Eva Reese, a Staff Care Technician at the Norfolk Veterans Home, knew it was time to become a NAPE/AFSCME member when our Field Representatives visited her workplace in August.
“The Field Representative that I spoke to was so sincere and genuinely wanted to help,” she said. “I could really see that.”
Eva passionately advocates for her coworkers every day. For instance, when employees were told that they could not speak Spanish at work, she confronted her supervisor immediately and the next day an email was sent out retracting the statement.
It didn’t come as a big surprise, then, when Eva’s coworkers told her that she should become a NAPE/AFSCME steward to make an even bigger difference in their workplace.
“I’ve always been an advocate in every job, but not everybody is like that,” she said. “I feel like me being a part of something bigger than just myself means that when I’m trying to fix these situations my supervisors will take me more seriously because I’m not just on my own.”
Eva knows that a lot of people are afraid to speak up for themselves. That’s why she’s determined to become a NAPE/AFSCME steward and equip herself with the knowledge she needs to defend our union contract.
“My coworkers tell me that they’re scared. They come to work and feel afraid to confront their supervisors even though they’re clearly being treated unfairly and being belittled,” she said. “It’s these types of situations that make it very important for me to be more involved and make things more fair in the workplace.”
Eva said she plans on working at the Norfolk Veterans Home for a long time, and her goal is to bring in more members who can stand alongside her at work.
“I didn’t realize how important this was to me,” she said. “A lot of people think they’ll never need our union. But I tell them that even if they’re not in trouble, it’s important to be a part of something bigger than themselves.”
NAPE/AFSCME union membership is at a 25-year high, and we’re not done growing. Recently, we launched our “3,000 Strong: United Together” campaign. Our goal is to have 3,000 union members for the first time in our history before beginning contract negotiations next fall.
It’s members like Eva Reese, those who are passionate about growing our union and upholding our contract, that make our union strong. Eva encourages all of her fellow State of Nebraska employees to join our union and make their voices heard in the workplace.