On January 28, dozens of DOC Shop Stewards met with their state representatives as a part of our first lobby day of the 2014 legislative session.  

Here's what they had to say about why it's important to get involved:

“I see the fiber of state employees slowly eroding away. If I don’t take action myself, how can I expect other people to? I’m doing what I can to support the DOC family. We are the ones who make the prisons go. We’re keeping the public safe.”

- Thomas Orth, AHCC Sergeant

“My most important issue is staff safety. I’m a Teamster, and I want to let legislators know that we have a vote. When we show them that our vote matters, they will lend us their ear.”

- Stevie Fonseca, WCCW Classification Counselor

“We’ve all got ideas, we’ve all got opinions, we’ve all got answers, we’ve all got solutions, but if we don’t voice them, nobody is going to hear us.”

- Chris Hallgren, MCC CO

“The more we call and visit our legislators, the more minds we can change. The people in Olympia don’t work in this environment. They need to hear about it.”

- Steven Worden, WSP CO

“Legislators need to hear from the sergeants and the officers who do the work. We are the union. Teamsters 117 is our avenue for that, but if we don’t make our voices heard, they won’t get the message.”

- James Palmer, MCC Sergeant

“Being part of the Teamsters is a good feeling. It’s very uplifting for me. I feel like together we can accomplish a lot if we get involved.”

- Teresa Bennett, WSP Pharmacy Tech

“A lot of people think that nothing’s happening. People want raises, they want better retirement. Now we’ve got interest arbitration. If we get something in this next contract, a lot of eyes will open and I think more people will get involved.”

- Kellon Cunningham, CRCC CO2

“You don’t realize the impact you make until you’ve been there. Legislators will listen to you. What you have to say does mean something to them.”

- Ronny Matsen, SCCC Sergeant