‘Being in a Union Is Huge’

“To me, being in a union is huge,” says Shukimba Carlis, a licensed clinical social worker at Napa State Hospital in Napa, Calif. “If I weren’t, I wouldn’t know where to go to

Shukimba Carlis

have my issues heard.” Carlis is a member of Local 2620 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Local 2620 represents about 5,000 health and social services professionals throughout California, including psychologists, rehabilitation therapists, pharmacists, radiologists and individuals in other healthcare-related disciplines. (Local 2620 Webmaster edit: We do not represent radiologists)

“Being in the union means I am being treated fairly,” says Carlis, 45. “We have collective bargaining and we have a contract that states our rights and our recourses, which include filing grievances and negotiating our pay and our retirement benefits.”

As a facility chief steward for her hospital, Carlis meets with stewards and business agents from unions representing nurses and other workers, and she meets with management to discuss workers’ concerns. She also educates employees who are curious about the role of the union.

“I explain that being in the union brings us together to work for fair wages, better benefits and better staffing levels, which makes the workforce stronger. There is power in numbers and in standing up for what you believe.”

Full article HERE