On behalf of your UE Local 170 statewide officers, I send you greetings. More importantly, I ask for your activism and involvement in the upcoming year.

Beginning two years ago we saw attempts to liquidate Jackie Withrow, Lakin and Hopemont hospitals, along with the Manchin Clinic of Fairmont. Communities in Raleigh, Mason, Preston and Marion counties would have lost hundreds of state jobs, along with essential services to additional hundreds of vulnerable and often elderly citizens.

Bill Crouch, the Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Resources has made no bones about his desire to now dismantle all 7 state hospitals. We can be assured that plans for the 2018 legislative session are already in place to put all 7 state hospitals on the auction block.

The liquidation of state hospitals will be the state’s first approach at privatizing public sector workers. If successful, we can expect that the political cronies will then go after the Division of Highways, Parkways, our State Parks and many other targets. The only solution, for the present and for our future, is to continue to organize and build this Union.  Please join UE Local 170’s counterattack.

Call or write your Delegate(s) and Senator(s) and tell them you oppose any efforts to privatize any of the state hospitals. Demand they support fully funding PEIA.  Join the member visits to hospitals and local communities to publicize our cause and come with your fellow workers to the Capitol when we lobby against privatization.  Our political action agenda includes:  January 12, 2018 “Begin Robo Calls to Legislators.”  January 17, 2018 “Call the Governor Day” 304-558-2000.  January 24, 2018 “Call the Governor Day” 304-558-2000.  January 31, 2018 “Call the Governor Day” 304-558-2000. January 15, 2018 “Martin Luther King Day” (Lobby Day) meet at the union hall at 10:00 am.  February 19, 2018. “President Day” (Lobby Day) meet at union hall at 10:00 am.  February 20, 2018 Cross Over Day for bills – (Lobby Day) Meet at the union hall at 10:00 am.

Please have your legislators fill out the candidate survey questioner and return to the union hall address.  Please also circulate our proclamation to your Mayor, City Council Members and County Commissioners for adoption.  The proclamation will need to be returned to the union hall address.

In solidarity,

Jamie Beaton,

President, UE Local 170