Today our union voted to ratify our tentative agreement. Tonight city council will most likely do the same, and then I'll officially be back to work. Do I feel like the last nine weeks of picketing were worth it? No, not really. I don't think we're any better off than we were when we started out. I'm out a lot of money, and have spent countless hours stressed out and upset and trying to navigate the constant uncertainty.
I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I'm relieved. I'm tired. I'm excited.
The next stage won't be any easier. Returning to work will be a whole new minefield of hurt feelings and broken trust and backlog that needs to be cleared out. It will mean a lot of employees who will only do what needs to be done, feeling like they don't owe their employer anything more than that. Here's the thing though: the City might be my employer, but that isn't who I work for. I work for the public. I work for the justices of the peace. I work for the prosecutors and the officers and the defence counsel and agents. I work hard because I work for them, and that means more to me than who the City Manager is or who "won" or who "lost". I intend to move on from all of this, focus on my work and my future and keep moving forward. I have no interest in tallying up the minor wins and losses that made up our agreement.
And so, as we prepare to head into the true aftermath of the strike, I wanted to thank everyone. Every single person who commented or texted or wished me luck or said they were thinking of me. Everyone who brought me a treat on the picket line, or even just offered to do so. Every kind thought, every visit, every message was truly, completely appreciated. The strike made me realize that there are some people who won't stand by me when times are hard, but that there are others who will put up with my whining and complaining and grumpiness. Thank you guys, really. From the top of my sunburned head to the bottom of my blistered feet - thank you.
Now, what should I wear for my first day back to work? My tan is on point!