Opening Day remarks by CCRI union leaders

Opening Day, Sept. 8, 2009

Remarks by Lou Rainone, ESPA President

Good morning CCRI community and honored guests.

I begin this morning extending our gratitude to the Board of Governors and CCRI for stepping up to the plate to avert shutdown days. I want to take a minute to share something with everyone that really hits home.

“Why are we the pigs? The public employees I know are social workers who care for abused and neglected children. Or they work with mentally ill and mentally retarded adults and adolescents. They find homes for the homeless. They keep the roads repaired and clean. They open and close the bridges. They run the 911 emergency system. They teach our children. They keep the city and state hospital systems working. They run state prisons. Public employees are police officers and firefighters. Public employees help keep you healthy and safe.” This statement was taken from a letter to the Boston Globe protesting an editorial cartoon against public employees)

We have the responsibility as educators and staff to be here when those doors open, not only tomorrow, but every day that is needed for the students to learn and graduate. We are not processing widgets where you shutdown a machine, close the doors and take a few days off. If that happens at CCRI the product will spoil.

We have the most important job in state government and I think we are all proud of that responsibility.

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