(This story was written by Local 205 members Brenda Shields & Sharron Pryor.)
For the last two weeks in October, four of us traveled to Los Angeles for a membership drive. We joined SEIU members from across the country to help sign up workers for the union. We were assigned to Local 99, which represents school workers in Los Angeles Unified School District across Los Angeles County.
This journey was a wonderful experience of seeing how a very large union works and functions. Local 99 was the first local to negotiate a contract that guarantees all of their workers make $15 an hour. Workers in Los Angeles County know that the only way to fix our economy is to raise the floor on wages. Low wages keep our entire economy down and when there are no good jobs in an area, workers are forced to work two or more jobs just to make ends meet. This creates instability within the family structure and stress for everyone.
We are proud of the work that Local 205 contributed to this campaign and we met a lot of great people. The member organizers in Local 99 were especially great. Many helped with the training for the blitz and with a variety of jobs at the local. In the future, we hope that members of Local 205 get more active, get more training and have more opportunities to engage with other members.
Over the course of blitz, we collectively signed up over 10,000 new union members. This was an amazing experience and along with fellow 205ers Steve West and Kate Sheets, we were honored to participate and represent for the Volunteer State!