UE 150 Participates
In Statewide Rally
For Economic Justice
|At the May 28 rally outside the North Carolina
Legislative Building are UE Local 150 members Steve Rhoda (Caswell Center), Vaylene Cozart Jr. (Murdoch Center), Lois Hefley (John
Umstead Hospital), and Danny Holmes (Caswell Center).
If They Can’t Find the Courage, Then They Can’t Find the Money!" This was the overarching theme for the North
Carolina Alliance for Economic Justice, a coalition of health, faith, and social justice groups, in a rally on the steps of the North
Carolina Legislative Building May 28. More than 400 hundred people, representing thousands, came together in calling upon the General
Assembly to find the courage to tax corporations and not overburden the poor citizens of North Carolina in order to recoup its budget
As state employees, UE Local 150 members are at the heart of the budget crisis, facing the prospect of extensive cuts in
jobs and services within the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
The event received coverage from news outlets from across the state, including Raleigh area TV stations.
Local 150 members from Caswell Center, John Umstead Hospital, Murdoch Center, Dorothea Dix Hospital, Cherry Hospital, and
the O’Berry Center participated in the march.
CAMPAIGNING FOR PEOPLE
Union members discussed the budget crisis and the state of DHHS facilities with Sen. Bill Martin, Sen. Eleanor
Kinnaird, and Cynthia Brown, a popular candidate for the U.S. Senate.
A worker from the Murdoch Center, Vaylene Cozart, spoke with Senator Martin about the proposed closing of
facilities. He raised the possibility that clients currently under the care of state facilities might end up in private nursing homes.
State employees know the clients’ needs would be ill-served under such an arrangement.
Caswell Chapter worker Wanda Dixon said, "It was good to be able to come to the capitol. Most people haven’t
even been to Raleigh and don’t know what the place is like where they make the decisions." She participated in an interview with
National Public Radio (NPR), in which she relayed the concerns of workers at the Caswell Center.
May 28 marked the opening of the session for North Carolina’s General Assembly. The Alliance hopes that legislators will
pay attention to citizens’ needs and concerns when they craft a budget.
UE News - 6/02