Engaging members to win
Bargaining Unit 17 Chair Kim Cowart Fights for Change by Activating Her Coworkers


Whether she’s enforcing contract language to reduce/eliminate the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime or improving the recruitment and retention of registered nurses across the state, Kim Cowart believes that the key to success is engaged members. 

“We have accomplished so much through members who have stepped up,” she says, adding “by harnessing the passion of my coworkers who want better jobs and better working conditions, we are overcoming obstacles together.” 

A 19-year state employee, she’s been a job steward since 2002 when she decided to empower herself with knowledge about her contract rights after seeing a coworker bullied by a supervisor. 

She’s been a member of the Unit 17 bargaining team since 2004 and the chair since 2011. Kim is heavily involved in enforcing hard-won contract language that will reduce or eliminate mandatory overtime by July 1, 2019. She was part of a strong union effort that attracted new activists and leaders who took the fight to their individual workplaces to track and report overtime abuse. 

“When we engage new members, we get new voices that help us create innovative solutions to the problems we face,” Cowart said. 

Kim is regularly inspired by a quote from a fellow member of the Unit 17 bargaining team. “It’s not about you … it’s about us; the bargaining unit and all the members we represent.” 

Protect your hard-earned contract rights, your wages, benefits and retirement. Have a voice in the direction of your union. Become a member today–we are stronger together!