Happy Birthday, Kevin Bock.

Pictured from left to right are: Gina Self, Lisa Tucker, Rich Aarstad, and Kevin Bock.

Today, January 11, our friend Kevin Bock would be 52.  He would have celebrated a great birthday.  Unfortunately, he did not live to see what he so demonstrably wanted, the merger of MPEA and MEA-MFT.

Just over a week from today our two unions in which Kevin was an outspoken member leader will vote to merge into One Big Public Employee Union.  Had he lived for this moment, Kevin would be at the front of the room.  In fact, he would be all over the room!

To say that Kevin was a driving force toward our impending merger would be an understatement.  Kevin was of the mind that there should be just one union working hard for each and all our members.  Kevin consistently voiced the mantra “a member is a member.”  By that he meant that it does not matter what a member does for a living, what matters is the union must exist to serve all members equitably.  A member is a member!  Kevin was right.  Now we have the opportunity Kevin wanted to put his faith into practice.    

If you believe that Kevin worked only to unite our two unions here in Montana then you didn’t know Kevin.  Proudly promoting his faith in a “member is a member,” he wanted AFT and NEA to merge for the benefit of public employee members everywhere.  Kevin believed if we could get it done here in Montana, there would be no reason we couldn’t get it done across our nation.  Kevin was and still is right about this.  

It’s sad to wish Kevin a ‘Happy Birthday’ after we lost him so suddenly one year ago January 19.  But come January 20, MEA-MFT and MPEA member leaders will gather in Kevin’s memory and honor and create One Big Public Employee Union, the Montana Federation of Public Employees.

Eric Feaver, President of MEA-MFT                                   Quinton E. Nyman, Executive Director of MPEA

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