Today, let us talk about teams; I am guessing that whether or not you appreciate sports, you’ve been on a team before. I would also assume that if you have been on a team, you wanted your team to achieve its highest potential. I have rarely interacted with anyone who could tell me that when participating in a team or group event that they took heart in, they were indifferent of the outcome. Most people want to win, achieve, conquer, whatever the objective, they want to get to the top. In my experiences, which as I get older, have become many, the best results have come by way of coming together as a single focused unit. These situations don’t just revolve around sports, for which, this is definitely true, but also during my time building and remodeling homes, our crew came together to build the best we could build. During my decade-plus coaching of youth sports, my undefeated and championship teams had great singular players sure, but they couldn’t do it all alone, it was about coming together to achieve success. During my time as a Team Leader, my team, who was full of very different personalities, routinely came together to outperform the other Teams in our Department and often times, the entire Trim shop. I could go on and on but that would delay the point. None of the instances came because there was no recognition, reward or purpose, these achievements had come to fruition due to there being a passionate reason behind all of them coupled with each groups desire to achieve. As a builder, our crew knew providing the best product would garner us more work, more work equals better job security in a very open market. I’ve been blessed to coach many championship teams in Baseball, Football, and Basketball, with each one of my sons being vital contributors. That said, even my children wanted the team to achieve greatness moreover than just being the only one who pitched, ran the ball or scored the most. Being a Team Leader for a team that wanted to be the best made it easy to serve them. Experiences like these are what makes it so difficult for me to see how separated we are as union members. I am guessing that if you all look inward and try to recall some experiences in your own lives such as I have done here for you, you would all find instances similar in nature but unique to your own lives when coming together was the way to win. We need to come together as a team and not allow anything to deter us from what our main goal is as Union Members, which is to get our fair share and have our seat at the table. The old adage "together we win, divided we beg" rings true. When those on top distract us by using such simple strategies as jealousy, phobias, religion, and politics, we’ve seen we fail. One thing we must remember, or for some, become aware of is that, we are the majority; they are the minority, once we put aside our personal differences and realize professionally we must be a collective, all the while respecting our unique points of view personally, we can achieve greatness for our families and ourselves. As we move closer to this fall, I hope we all can come to this resolve. Solidarity Brothers and Sisters!