Growing Our Union

It’s my promise to grow our union. You’ve placed your trust in me, and it’s my mission to connect with members, hear your stories, and work to elevate what matters most to you. In my first months, I’ve traveled both sides of the mountains and many agencies and industries to connect with you and learn what issues are most important to you.

It’s been a whirlwind since October 6, one of the most amazing days of my life. Going back to work after being elected Vice President of Council 28 was a challenge—I was so eager to get started with the work you elected me to do.

In our first week, Council President Mike Yestramski and I mapped out site visits for the next months, visited five local meetings, toured several of WFSE’s offices, and attended Local 304’s elections. That was just the beginning.

We’ve met members at local meetings, field offices and worksites from Vancouver, Olympia, Seattle, and Tacoma to Bremerton, Everett, Bellingham and Yakima. I’ve heard about your wins at Policy Committee meetings, schemed on making positive change together at the Troublemakers School, and listened to your concerns at the Working People’s Summit.

At one worksite, I had the opportunity to represent a member alongside their shop steward and Council Representative in the findings of an investigatory meeting. It was a chance to speak truth to power with management listening. I saw firsthand that our strength and the sheer power in our numbers reminds them to do what is right.

Transitioning from my job as a Public Benefits Specialist III at DSHS to helping to lead a 45,000-person union has been a team effort. From the members who have generously shared their experiences with us to Denise Mulholland managing our packed calendars and Leanne Kunze introducing us to the wonderful staff and orienting us to life at Headquarters, Mike and I are grateful for the help and support of this union.

Let me set the tone for our terms: we want to meet you. We want to hear from you. And our doors are open— any member is welcome to stop by our offices at Headquarters. Just check in with our friends at reception on the 3rd floor and come see us.

The past two months have opened my eyes to the work we all still have to do to make sure we are in safe, productive work environments. A win in one location builds momentum to demand real change from employers.

What we have together is important, and we must continue to grow. Speak to your coworkers about what we accomplish as a union. Encourage them to join us, sign a card, and find the skills they have to lend to our collective success. We grow stronger every day.

Need help with an issue at work? Contact our specialized staff at the Member Connection Center at 1-833-622-9373 or [email protected].