Nebraska Association
of Public Employees

Military Department Steward Helps Grow New Employee Membership

Mary Schmidt-Rodriguez is a Marketing & Communications Specialist at the Nebraska Military Department and has been a proud NAPE/AFSCME steward for more than two years. Union stewards are worksite union leaders who are trained on our contract to assist members with representation needs, they communicate with members and management regarding workplace issues, and they organize new union members.

Recently, Mary has led the charge in organizing new union members at Joint Force Headquarters in Lincoln. She has taken the initiative to meet with new employees to encourage them to join the union and ensure they are aware of their rights under our contract. 

Our contract allows our union to meet with new employees for twenty minutes as part of their new employee orientation program to give them information about NAPE/AFSCME and union membership. Sometimes this is done virtually though the onboarding process, and sometimes it is done in person at the workplace or training center. 

Where new employees aren’t given the opportunity to attend a union presentation, our contract allows new employees to meet with their steward for twenty minutes one-on-one to learn about union membership. Mary has been a great advocate for new employees! If you would like to become a steward like Mary, click here to indicate your interest in an upcoming training session.

If you are a new employee and did not have the opportunity to participate in a twenty minute union orientation during your onboarding, please contact us and we would be happy to schedule a time for a steward like Mary to meet with you. If you have contract questions or otherwise need assistance in the workplace, don’t hesitate to contact your local NAPE/AFSCME steward or our help desk at

Nebraska Association of
Public Employees