Farewell Message from Outgoing President, Todd Vachon

Local 6950 says farewell to Todd Vachon as the first president of our union following recognition. Effective July 31, 2017, chapter vice-president Steven Manicastri will serve the remainder of Todd’s term as president. Below is the full text of Todd’s farewell message to the membership:

Farewell and Thank You: A Message from Outgoing President, Todd Vachon

Dear fellow members of the GEU-UAW Local 6950. I write today to express my great pride in our organization and regretfully to announce my resignation as the local union President. Due to family matters which have led me to move from CT, I have submitted my formal resignation to the Executive Board to take effect on July 31, 2017. Per our local union bylaws, Vice President Steven Manicastri will assume the role of President until regular tri-annual officer elections occur in April 2018.

Serving as local President has been one of the most rewarding jobs of my life. I have truly enjoyed getting to know so many of you over the years as we worked together to improve the lives of all GAs at UConn. I believe our efforts these past years have begun to lay a foundation upon which a great union will continue to be built in years to come.

As we all know, graduate employee unions are by design faced with rapid turnover of members and leaders. I will be stepping down this July, but many other officers and Stewards will be leaving at the end of this coming academic year or the next. That’s why it’s important for new leaders to take up the torch. Organizing for bargaining this coming fall will provide a great opportunity for new leaders to develop their skills. If you have not yet become involved, but support the work of the GEU, this is a great time to step up and become engaged with a great network of dedicated and hardworking professionals seeking to improve graduate life.

Although I will be living in NJ, I would like to continue working with the CAP Council and the S.E.E. Justice Committee as much as possible to continue our broader social justice efforts in the state and region. No matter where I stand geographically, you can always count on me to be the most committed union member. And if you need someone to fire up a rally, I’ll try my darndest to make it up there!

As I step down from the Executive Board I would like to thank my fellow executive board members for their hard work and commitment to the union these first few years. I would also like to thank all of you for trusting me with the responsibility of serving in the most challenging and rewarding position I have known to date. I hope I have not disappointed you. More importantly, I want to thank you for taking the difficult and courageous steps together to form our union three years ago and to continue making it strong these first few years we have been in existence. Democracy. Participation. Power. From these roots, great fruit will be harvested, so long as they are continually nurtured. That is up to all of us–lets get to work!

In Solidarity,