Greetings from Interim President Walter Soellner

We all wish each other happy, safe times again soon, and at this time of year, with Thanksgiving just past and the Holidays fast approaching, it is a good time to reflect on our individual lives and that of our family and friends.

It has been my duty to step in as Interim Pres, on the passing of my dear friend Bill Jacobs, who helped found our first Retired Faculty Assoc. back in 2007, now AFT 6157-R. Bill was the first and only president of our organization until just a few months ago.

Now with elections coming in December, a new dynamic chapter awaits us, with a very bright future indeed! Our oldest members, like me, the pre 1983 retired faculty, are slowly fading into history, and the post 1983 group of newer retirees is emerging. This group, and most of the people reading this, are in this ‘new’ group, must assume the reins of leadership of our union.

Our newer retirees have very different challenges in protecting our rights to post-retirement teaching opportunities, etc., and other district obligations. I ask all individual retirees to pay attention, to be vigilant and to participate, if you can, in supporting those efforts that are in your own best interests.

As we have seen in national politics, nothing is safe from change, nothing is obviously permanent, everything important to us must be protected, and that is where your union is so very important. The union, our union, must remain strong and ever engaged with the district administration. That is where you as an individual come in. Your support is vital, in paying union dues, and in offering your opinion and advice as to the issues and direction of the energies of AFT 6157-R.

These pandemic times with lockdowns and no-gathering mandates, will pass, and soon. True, we can not gather together in our two meetings a year to enjoy fellowship, see old friends and learn the latest news from the campuses, but those happy times will return in the new year 2021. I encourage each and everyone to participate to your fullest extent possible. That will be made easier as our meetings will be on Zoom as well as in person. For our distant friends and colleagues, and those confined to home, or living in the far corners of our country in places like Florida, Texas and Hawaii, we can all connect and share ‘facetime’ together.

I am personally excited by the evolution of our AFT 6157-R into a bright future coming directly to you. May each and every one of our members, and members to be, have a splendid Holiday Season, full of joy and new possibilities.

Walter Soellner
Interim President
AFT 6157-R

PS: Please don’t forget to pay your dues.