Our Members

Union Steward Wins $7,500 Scholarship!

Local 205 president Brad Rayson and scholarship winner Recco Seay.

Local 205 president Brad Rayson and scholarship winner Recco Seay.

Long-time SEIU member, steward, and union officer Recco Seay Sr. was the recipient of this year’s Cecil D. Branstetter Memorial Scholarship, awarded by Nashville law firm Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings.

The scholarship is for $7,500 and Recco plans to use it to complete his doctorate. Recco’s dream is to graduate at the same time as his son, who is also attending college.

 

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Union Leader Named Employee of the Month @ MMC!

Members_SarahEnglehardtSarah Englehardt, a licensed practical nurse at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, has been named “MMCer of the Month” (the company’s name for an employee of the month) for June. Sarah, a union representative, steward, and member of the union’s negotiating team, described the honor as “fabulous” and has been with Methodist since 2002.

Sarah has been described by her co-workers as a great nurse and a co-worker that employees enjoy being around. Sarah displays a can-do attitude and often says “we got this” when facing a challenge on the job. Sarah creates tools that save time for nurses when completing databases, she organizes her unit, and she takes pride in the care she delivers.

“Sarah is a champion for bedside shift report and involves the patient in their care every day,” said the MMC employee who nominated Sarah for the award. “Every patient, every family member, every co-worker knows her name. Sarah’s number one priority is the patient. She will be the patient advocate, call physicians and work with case management to ensure that her patients are cared for the best they can be.” Sarah is also considered to be one of the ‘go-to’ people in the hospital for anything to do with the union or the union contract. She does all this while also attending University of Tennessee-Knoxville to complete her RN-BSN degree and while raising a family of five children.

Congratulations to Sarah for winning the June award and thanks for all of her years of service in helping build the union at MMC and representing the membership well!

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Union-Strong NES Members Dominate Another “Lineman Rodeo”

NES_LinemanRodeo-2017For the second year in a row, Nashville Electric Service (NES) crews brought home first and second place wins from the Tennessee Valley “Lineman Rodeo” in Huntsville, AL.

Along with the team competition, two NES linemen outshined everyone else during their solo events. SEIU member Tommy Barksdale won first place as an individual journey lineman out of 40 participants and member Michael Shannon won first overall as an apprentice lineman out of 102 competing.

“It makes me proud to know that I can stand with the best from across the state and say that I won,” said Barksdale. “During practice we strive to think outside the box to come up with different strategies to give us the edge. We watch and compete with other linemen from NES during practice to try and push ourselves to the next level both on the job and in competition.” “It takes time and skill to perfect the art of climbing and being able to work efficiently,” said Shannon. “I’ve had the privilege to be pushed by the guys on the team which helped me excel, and I’m extremely thankful for the opportunity to achieve such an honor.”

Twenty teams demonstrated their skills and knowledge by competing in events that simulate real-life situations. NES’ team members also include Cody Roberts, Josh Fuller, Timmy Sanford, Derek Pennington, Josh Jones, and Adam Harris—all of whom are SEIU members.

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We Will Miss You, Sam Price!

Sam Price worked in the Critical Care Unit of Methodist Medical Center.

Sam Price worked in the Critical Care Unit of Methodist Medical Center.

Time is perhaps our most precious commodity, and once it passes, it is lost forever. It is with great sadness that we pay tribute to a wonderful man, inside and out.  Sam Price was an example of greatness in so many ways.  He took each day in stride, always put others first, could put a smile on the face of anyone, and filled the world with love.  He was selfless, hardworking, understanding, and absolutely amazing.  His death has left an empty spot that can never be filled.

Sam was loving and real. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, and brother.  He was also dedicated to helping close friends in Kosovo.  In addition, Sam was a wonderful friend, co-worker, and strong union member.  He was truly the glue that held us together at MMC.  He possessed a gentle and caring nature.  Sam believed in being authentic with people.  He always knew what to say and how to say it.  Sam always fought for what he believed was right.  He was our advocate and a pillar of strength.

While the world suffered a huge loss on December 10, 2015, we have to find peace in the fact that Sam’s beautiful spirit will live on through his family and many friends.

Rest in Peace our dear precious Sam!

Those we love remain with us,

for love itself lives on.

Cherished memories never fade,

Because a loved one is gone.

Those we love can never be

More than a thought apart.

For as long as there is a memory,

They will live on in our heart.

-Author Unknown

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In Memoriam: 2015

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and loved ones of these SEIU members who left us in 2015…

 Members_AlbertBurke Albert Burke served as the vice-president of the local’s Retiree chapter. He was a retired inspections supervisor from Metro Water Services.
Members_RandyBreedlove2 Randy Breedlove was a maintenance & repair leader for the Stormwater division of Metro Water Services and had won a grievance against the department shortly before he passed.
Members_GeorgeJohnson George Johnson was a water maintenance leader for Metro Water Services and has been a union member since 2006.
 Members_SamPrice Sam Price worked at Methodist Medical Center as an RN and served as a shop steward. Click here to read a special tribute to Sam.
Members_JimmyMarler
Jimmy Marler worked as a building maintenance mechanic at the City Hall Annex for the city of Chattanooga’s general services department.

 

 

 

 

 

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We Mourn the Loss of SEIU Members in San Bernardino

SEIU-memorialOur entire SEIU family mourns with the families of those affected by last week’s attacks. Our hearts are broken with the tragic loss of our fallen and injured sisters and brothers in San Bernardino.

Learn more about the 10 SEIU members who were killed and how their work touched the lives of their community on our memorial page. If you are an SEIU member, you can contribute to the Local 721 Member and Family Support Fund.

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Member Wins “Employee of the Month” at Methodist Medical!

Gary Hughes, unit secretary at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, TN.

Gary Hughes, unit secretary at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, TN.

Gary Hughes, a unit secretary for the oncology unit at Methodist Medical Center was named “MMCer Of the Month” in August.

Gary, who lives in Oak Ridge, served in the United States Navy for ten years and is a member of the Ridge Church. He has been with Methodist Medical Center since 2012 and has been a member of SEIU Local 205 since he started working there.As a unit secretary, Gary provides assistance to hospital visitors, patients, and staff as well as handling administrative duties for the oncology unit.

Gary is described by manager Sherry Barnett as “a delight to work with.” “Gary comes to work early and ready to work,” Sherry says. “He has a smile on his face, a can-do attitude, and I hear compliments about his work ethic from other departments. He goes above and beyond every day and you can count on him.”

The employee who nominated Gary says, “he is an asset to this hospital and in particular oncology. He anticipates problems prior to them becoming an issue and not only brings it to management’s attention, he also brings a potential solution.”

“The nurses really love him,” Sherry added. Another co-worker pointed out one of Gary’s other endearing attributes, “you can hear him smile on the phone.”

When asked about receiving the employee of the month award from Methodist, Gary was thrilled. “I’m extremely proud to work on Four West at Methodist,” he said. “And I’m honored to work with such excellent co-workers!”

 

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SEIU Local 205’s “Star Activists” of 2015!

Each year, SEIU Local 205 recognizes its most dedicated members at the Star Activist awards dinner.

Star Activists are determined by members’ participation at various SEIU activities throughout the year. The awards recognize three levels of activism based on a point system: the Silver tier, the Gold tier, and the Purple Platinum tier.

This year, the Star Activist dinner was held following the SPARK! Conference in Nashville. Take a look at this video honoring the union’s Star Activists for 2015:

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Member Spotlight: Gia Normille

Gia Normille, health unit coordinator at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, TN.

Gia Normille, health unit coordinator at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, TN.

We all know that sometimes bad things happen to good people. For the employees at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, it’s a good thing they have a Gia.

Gia Normille is a HUC (Health Unit Coordinator) on the pulmonary floor at MMC. She has been at Methodist since 2010, and her duties include answering call lights, gathering and organizing patient charts, and facilitating communication and flow for the doctors and staff. But Gia can always be found doing much more, little things that make a huge difference to the patients and their families. At any given time, she can be seen carrying a cup of coffee or a warm blanket to someone who maybe isn’t feeling well.

When Gia finds out that one of her union brothers or sisters is having a hardship, she spearheads a fundraiser to get help when it is needed the most. Employees from every corner of the hospital respond by bringing in food, from professionally decorated cupcakes, or up to 10 gallons of chili, carloads of chips and cheese, and many other mouth watering items. Then the employees come together for lunch, make a donation, and finer food can’t be found anywhere in the South.

When asked why she works so hard to organize these fundraisers, Gia simply says “People need help. I hope that if I ever need help, someone would do the same for me.”

Gia is married to husband Michael, and they have three children. She used to work at another hospital, but moved to Oak Ridge and transferred to MMC. One of the deciding factors in coming here was because of the Union. “I didn’t have the support at the other hospital like I have here,” Gia says. “The members of SEIU 205 are like family – I know they have my back and we support each other.”

In addition to all she does on the job and for her family, Gia also does her best to educate her co-workers about the benefits of joining the union. “I know many new employees really don’t know much about what the Union does,” she says. “I have been talking to them and explaining that we wouldn’t have the benefits that we have without a union contract. And I love that we have stewards everywhere, looking out for us. I recently had a conversation with a new RN, and signed her up! It was my first time getting a new member, and I loved it!”

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Member Spotlight: Exie Harrington

Exie Harrington: Circulation Assistant for Nashville Public Library.

Exie Harrington: Circulation Assistant for Nashville Public Library.

Exie Harrington may work at a library, but when it comes to union activism, she sure knows how to make some noise!

Exie, a circulation assistant at one of Nashville’s 20 branch libraries, joined SEIU back in 2012 and immediately tried to get more involved to build her union. Whether it was attending meetings or signing up her co-workers, Exie flew the union flag every day on the job—even though her worksite was not a particular “trouble spot” with a lot of employee grievances or issues.

It wasn’t long though, before Exie was directly affected by a new directive from the State of Tennessee. Governor Haslam issued new “navigator rules” as political retaliation against the Affordable Care Act which could have fined library employees, as well as healthcare workers, pastors, volunteers, and other public employees for assisting people who were trying to access information about the ACA. “In theory, if someone came to my library and asked where they could sign up for Obamacare, and I pointed them to information online, I could have gotten a fine,” Exie explained. “We show patrons every day how to sign up for housing and other public assistance and we have never had problems, but when it came to Obamacare… well, lets just say that there were some people who wanted to see it fail and they were willing to bully people to make it happen.” Exie was a co-plaintiff in a complaint made in Federal court against the state in a case known as “Harrington v. Haslam” and ultimately, the Governor’s office was forced to settle with plaintiffs in what was clearly a politically-motivated overreach and Haslam’s new navigator rules were suspended. The case set a national precedent that cleared the way in other states to prevent right-wing governors from blocking access to a lawful federal program.

For her courage, Exie was nominated for and won the 2014 Intellectual Freedom Award from the Tennessee Library Association—an award that salutes leaders in free speech and intellectual freedom. “This was a highlight of my career, but the real honor was making sure that people who need affordable healthcare can get it without interference from immoral legislators.”

Exie also serves as Assistant Chief Steward for the union’s Metro Government chapter and she’s an alternate on the local’s Executive Board.

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