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The National President's Message

 

By Gerard A. Jones

National President

 

 

 

 

 

As we begin to prepare for the Holiday Season and get ready to bring in a new year, I want to address some topics that should be important to you and your families. As 2020 approaches closer, my two-word message to each and every one of you is to “Pay Attention!”

 

While no one ever likes to discuss politics, I want to begin my message here because over the next year, you will be bombarded with political news as we decide the country’s next president. In addition, there will be 33 Senate seats and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives up for grabs. The outcome of this election may very well shape the direction of the country for years to come. As such, it is very important that you pay attention and listen carefully to each candidate’s platform when you vote in the upcoming primary and general elections. The NOITU Organization usually does not endorse any particular party or candidate, however, I urge you to align yourself with whichever candidate or candidates who best supports your interests and those of your fellow co-workers. As seen by recent Supreme Court and National Labor Relations Board decisions, there has been an attack on the labor movement as of late. Voting for Senators and Representatives who support labor is the only way to reverse that trend. Furthermore, it appears as though the current administration, as seen by the recent trade war with China, prefers economic conflict over military conflict, which only serves to further hurt America’s working class. With the stroke of a pen, tariffs can be and have been increased, resulting in Americans paying higher costs for electronics, appliances and other consumer goods. Remember, when you head to the election polls for the primary and general elections, choose the candidate who truly understands the consequences of those decisions and how they affect America’s working class.

 

Fortunately, all is not lost. As most of you reading this live in New York, New Yorkers are fortunate that, for the most part, many of its state representatives understand the interests of its citizens. Over the past year, New York state and local government has enacted many laws that affect the rights of the working public. Recently, New York State made changes to the New York State Human Rights Law, allowing for increased protections in the area of sexual harassment. The law now requires your employers to provide annual training on the subject. In addition, the law was expanded to now prevent your employer from discriminating against you because of the hairstyle you choose or the sexual reproductive choices one may make. New York State has also increased equal pay and gender discrimination protections, in addition to expanding paid voting leave rights. Finally, New York City expanded its laws regarding nursing mothers in the workplace by now requiring employers to provide a private room for nursing with a refrigerator for storage, among other requirements and suggestions. As you can see, New York State and New York City government have been proactive in expanding certain protections for its working class citizens. It is important to pay attention to the changes in the law and continue supporting candidates and organizations that advance these interests.

 

In addition to staying abreast on political issues, I implore each and every one of you, in the upcoming year, to pay attention to the ever-changing pace of technology. As you know, technology is moving at a rapid pace and it will only continue to move at that pace, if not faster, as we enter 2020. Technology has made things now possible that we never would have imagined. But if you do not pay attention and keep up with its changes, you will be left behind and/or miss out on many opportunities. Technology allows us to learn new skills from the comfort of our home, keep in touch with loved ones, or take care of daily tasks. Whatever its usage, technology is playing an increasing role in our daily lives whether we like it or not, as more and more businesses turn to technology for even the most routine of tasks. As such, it is important that you keep up as much as possible.

 

The NOITU Organization is constantly attempting to “practice what it preaches” by continuing to do its best to keep up with technology. Recently, the NOITU Organization implemented the Live Health Online Program, as part of its Blue Cross Blue Shield benefit. This program takes advantage of improved technology and allows participants to see a doctor online via computer or mobile phone for minor health issues, all while saving the participant time, effort and potentially other expenses like copays, deductibles, and/or coinsurance. Please see the article in this edition of the Reporter that includes information on how to use these benefits. In addition to offering this convenient benefit, the NOITU Organization has made other improvements to how benefits are offered to you using technology. You can now manage your retirement plan (via its updated website www.noituiap.com), refill your prescriptions, and obtain forms to update your contact or beneficiary information. You can even obtain a copy of NOITU’s Scholarship application from www.noitu.org (available in January 2020) if you are a member with a graduating high school senior. NOITU is committed to doing its best to keep up with the constant changes in technology and encourages you to do the same for your own personal and professional development. Please provide your Representative with your email address and cell phone number if you have not done so already.  In the future, we plan to provide you with important information about your benefits and the NOITU Reporter via the internet.

 

Finally, of all the things to pay attention in 2020, I want you all to pay attention to your health and well-being. The NOITU Organization offers a benefits package that allows you to make sure your health is well taken care of. An annual physical is good for everyone. Do your best in the new year to take care of both your physical and mental health by taking advantage of the benefits you receive. Whether you need to make a dental appointment, check your vision, or maintain your blood pressure medication, make sure you take the time to do so. For those who take maintenance medications, make sure you take your medications as prescribed and visit your doctor to ensure the safe and effective use of your prescriptions. Choosing the right politicians and keeping up with the pace of technology means nothing, if you are not healthy enough to enjoy its results. Please take care of yourself!

 

As I close, I want to emphasize that as we enter 2020, it is important to pay attention. Pay attention to the political climate; pay attention to changes in technology and improvements in how health care and other benefits are provided to you; and most importantly, pay attention to your own well-being.

 

On behalf of myself and the entire NOITU Organization, I want to wish each every one of you a Happy Holiday Season and all the best for the upcoming New Year!

 



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