IBEW Local 77
International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers * Seattle, Washington
  • April 25, 2017
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  • Shop Steward of the Month

    Shop Steward Recognition Program

    As you all know Shop Stewards play a vital role in our organization. No Union can be successful without the dedication of hardworking, ordinary people, who have agreed to step up, take a leadership role and represent their fellow brothers and sisters.

    The Shop Steward role is wildly underpaid and often a thankless job. In an effort to recognize the value these members bring to our Local we are instituting a monthly recognition program by which Shop Stewards are nominated for “Shop Steward of the Month”. The nominations come from peers, Business Representatives or anyone in the Local who feels a particular Shop Steward deserves recognition.

    Shop Stewards chosen as the “Shop Steward of the Month” will be featured on IBEW Local 77’s website, in the quarterly newsletter, and will receive a $25 gift card to be used at the IBEW Local 77 online store or a store of your choice. 

    If you know of someone who excels in their role as Shop Steward and deserves recognition, please consider nominating them. Forms for nomination are available below or by contacting Tiffani Duncan at (206) 323-4505 or tiffaniduncan@ibew77.com.




    Shop Steward of the Month - April 2017

    Meet Doreen McGrath

    The Shop Steward of the Month for April 2017 is Doreen McGrath!

    Doreen was one of the leaders of the IT group at the City of Seattle that looked to Local 77 when their previous Union dissolved their relationship with the IT work group. Over 15 lunch meetings with different departments were held to explain why the employees should choose Local 77 and get cards signed. Doreen would have a table in the lobby of the Seattle Municipal Tower every week, full of Local 77 literature, stickers, buttons and lanyards. Due in large part to her efforts, we collected nearly 390 signature cards for a group of about 425. With that we were certified to begin bargaining a first contract.

    Doreen has been a Shop Steward from the beginning, filing and winning numerous personnel rules grievances (this is the system these workers had to use until the contract was signed). Since the contract has been signed, Doreen has conducted monthly “Lunch and Learns” for both stewards and members. She also leads the Shop Steward’s meeting each month (held before their general membership meeting) ensuring each Shop Steward has an opportunity to be heard, and their issues discussed.

    During contract negotiations, the City was dragging its feet and not much progress was being made. Doreen led the charge to encourage our members to wear red every Monday. This had a great impact as so many members participated, Management couldn’t help but note it at every meeting.

    Doreen has also taken the challenge of identifying locations for all of our new members and ensuring a Shop Steward is assigned in each area. She has sought out members who were interested in becoming Shop Stewards and set up meetings for them to meet with the Business Representative to discuss the role of a Shop Steward. There are now nearly 40 stewards in the IT group, and most still consult Doreen on any issue that come up in the workplace.

    Doreen has attended Organizer training in Las Vegas for Local 77 and is in the process of starting to organize another group of over 200 workers at the City of Seattle. Her motor never stops running; Fighting for the rights of ALL workers is what drives her.

    Doreen has been a great help to not only to her Business Representative, Steve Kovac, who nominated her for Shop Steward of the Month, but to all of our new members and members of other units. Doreen has stepped up and helped everyone who has approached her. She is a great asset to her Business Representative, Local 77, the IBEW and workers everywhere.

    Shop Steward of the Month - March 2017

    Meet Ben Cook

    The Shop Steward of the month for March 2017 is Ben Cook!

    Ben Cook is currently a Journeyman Lineman working for Kootenai Electric Cooperative. Ben was nominated for Shop Steward of the Month by Keith Gednalske. Ben has been a Shop Steward for five years and is valued by his members for always listening and respecting any concerns they may have. He is hard working and takes his position as Steward very seriously, always fully investigating any problem or concern that comes his way. His goal is always to find the most positive outcomes for the members, regardless of the situation.

    When Ben isn’t spending his personal time taking classes to expand his Shop Steward skills, he is working with apprentices as a 3rd year instructor. He is very interactive with the three Kootenai Electric apprentice’s – always quizzing them on transformers and other areas of line work.

    Congratulations Ben, the Shop Steward of the Month for March 2017.

    Shop Steward of the Month - February 2017

    Meet Teri Kannor

    Teri Kannor currently works for Asplundh as a Traffic Control Supervisor. Teri was nominated for Shop Steward of the Month by her Business Representative, Chris Henning. She has been an outstanding Shop Steward for the last 8 years, always donning a smile and a positive attitude. Teri is currently the Recording Secretary for Unit 149 and has been at the table for the last 3 rounds of negotiations. In addition to her duties as Shop Steward, Teri is an active IBEW Local 77 member, always spreading the word of what’s going on at the Local, and organizing and attending events, such as chipping Christmas trees for the Boy Scouts. Anyone that has met Teri can tell you how enthusiastic she is about being a part of this local Union. She is never too busy to help a fellow Brother or Sister and always goes above and beyond.

    Congratulations Teri on being the Shop Steward of the Month for February 2017. 

    Shop Steward of the Month - December 2016

    Meet Vince Galera

    Shop Steward of the Month for December is Vince Galera.

    Vince Galera is a Journeyman Tree Trimmer who is currently a Foreman for Asplundh Tree Expert Company. Vince was nominated for Shop Steward of the Month by his Business Representative, Chris Henning. In his 5 years of tenure as a Shop Steward Vince has been educating his fellow members about the Union and the importance of protecting the contract. His fire and passion are evident in his efforts to stand up to the employer and fight for what is right. Most recently Vince led a long and arduous fight against Davey Tree to cover members under the City of Seattle's Sick and Safe law. It is because of his efforts that our members will be paid the money they are owed. When asked what he would tell others who may be interested in being a shop steward Vince answers with a simple, "Do it."

    Congratulations Vince on being recognized as the December 2016 Shop Steward of the Month!

    Shop Steward of the Month - November 2016

    Meet Jason Trotter

    The Shop Steward of the Month for November is Jason Trotter!

    Jason Trotter is currently Line Crew chief at Seattle City Light.  He has been a Shop Steward since 2003. As a Shop Steward, Jason has represented members in many different situations including job status issues, members facing termination, and at Loudermill hearings. He’s also a member of multiple committees.

    Jason was nominated by Brad Beatty. Brad explains why he nominated Jason:

    I am nominating Jason for Shop Steward of the Month because he always goes above and beyond when representing members. He always fights hard for our Union members, regardless of the situation. Everything he does, he stays in touch with the members and is informative and very thorough. Jason represents all members equally and is always available when needed. He is very intelligent, well spoken, does not need repetitive explanation and does not let the department miss any information. Jason is a real leader and he creates a great atmosphere to be involved in and around.

    Jason had this to say about being Shop Steward of the Month:

    I was an active member at my previous employer and have a strong belief in holding the employer to the CBA we work under. I have enjoyed representing members during investigations and help them feel at ease and supported. I feel that all members are stewards of the Union.  If you are interested, contact your Shop Steward and ask questions.  Be an active member by attending Unit Meetings and participate. The steward position is appointed by the Business Representative and is an extension of that position. 

    Shop Steward of the Month - June 2016

    Meet Vanessa Schaefer


    Shop Steward of the Month - June 2016

     Vanessa is currently a Lead Customer Service Representative at Puget Sound Energy (PSE). She has worked at PSE for 11 years, and has been a Shop Steward for 1 ½ years. Rex Habner, the Business Representative for PSE, nominated Vanessa for her hard work and dedication as a Shop Steward at the Bothell call center. According to Rex, throughout all of Puget Sound Energy this is one of the most challenging headquarters for a Shop Steward. Several times a week issues arise and Vanessa has consistently showed genuine concern for her fellow members. She is willing to go to great lengths to stand up for their rights, even travelling up to Bellingham for fact finding meetings. Thank you for the essential work you do in making the IBEW the right choice, Vanessa!

     What made you want to be a steward? 

    I was never involved in the union until I attended a CSR Summit. That weekend, I learned a lot about the union and the good things that can be accomplished when people work together. My Kismet (Melissa Southard) and I decided we wanted to get involved together so we signed up to be shop stewards before the weekend was over.

     Tell us about a significant event or one of the best memories you have as a steward? 

    Working with CO Smith was definitely my favorite thing about being a shop steward. I loved watching him argue with upper management when he didn’t agree with them and I always looked forward to our shop steward lunches with him once a month. At last year’s CSR Summit, a group of us sang karaoke to him as a farewell into retirement. That was very memorable!

     What would you tell others who may be interested in being a shop steward? 

    It's a good starting point if you want to do more for the union but aren't sure where to begin. You learn a lot about the company and people you work for. It’s definitely an eye opener as to the things that go on behind the scenes. It’s also rewarding to help co-workers in need and educate them on what the union can do for them.

    Page Last Updated: Apr 05, 2017 (18:14:22)
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