Welcome new local unit officers
Paul Kunkel, Chairperson
I have worked for Public Health since 2006. This is my second term as a local unit officer. I am involved in my union is because in 1979 when I entered nursing school (Go Cougs!), my advisor emphasized that all nurses need to get involved in our professional association because WSNA is influential and critical in determining our nursing practice.
WSNA is the third union I have belonged to. Leading this local unit is important to me because I have had jobs where employees were not protected and could be exploited, were not given rest breaks and were forced to work in unsafe conditions. I know the value of collective bargaining and the security that we have with our contract.
I encourage you to embrace the many opportunities we have to advocate for fellow nurses, in addition to WSNA's activities in Seattle. I participate in the Legislative Day in Olympia each time our legislators convene. I know how spending 15 minutes with my Representative and Senator, educating them with stories from client encounters, can influence important decisions about our professional practice. When laws about patient care are proposed, our voices matter. I regularly attend WSNA's biennial convention, using part of the 32 hours of paid continuing education provided by our contract. I enjoy listening to stimulating presentations by national nursing leaders, accruing CE hours and networking with other professional nurses. At the state level, I have chaired WSNA's Cabinet on Ethics and Human Rights. I have also served as a delegate to the American Nurses Association national convention.
My goal is to strengthen our collective voice in the operation of our workplace and bring our members together in solidarity and unity.
Jane Storrs, Secretary
I've been an RN for 29 years and I've worked in Juvenile Detention since 2000. As a local unit officer, l support and represent the RNs who work in this critical area of service. I enjoy getting involved in current issues as they develop. I participated in bargaining our current contract and I am fierce in my defense of our professional contract! But my primary focus is supporting RNs as irreplaceable patient advocates. RNs need to be at the table when health care decisions are made. This is particularly true when decisions affect us personally and affect our ability to carry out our practice in the most effective and consistent manner. My goal is to improve the lives of nurses and work to increase our ability to advocate for those in our care who do not have a voice. Thank you for supporting me in another term at WSNA.
Brenda Balogh, Grievance Officer
I've been an RN for 9 years, 5.5 years have been spent working for Public Health.
JHS had a lot of challenges prior to the establishment of a grievance officer. We have made a lot of progress and have become more involved with our union, as well as working with management on our concerns. I ran a second time because we still have concerns on the table that are being worked through, and the nurses still need support. We can improve our working conditions.
Our union has given us a voice within our workplace. With the assistance of our union, we have been able to work cooperatively with our management to make real change within our facility. Our union has upheld our contract and supported our nurses when they needed it.
Tami Nesler, Grievance Officer
I started working for Public Health (King County Corrections MRJC ) in February 2000 as an LPN. After much encouragement from my coworkers and management, I went back to school and graduated as an RN in 2008. The support I received from all made the transition very easy. So here we are 18 years later, and with no grievance officer at RJC for many years and encouragement from coworkers, I decided to give it a try. I feel the voices of the nurses need to be heard and represented. Being part of a union is crucial for the nurses. To be a member shows our solidarity and gives us power and strength.