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As you know, we had an election over the summer. While a few delegates up for re-election decided not to continue on the council, a new group of people stood up to take over for them. I want to welcome the new members to this body and thank all of you for your continued service to this organization.

We have two items of business that need to be taken care of immediately this Wednesday.

First, we will be electing a membership committee chair at the meeting. Jane Lynch-Gilbert took over as the acting chair last spring after the resignation of Roland Giguere, and has indicated her intention to continue in this position. Anyone else interested in nominating someone or her or himself, please contact me or you can do so at the meeting. If you nominate someone for the position at the meeting, that person will have to be present in order to accept the nomination prior to the election.

The remaining committee chairs are in the middle of their two-year delegate terms, so elections for those position will not be held until next September.

Second, we will open nominations for Delegate Council chair, and hold that election at our October meeting. I will ask for a volunteer at this meeting to run that election. My intention is to continue as dc chair.

Also at this meeting we will have a report from the Executive Committee on any recent developments and a follow-up to our contract settlement.

Another item of business that needs to take place is organizing ourselves so that we know what members each of us will be responsible for communicating with. During Wednesday's meeting I will be handing out a membership list organized by executive area and building. I am going to ask each of you to go through that list and initial members who you would like to be responsible for. I will then ask for volunteers to meet with me within a week to put together a preliminary structure incorporating all members. By our October meeting we will have a structure in place and we'll be ready to discuss mechanisms for maintaining it over time.

Please contact me if you are interested in helping out with this.

Our plan for the next few months is to hold a series of training sessions to develop our abilities to function as active representatives of the members and through that process to build a stronger union.

We are hoping to change the regular schedule for Delegate Council meetings to be the second Thursday of each month beginning in October. It is impossible to find a time that is good for everyone, but I would like to hear from you if this is not a good time.

This is going to be a good year for the Professional Staff Union at UMass Amherst, and I'm looking forward to seeing all of you next Wednesday.

In solidarity,
Bruce Fieldman

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