The Christmas luncheon was a success. We served over 1,500 members for lunch. President Rick Riley spent hours talking with individuals and groups last week. He said “I met several members and had many conversations. The closing of Submission Processing was the biggest concern of the membership. I explained all the work I am doing on this. I’ve met with Senator McConnell’s staff and with Congressman Massie himself. I am working with him to get funding for different work to come our campus. It is a start, and hopefully we are successful. Several members came to me and the staff thanking us for reaching out with the Christmas luncheon. Many of them said they never did come to the Christmas Party and that this was really appreciated. Some members had questions why there was no Christmas Party. I explained that the Christmas Party in 2014 cost well over $22,000 and that only about 200 people came, figuring a member plus a guest that was well over $200 per member that attended. Last year’s party cost $15,000 and only 300 people came. Using the same logic of a member plus a guest that figure came out to $100 a member. We learned some lessons and we will carry that forward. Next year we are hoping to be bigger and better.” Though some members were displeased at this change in our Christmas celebration and even threatened to withdraw as dues-paying members of Chapter 73, Steward Sarah Corea reminds us, “Though perks like the Christmas party are nice, the purpose of dues is to ensure you get fair and equal treatment from management and a voice fighting for you in Washington. NTEU has fought and won for bigger raises, performance awards, Telework, and many other job related issues. And many members require Union assistance for contractual violations committed by management. Without dues, these perks go away.” NTEU is always open to member suggestions and feedback, and the Staff of NTEU 73 wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!