For the past seventeen years I have served the public as a laboratory analyst at Willow Lake Water Pollution Control Facility. I have been a member of our Union since starting with the City and have been active for many years. With the rest of your Bargaining Team, I worked very hard during the last two bargaining sessions to defend and improve our Contract. Since 2014 I have worked for you as a Steward, protecting our members’ rights under that Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Our strength as a Union is more important than ever as we fight for fair wages, quality healthcare and a good retirement. Improving communication with the membership, especially in historically under-served areas, is extremely important to building upon that strength. And an informed membership is more engaged, more invested and, in the end, more successful.
While the Vice Presidential duties required of this position are important, most notably during the President’s absence, it is the Chief Steward duties that are critical to the defense of our Contract and the strengthening of our Union. The Chief Steward needs to be diligent and organized; a knowledgeable delegator; a skilled communicator; and a trusted conveyor of the Union’s position. I strongly believe that I fulfill those requirements, and would be grateful to continue to work for you in this capacity.
I have been employed with the city of Salem as a Maintenance 2 in the Facilities Department for the last 10 years. This has given me a wide ranging view of many departments throughout the city and how they operate, knowing that every department is different and has different priorities. Prior to coming to the City of Salem I worked in the construction industry both as an owner/ operator of my own business with employees and as a laborer and lead carpenter for others.
Along with the experiences of leading and managing a variety of employees over the years I have a degree in Business Management and certificates in Supervision. I believe this gives me a great range of experience and understanding with both management and employees issues, along with understanding the needs of both.
My first experience with unions started with the United Steele Workers in Albany over 30 years ago. As an active member with the Steelworkers, I was Chief Steward for 3 years. I defended the contract vigorously, worked for many employee rights and was instrumental in helping to negotiate a great contract for them.
I became a steward with the AFSCME union to help members with all issues dealing with the city. This includes working as an intermediary between the city and members with a variety of issues including FMLA, sick leave, disabilities, insurance and disciplinary issues. I was also a member of the negotiating team for our last contract.
My beliefs are, the union is here to serve our members, to defend our contract with conviction, to improve our working conditions, our safety, the dignity of employees, and defend our member’s rights without fear of retribution. As an officer I will be there to answer questions, to offer advice and to listen to every member’s concerns, knowing that we cannot solve all problems. I will always put our members first. Along with this, I will work to make our union stronger through collaboration and negotiations with the city.