PROTEC17 welcomes our newest members at the City of Mount Vernon (a new employer for us) to our union! This group of 15 employees who work in a variety of professional and technical roles – from permitting, to geographical information systems (GIS), to land use planning – were certified as union members by the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) in May, and celebrated at a gathering on May 31 alongside their PROTEC17 Union Representative Alexis Young, Organizing Director Jessica Olivas, and Executive Director Karen Estevenin.
When asked why they wanted to unionize, our new members cited the common desires for fair pay and better working conditions. But as specialists who really enjoy their work, many seek to achieve a workplace environment that promotes a high level of job satisfaction.
“I wanted more support and bargaining power in my work-life in order to create an environment with high employee satisfaction and low turnover, where everyone is happy and supports each other.” said Alison Lubeck, a GIS Specialist who has worked for the City for three and a half years.
In her work doing location-based mapping, data management, and analysis, Lubeck enjoys the opportunities she has to solve problems creatively, helping save time and money for the City.
For Senior Permit Technician Morgan Morrison, she loves the variety of her work and that it helps keep Mount Vernon residents safe. As for unionizing, after working for the City for nine years, Morrison was tired of watching her union-represented colleagues get wage adjustments and other benefits that weren’t available to non-represented employees. She hopes the unit can see a serious wage increase when they negotiate their first contract, that their voices will be heard on other workplace topics, and that they’ll have the support that comes with being a part of PROTEC17 and the broader Labor Movement.
Other issues that the team is hoping to address in the new contract include: scheduling flexibility, enhanced leave benefits, workload, and fair and equitable treatment.
Marianne Manville-Ailles is a Senior Land Use Planner with the City who has worked for Mount Vernon for over 17 years – 15 of those as a consultant, and two and a half as full-time employee. Her job involves processing permits and helping people through the project approval process. For Manville-Ailles, she knows there is strength in numbers.
“There is strength in pulling together and caring about what happens to all of us, as opposed to just looking out for yourself,” she said.
While many of our newest members in Mount Vernon have never been in a union, they realize the importance of sticking together and working together to make change in their workplace and beyond.
“Being in a union makes our communities healthier and stronger,” said Cynthia Rivas, a GIS Administrator.
PROTEC17 is proud to expand our family to include workers at the City of Mount Vernon! Please join us in welcoming them to our union. And if you know other public employees who are looking to form a union in their workplace, please reach out to our Organizing team at .