Nebraska Association
of Public Employees

Member Spotlight: Katherine Knutzen, Department of Education (Vocational Rehab)

Katherine Knutzen, a Pre-Employment Transition Service Specialist for the Nebraska Department of Education, became a NAPE/AFSCME member two years ago and has since become a union activist, was elected to the Board of Directors, and, most recently, she served as a delegate at our Biennial Delegate Assembly. 

“It took me quite some time to become a union member and I sincerely wish I would have joined sooner,” Katherine said. “I ultimately joined because I realized that when a group of people who are focused on common goals unite together, that’s when voices are heard and that’s when the magic happens.”

Before joining, Katherine regularly attended local union meetings and was aware of the valuable things our union was doing. Now that she’s officially a member, though, Katherine has become increasingly more involved.

“Now, if you would have told me in June 2021 that in Fall 2022 I’d be serving as a Board Member for our union, I would not have believed you. But here I am, attending Board meetings and learning so much about what NAPE is doing to back our employees and uphold our contracts for workers all across the state,” she said.

Katherine learned a lot at August’s Delegate Assembly. She was particularly struck by the ardor with which her fellow delegates discussed the future of our union.

“I was floored by how involved everyone is and how passionate our members are about continuing to grow our union,” she said. “I couldn’t help but be so proud of our union members and leaders for working tirelessly to ensure our workers rights are protected.”

Upon finishing out the weekend at the Delegate Assembly, Katherine has decided to become a NAPE/AFSCME union steward. She recognizes the need for union representation in her workplace, and she’s excited to step into that leadership role.

Katherine knows that our union’s success is contingent upon the involvement of our members. She’s proud to be a union member and leader, and she hopes to be a part of NAPE/AFSCME’s continued growth.

“I hope that state workers will join us not just to protect themselves, but to protect each other by ensuring that negotiations are fair and contracts are upheld,” she said. “I’d love to see us reach our goal of being 3,000 Strong!”

Nebraska Association of
Public Employees