Felicisima Horcabas, also known as Emma, has worked at the University of California, Davis Health System for 25-plus years.
Her job title might be administrative assistant, but her work is interesting and diverse. She currently works at the UC Davis Chaplaincy Department, fulfilling requests from people of various faith groups asking for prayers, ceremonial healing, baptisms, blessings, etc. “I get to observe that religion crosses all races, genders, and cultures, and I get to schedule their meetings with their mutual faith group,” she says.
Emma serves as Local 2010’s UC Davis Chapter Coordinator and is also a shop steward. What she likes most about the union is how it works to involve members in the issues that are — or should be — important to them. “We invite members to discussions about the challenges they face in their work environments to help determine which actions stewards and union representatives will take to resolve the issues,” she says. “Members are invited to special events and training opportunities, and the union provides special offers for members and scholarships for their family.”
For Emma, the most important benefit of being a union member is being part of a union that works to improve working conditions and maintain livelihoods.
Thinking about what would happen if there was no union, Emma is clear that life would be difficult for current members. “Our positions could be eliminated or people could be terminated without cause. We would have many unsafe working conditions and our wages would be kept to the minimum possible.”
When asked what she tells other members about getting involved in the union, Emma’s response was quick and easy: “There’s power in numbers. Just sign up to be a member. You never know when you will need the additional support that your union membership brings, in addition to the better wages and benefits.”
Sounds like good advice!