Dear NASA members,
Following last week's election, I wanted to send a message of thanks to you all and share with you what you can expect to start to see over the next few months.
For those NASA members who may not have been actively involved in our elections, my name is Quinn Benders and I'm honoured to represent you all as your new NASA president. I live in Edmonton with my family, spent time at the U of A during my undergrad and graduate degrees, and have been working at the U of A since 2012 in Libraries. This long history at the university shapes my commitment to ensuring that the rights of NASA members as workers are protected and expanded—because I know firsthand how much we all contribute to ensuring that this university runs.
First, let me extend deep gratitude to Nadine Badry, Cristianne Nylund and Andrei Tabirca for putting their names forward to run for NASA president, and for bringing their experience and ideas to members. We are stronger as a collective when we are engaged in these conversations together. I have deep respect for their passion for union work and for supporting NASA members; I’m confident that their continued contributions to our union will be significant, and I look forward to working with them in support of you.
Second, I would like to thank all those members who supported me during the election. Your support of the campaign, our common goals, and your active participation made the campaign successful and also signals how important and powerful member engagement can be. I also want to thank those who pressed me to answer tough questions, and to think more broadly about the issues that matter to our diverse membership. I'm committed to continuing these conversations, and building a plan that supports our collective and intersecting interests. To all members: I will be working tirelessly with you and in coalition with like-minded organizations to serve you to the best of my abilities.
On that, I want to emphasize that no individual can lead a union to success—it takes the entire membership. I see part of my job as ensuring that the union is a place where you feel like you can have an impact, where the work of the union feels relevant to your day-to-day life, and where those of us on the executive are actively and intentionally building space where you can contribute, be engaged, and bring your knowledge and expertise about your work conditions. As we move forward, my focus will be on preparing us for bargaining in 2024 to ensure you get the deal you deserve in upcoming negotiations. To achieve this, my plan is to increase member engagement, broaden and strengthen coalitions with university stakeholders and the wider community, and ensure that our strategic goals are met.
During the coming months, I will be putting together a plan to make sure this happens, and you can expect to see a number of worksite meetings being organized during the spring and early summer so that I can hear directly from you about your priorities. I want you to know that my door is always open for ideas, feedback, and suggestions, so please feel free to contact me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org or 780.989.6183.
I believe that our union has the potential to be an influential force for positive change. With our combined determination and commitment, we can work towards creating a more just and equitable workplace. I look forward to serving as your president, and I thank you for entrusting me with this responsibility.