Amy Valdez – Helping Local 1000 Fight for a Better Contract
SEIU Local 1000 member, DLC 703 Secretary, and International Delegate Amy Valdez decided to become a steward coming out of the last recession when it was clear that state employees would have to fight for a better contract and better working conditions. Once she accomplished her goal, she turned her focus toward organizing her Inglewood EDD office, with a goal of 100% membership, while also working on the ongoing contract campaign.
“I became a steward to help those who cannot help themselves or could/would not stand up for themselves,” Amy reflected. “In my old office we had health and safety violations and people weren’t aware of their contract or rights. So, I worked throughout Southern California to educate our members on strikes and on the contracts that we achieved.”
As the Secretary of her DLC, she works with the DLC executive board and fellow stewards to make informed member-focused decisions, and one of the top issues facing her members has been the Accessibility Committees. “We’re currently working on informational materials that are designed to share with members what they can do, how to access their workplace rights, and how to get help from or contact Local 1000,” she said. “Our goal is to make this information quickly and easily accessible to all members, regardless of ability or accessibility challenge, through the use of multiple formats and fonts. I even brought a grab and go event safely to fruition during COVID that enabled our members to access and create an experience centered on union values.”
Work like this has become all the more important as public health issues have taken center stage amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “I was initially attracted to the Accessibility Committee (formerly the State Workers with Disabilities Committee) because it’s vitally important to me that everyone has a voice. This committee specifically provides a place for members of all abilities to come together, and in doing so, realize we can rise up and assist each other.”
Just as importantly, Amy is doing the hard work needed to elevate these issues on every level. In addition to attending the Unions for All summit as a delegate, where she interviewed and posed questions to presidential candidates, she has also served as an SEIU International Delegate. “Through this process, I joined the voluntary International member political organizer program,” she said. “So, I can continue to work with the Accessibility Committee to get the word out on rights and reduce the stigma and work with SEIU International performing texting outreach.”
Today, with the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting California and the nation, there is a feeling of isolation and lack of information regarding work others are doing. But by working on multiple committees and campaigns, Amy Valdez is keeping Local 1000 members apprised of what is happening. We salute her efforts.