We have divided up responsibility between us for all eleven points and look forward to working together to build the bargaining power of CWA--the mission of Ready for the Future. Each of our districts and sectors will be working with you to develop specific plans on building and educating the stewards' army, doubling our retiree membership, increasing our organizing capability, raising an additional $2 million a year for COPE, and strengthening our state councils. Separately, Barbara has e-mailed you about the Executive Board Committee on Diversity and solicited your input.
Much of our discussion was about our critical goals http://www.cwa-union.org/future/cwa-goals.html and how the Strategic Industry Fund can support those goals. Our sector, division and district vice presidents will be working with you on this as we develop initial proposals over the next few months. As we discussed at the convention, we now have an opportunity to move to offense on our key issues, in our major industry groups and on key goals like health care, retirement security and bargaining rights. SIF campaigns can unite locals and active members at one employer, an entire industry, or across the nation. Attached below is our working definition of SIF campaigns.
Previously, we adopted working rules for SIF campaigns http://www.cwa-union.org/future/. We need to be creative as well as aggressive in fighting for our vision of the future. We need to imagine building our stewards' army and marching forward together on the critical issues of our time. SIF is not the answer for all of our challenges, but now we can work on critical issues with resources to back us up.
Resolution 2, which created SIF, set a floor for the MRF based on the MRF valuation as of July 11. As of last week the MRF valuation was in excess of $385 million or at least $8 million above that floor. This means that beginning in September, one-fourth hour of our dues (.015%) will be available in the SIF. We want your ideas and input at every stage of this process and, in fact, our rules require it.
Together, we are building a political movement that may create a turning point in the November elections. Increasingly candidates are focusing on our four basic issues--jobs, health care, retirement security, and collective bargaining and organizing rights. Similarly, as we implement RFF and begin SIF campaigns, we can set our sights higher, fighting for our families and members and defining the future.

In Solidarity,
CWA Executive Board
cc: CWA Staff


October 12, 2006

To the Communications Workers of America:

I am writing to offer my most heartfelt thank you for the warm welcome I received at your 68th Annual Convention in Las Vegas. Your energy and tremendous support has been so valuable to the Foundation since the first time Elizabeth courageously shared her personal story with CWA members at the 1990 national convention. I’m honored that our partnership has continued to grow and has allowed us to bring real results to more children and families living with HIV/AIDS.

Shortly after attending your convention I was one of 25,000 delegates in Toronto for the International AIDS Conference. I was encouraged that the world has begun to elevate the status of children in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Many of the high-profile speeches in Toronto highlighted the special needs of children, including those by Bill and Melinda Gates and former President Bill Clinton. Thanks to pioneers like Elizabeth Glaser and caring organizations like CWA, children are finally on the worldwide HIV/AIDS agenda.

But even those speeches acknowledged the ongoing failure to adequately prevent and treat HIV in children around the world. We are still reaching less than 10 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women with services that will prevent new infections in babies, and less than 5 percent of children living with HIV are receiving the medicine that can extend their lives. There is also a serious need for more research on pediatric AIDS, so we can continue developing better pediatric treatments and possibly a vaccine for children.

Although my experience in Toronto was sobering, I came away with a strong feeling of hope about what we have accomplished and the path forward. At one of the conference’s key sessions, the Foundation announced that we have reached more than 2.1 million women and helped to ensure more babies are born free of HIV. We now also bring urgently-needed antiretroviral drugs to more than 63,000 adults and 5,000 children worldwide. This means mothers around the globe who were very ill, are healthy enough to take care of their children. Children living with HIV are returning to school. Families that were devastated by AIDS now have hope for the future.

Statistics like these are more than just numbers — they represent thousands of stories of hope in the fight against HIV/AIDS. But the number of people we’re able to help today is just a tiny fraction of the millions of children and families without access to the care they need. We can and must do more.

Your generosity to the Foundation has been more than outstanding, and we are so grateful for all that you have done. Together, we have made great progress, but we must continue Elizabeth’s mission until we have discovered better treatments, a preventative vaccine, and ultimately a cure for this deadly disease.

We can fulfill these needs with the help of supporters like you. Please visit our Web site at www.pedaids.org to learn more about our work and ways to make a difference. By working together, we can send a clear message of hope and we can make a real difference in the lives of children and families around the world. . . Because every child deserves a lifetime.


Pamela W. Barnes
President and Chief Executive Officer
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation