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Debra Simmons-Peterson, President • James Thomas, Secretary-Treasurer • Teamsters Local 743.com

Voice The

Teamsters Local 743 All-Member Newsletter Featuring... • Member Spotlights • Strong New Contracts • The Roots of Local 743 • Member Photos • and more!

Summer Edition 2017 Proudly representing more than 10,000 hardworking men and women across Chicago, the State of Illinois, northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin


Teamsters Local 743 Officers & Staff Directory Executive Board Debra Simmons-Peterson, President 773-254-7460 ext. 1770 dsimmons@teamsterslocal743.com James Thomas, Secretary Treasurer 773-254-7460 ext. 1771 jthomas@teamsterslocal743.com Catherine Schutzius, Vice President 773-254-7460 cschutzius@teamsterslocal743.com Goleen Bradley, Recording Secretary 773-254-7460 Beverly Sisson, Trustee 773-254-7460 ext.1791 bsisson@teamsterslocal743.com Alex Ramirez, Trustee 773-254-7460 Robin Sullivan, Trustee 773-254-7460 ext. rsullivan@teamsterslocal743.com

Agents & Operators Jesse Stanton, Senior Business Agent jstanton@teamsterslocal743.com Jose Silva, Senior Business Agent jsilva@teamsterslocal743.com Robert May, Senior Business Agent rmay@teamsterslocal743.com Jarvis Gutter, Assistant Business Agent jgutter@teamsterslocal743.com Vivian Schmitter, General Counsel vschmitter@teamsterslocal743.com Christine Salamone, Assistant to the President csalamone@teamsterslocal743.com Lakeisha Massey, Lead Titan Operator lmassey@teamsterslocal743.com Julita Barrios, Lead Titan Operator jmartinez@teamsterslocal743.com Gearldine Callans, Titan Operator gcallans@teamsterslocal743.com Tracy Reed-Bowers, Communications Local743marketing@gmail.com Cover Photo by Steven C. Goins

Local 743 Depends on Member Commitment A Message from President Debra Simmons-Peterson

Dear Sisters and Brothers: A local union can only be as strong as its membership. Our members must remember what it means to work as a team — to make promises to each other, and to know that no matter what happens, we have your back. Commitment is a basic underlying measure of the extent to which an individual accepts or identifies with the goals and values of the broader organization. Your commitment to this local union and your fellow union members is a critical component in resolving issues and concerns in the workplace. Participating in your local union, sticking together, and educating your fellow union members are simple, everyday ways you can show your support.

represent our members in an impartial and non-judgmental way. We know that our Union Stewards are a vital part of the Union and Local 743 will always provide the necessary resources to assist them in properly filing and resolving grievances.

Local 743 members will be traveling to Springfield again very soon in an effort to influence our State Legislators to vote in favor of legislation regarding the minimum nursing staff requirements as it relates to patient ratio. I encourage you to join the Local 743 Lobbying Committee and sign up to support this cause.

It’s your union dues that provide the resources to stand up for good jobs and benefits, decent working conditions and a better future for your families. Local 743 is committed to you and we take our job very seriously. I will continue to have an open-door policy. If you have questions, please contact me at (773) 254-7460.

Local 743 is committed to educating our union stewards to help them be as successful as possible. Our members are entitled to the benefit of every remedy and defense available and it is our job to

Fraternally,

Debra Simmons-Peterson, President

Attend Your Membership Meetings All Teamsters Local 743 members are strongly encouraged to attend local membership meetings. Learn more about your union and stay engaged. Membership meetings are held the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Teamsters Local 743 Union Hall, 4620 S. Tripp Ave., Chicago, IL 60632. Meetings are not held in July, August or September.

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OUR NEWSLETTER IS GOING DIGITAL As a labor organization, staying connected with our members is very important to Local 743. To save trees and to put more resources towards more programs and initiatives that will improve our members lives, our newsletter is moving towards an electronic format. This change will allow us to get the newsletter to you faster and allow you to able to share it easily with your friends and family members. To stay in the loop, make sure you join our email list at TeamstersLocal743.com. You will receive an email alert when the

flx Facebook: Search for “Teamsters Local 743” Twitter: @teamsters743 newsletter becomes available online. To get the most up to date schedule of events, news and updates we encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Local 743 is looking for submissions for upcoming newsletters. Local 743 would like to hear from you, the members. Share with us about being a proud union member, victories on the job, member solidarity stories or nominate a member to spotlight. Article should be submitted in a Word Document. High-resolution pictures are welcome as well. Please send articles to Local743Marketing@gmail.com.

In This Issue PAGE 4 Member Spotlight Debra McCaa, University of Chicago PAGE 5 Teamsters Local 743 Executive Board Re-Elected By Acclamation PAGES 6-7 Contract Round-Up Members Ratify New Agreements at Blue Cross Blue Shield, Rush University Medical Center, Peco Pallet, Prevue Pet and Rotadyne PAGE 8 Stewards Corner Tips, Tricks and Helpful Advice for Representing Members as a Local 743 Union Steward PAGE 9 Local 743: Always Fighting PAGE 10 The Roots of Local 743 PAGE 11 Members of Local 743 Photo Spread

Beautiful memories silently kept, of ones that we loved and will never forget. Local 743 mourns the recent passing of the following members: Gerard Blue, University of Chicago Herman Lee Burrows, University of Chicago Rose Butler, Belhaven Nursing

Maurice Delaney, University of Chicago Medical Center Pamela Mitchell, Mercy Hospital Medical Center Betty Richardson, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Former Teamsters Local 743 Trustee Charlene Sheridan, University of Chicago

Don’t forget to update Teamsters Local 743 when moving or when your mailing address changes. Contact us at (773) 254-7460.

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT In This Issue: Local 743 Member Debra McCaa, University of Chicago Medical Center

Debra McCaa from the University of Chicago Medical Center has been a member of Teamsters Local 743 for more than 20 years.

Members Linda Vincent (foreground left) and Byron Richardson (center) announce their retirement at a Local 743 membership meeting.

Two Members Retire After 30 Years in Union After 30 years of individual service at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Chicago, Teamsters Local 743 members Linda Vincent and Byron Richardson have decided to retire and take advantage of the company’s voluntary separation package offered to Local 743 members. Both members qualified for 50-week severance pay incentives, affording them two times the standard severance package. Vincent started her career at Blue Cross as a keypunch operator on October 3, 1977. Having held may positions through the decades — including Claim Processor, Customer Service Representative and Health Coordinator — she considers her job as a Local 743 union steward her most important position. “During the entire time at Blue Cross Blue Shield, I was a proud Local 743 member and steward,” Vincent said. “As a steward, I had extraordinary experiences with Local 743 and its membership. Coming together with members and participating in so many events that the local union offered through the years was a meaningful and incredible experience for me.”

What are some of your job duties? McCaa: My job duties consist of patient registration and insurance verification. Tell us about yourself. Any hobbies? McCaa: My hobbies are gardening and home improvement projects. I like working with power tools. I have two grown sons and one grandson and have adopted many family members while working at the University of Chicago Medical Center. I also have two fourlegged babies named Cinnamon and Bulley. How long have you been a steward? McCaa: I’ve been a Teamster steward for more than 15 years. What do you enjoy most about being a steward? McCaa: What I enjoy about being a union steward is empowering the membership and protecting our members from contractual violations. What would you consider your “Teamster Moment?” McCaa: My Teamster moment happened during the first contract negotiation that I was a part of, when we wrote and

Vincent is a fixture at monthly membership meetings and a dedicated volunteer with charitable events and community functions at Local 743. Richardson has been with Blue Cross for more than 30 years. He has served as a Local 743 union steward for more than 15 years, and has served on the Local 743 Executive Board as a Trustee. Richardson has been a part of six contract negotiations at Blue Cross, and has been

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incorporated Article 19.3, which is still in existence. The article states, “that no hours shall be given to temporary or agency employees prior to hours being offered to members.” This protects our work and the labor of union employees. It keeps us all employed. How has the union impacted your life? McCaa: Teamsters Local 743 has impacted my life by allowing me to become a steward and helping members in need. Being a part of contract negotiations has helped me help the members ensure that our rights are fair and protected.

instrumental in helping to win major arbitration victories for members. “I have been an activist for workers’ rights for more than 15 years and am committed to continue that activism in retirement,” he said. Teamsters Local 743 wishes both members good luck in the next chapter of their lives and thanks them wholeheartedly for their decades of service to the local union and its membership.


Local 743 Executive Board Elected Unanimously to New 3-Year Term

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he seven-member Executive Board of Teamster Local 743 was elected by acclamation at a special membership meeting on Sept. 12, 2016. In stark contrast to a highly contested election three years ago, the nomination and election of officers was a very low-key event where members offered their nominations for Executive Board positions. Local 743 bylaws (Section 17.d.6) provide that, “If an office is uncontested, no election shall be conducted for such office and such unopposed candidate shall be elected by acclamation at the nominations meeting.” After the nomination meeting, Local 743 President Debra Simmons-Peterson gave a short speech and shared her vision for the future of Local 743.

another. I work for you. I will continue to fight to protect our member’s jobs and for dignity and respect.” she said. This will be Simmons’ second term as the President and Principal Officer of Local 743. Simmons first took office in January 2014 after being elected the first African-American woman to serve as President in the local’s 70-year history.

“We have challenging times ahead of us. These times call for us to strengthen our commitment to the union and to one

This will be the second term for Secretary-Treasurer James Thomas. “I am humbled and honored to be re-elected

as your Secretary-Treasurer for a second term. I stand firm in my commitment to Local 743 and its members,” he said. The board includes Recording Secretary Goleen Bradley and Trustees Beverly Sisson, Alex Ramirez and Robin Sullivan. Local 743 represents more than 10,000 men and women in warehouse, mail order, health care, technical, clerical and professional in Illinois, northwest Indiana and southern Wisconsin.

Tribute: Betty J. Richardson (Sept. 17, 1946-May 11, 2017) It is with a heavy heart that Teamsters Local 743 announces the passing of sister and former Trustee Betty J. Richardson.

who worked with Betty at Blue Cross for several years, recalled Betty’s dedication and love for Local 743.

Betty began her Teamster career at Blue Cross Blue Shield in 1974. That same year she was instrumental in organizing the company. Betty was the first steward at Blue Cross and retained that title until she retired. In 1992, she organized a second division of Blue Cross Blue Shield and sat on the negotiating committee. Betty was elected to the Local 743 Executive Board in 2002, holding the position of Trustee until 2010.

“She loved being a union steward and trustee. Her dedication and knowledge about the union was unmatched. She will truly be missed,” Vincent said.

Ms. Richardson was a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. She was on the Executive Board of the Teamsters Joint Council 25 Women’s Committee and a delegate of the Hoffa/ Hall Slate to the IBT Convention in 2006. She was the first recipient of the Clara Day

Having instilled these values in her children, Betty proudly witnessed her son Keith being sworn in as the youngest elected President of the American Postal Workers Union, Chicago Area Local 001, one day prior to her death. Award in 2010, an award given to Local 743 members honoring hard work and dedication to the union. Betty was highly respected amongst her peers. Linda Vincent, a Local 743 member

Local 743 President Debra SimmonsPeterson said, “We are proud to call Betty Richardson our sister. Her courage, strength in adversity and leadership paved the way for a new generation of Local 743 members. Even as we mourn her death, we celebrate her life.”

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Local Union Contract Summary Members at Rush University Medical Center Secure 3-Year Contract After months of hard-fought negotiations, more than 1,100 members of Teamsters Local 743 at Rush University Medical Center have ratified a strong new threeyear contract. This is the first contract at Rush that includes newly organized Patient Care Technicians (PCT). Additionally, the agreement provides wages, benefits and workplace protections for clerical, housekeeping, foodservice, engineering, laundry and transport service workers represented by Local 743. “Negotiations were a long and demanding process,” said Debra Simmons-Peterson, President of Local 743. “But in the end, the union bargained for a contract that provides across-the-board wage increases, a decrease in the amount of money our members contribute out-of-pocket for health insurance, and an enhanced sick time policy. I want to thank the Local 743 Bargaining Committee for its commitment and sacrifice to make this new agreement possible.” One of the key components of negotiations was to fully integrate PCTs in the new contract after they voted to join Local 743 last year. “Many members felt that Rush really undervalued its Patient Care Technicians,” said Barbara Young, a six-year union steward at the medical center. “But Teamsters Local 743 sent the employer a strong message that PCTs are just as important to the Teamsters as any other segment of our membership. If one member is injured, we are all injured. That approach for parity and unity really helped the union settle and ratify a strong contract.”

The Local 743 Bargaining Committee (above) helped members finalize a strong new contract at Blue Cross.

Teamsters Ratify Two-Year Agreement at Blue Cross Members Receive Wage Raises, Severance for Longtime Workers

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eamsters Local 743 members at Blue Cross Blue Shield have overwhelmingly approved a new two-year contract.

Health care costs were set at the prior year’s rate. Blue Cross Blue Shield’s annual performance incentive is still in effect as part of the new agreement.

“With the uncertainty of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), our members were expecting that the company would propose a plan of restructuring the organization,” said James Thomas, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 743. “But following several rounds of negotiations, Local 743 was able to successfully get Blue Cross to agree to a concrete employment plan and preserve a sustainable number of Teamster employees for the first time ever in our longstanding relationship with the company.”

The company offered a voluntary separation package for employees who were 50 years of age and had completed 15 years of service. Members who qualified for this separation package received 50 weeks of severance pay, which is two times the standard severance pay package.

As always, Local 743’s main concern going into negotiations was job security. The new contract includes annual 3 percent wage increases, and employees who were hired after 1998 will receive an additional 1.5 percent raise on “job attained dates.”

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Following the successful negotiations, Thomas extended his gratitude to Local 743 Bargaining Committee members. “I would like to thank the union’s negotiating team, including Linda Vincent, Jennifer Smith, Angelique Moore, Brigett O’Donnell, Byron Richardson and Sherry Sims, who were vital in representing all Local 743 members at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Chicago,” he said.


Union Secures Contracts at BCBS, Rush University, Peco Pallet and Prevue Pet

Local Members at Prevue Pet Ratify 3-Year Contract Teamsters Local 743 members working at Prevue Pet finalized negotiations for a new three-year contract in late December 2016. The agreement includes annual pay increases, equity adjustments, an

improved 401(k) retirement option and continuation of affordable health care. Prevue Pet is a family-owned company located on the Near West side of Chicago. It’s been in operation since 1869. Local 743 members at the facility manufacture and distribute products for pet owners, including cages, pet toys and other supplies for dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, pet rodents and birds. All pet owners are strongly encouraged to

Local 743 members at Prevue Pet.

buy union-made products. Prevue Pet products are available at PetSmart, Petco, Target and many online retailers.

Peco Pallet Workers Unanimously Ratify First Contract

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orty-three members of Teamsters Local 743 voted unanimously on March 7 to ratify their first powerful contract at Peco Pallet on Chicago’s South Side. The warehouse workers voted to join Local 743 in June 2016 and began negotiations last July. Active Local 743 members, Peco Pallet employees new to the union and throngs of labor allies rallied in front of the company’s plant in December 2016. The Teamsters found support from members of Local 551 of the United Auto Workers as well, working at a nearby Ford assembly plant. Peco Pallet workers wore union T-shirts on the job regularly and signed a letter to billionaire venture capitalist JB

Pritzker — one of Peco Pallet’s owners — serving notice that employees deserved a fair contract. The men and women of Peco Pallet decided to join the Teamsters after the company failed to respond to employees’ concerns about unfair performance appraisal-based pay increases, exploitative use of temporary workers, a refusal by management to post vacant positions and an overall top-down disregard for workers’ health and safety. The newly ratified Local 743 agreement provides workers with annual across-the-board wage increases, seniority rights, proper posting of vacancies, just cause discipline and various health and safety protections.

Peco Pallet employees Joe Nauracy, Danny Sanchez, Balentine Miranda and Derrick Rudd served on the Local 743 Bargaining Committee for the unit, alongside Union Representative Jarvis Gutter and Vice President Catharine Schutzius. The team kept all workers inside the plant wellnformed about dates for negotiations and progress toward an agreement. “I am proud of what the negotiating committee accomplished. The contract was ratified unanimously which means the committee did a great job in addressing concerns,” said Local 743 President Debra Simmons-Peterson. “I am honored to welcome these members into the Local 743 family.”

Local 743 members working the second shift at Peco Pallet celebrate the ratification of their new contract.

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Members Share Love With the Less Fortunate

STEWARDS CORNER Doing What It Takes to Be a Leader Be Honest. Gain credibility with members. A steward who bluffs, misleads or skirts the truth won’t remain credible for very long.

Sue Motley and Shante Needham (right)

Teamsters Local 743 member Shante Needham was sitting at her dining room table one day in December counting her many blessings during the holiday season when she had an epiphany. “Something just came over me and said, you need to bless the homeless this Christmas,” she said. “So the next day I began gathering things and asking friends and family for donations to be distributed to the homeless on Christmas Day.” Needham has extended her one-daymission into a monthly endeavor. “I do this monthly on the last Sunday of each month,” she said. “My goal every month is to feed at least 100 people.” Local 743 conducted a “Share the Love” donation drive to help Needham with her April donations. Sue Motley, a Local 743 member with the Central States Pension Fund, accompanied her to off donations at the Franciscan House, at 2715 W. Harrison in Chicago. “It was very humbling to see people who literally have nothing but the clothes on their backs and a few items in a garbage bag,” Motley said. If you would like to donate or volunteer to help distribute donations at one of Needham’s donation drives, please email her at sneedhan1980@att.net.

Be Reliable. If you are asked a question and you don’t know the answer, say “I don’t know.” Then get the information and report back to the member as soon as possible. When you say you are going to do something, follow through.

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trong steward systems are the backbone of any union. They make the union visible to workers and to management. Stewards enables strong communication, representation and mobilization within the workplace. Members look to the steward as a leader in the workplace. They turn to the steward when they seek information or when they need some help in solving a problem. They want stewards who are honest, hardworking and willing to stand up in the face of pressure. To be a leader, the steward must understand the diversity of the union’s membership — cultural, racial, gender, sexual orientation, age — and promote unity to put a stop to management’s attempts to divide workers. As a steward, you must have credibility with union members, co-workers and the managers and supervisors with whom you attempt to resolve workplace issues and problems. You must be able to listen to the problems, concerns and issues of your fellow members. By identifying workplace problems, stewards can engage members in developing solutions. Listening is a skill that must be developed and practiced. Stewards must be able to motivate members to help build the union and take action on workplace concerns and problems. Stewards who try to “do it all” become overburdened, overwhelmed and stressed out. Stewards who do it all are not involving other members in the union. High member participation is a sign of a strong union.

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Be Available. Being an effective steward often means talking with members after regular working hours. Be Knowledgeable. Learn about the contract, the work rules and policies, co-workers in your area, supervisors and managers, and issues impacting members. Be Supportive. When co-workers approach you with their concerns and complaints, offer understanding, encouragement and help or guidance in addressing their problems. Be a Good Communicator. Communication skills require 70 percent listening and 30 percent talking. Be a Good Example. Build relationships of trust and solidarity over time, so that you have a solid foundation when you ask people to do a specific task or take part in an activity. Talk to members one-to-one. Remember that people become active because they are passionate or angry about problems on the job. Challenge them to do something about those problems by getting involved. Be willing to do what you ask members to do. If you ask them to do a worksite leafleting campaign at 6 a.m., then you should be prepared to do the same. Look forward to more helpful tips and information for stewards and members alike in the Stewards Corner in future Local 743 All-Member Newsletters.


Teamsters Local 743: Always Fighting

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eamsters Local 743 has always fought hard for its members. In these challenging times, we have strengthened our commitment to the labor movement and our membership. Local 743 will never rest in providing quality service to our members. Our members are our top priority.

one, Union Representative Beverly Sisson and President Debra Simmons-Peterson had my back. They fought hard for me even though we hadn’t negotiated our first contract yet. Right then and there I knew had made the right decision for voting the union in. You never know what Is going to happen to you that’s why you need a union to protect you. I thank Local 743 for fighting for me.”

These are some example of how Local 743 is “Always Fighting” — stories from Local 743 members in their own words. Tamiko Lofton, UCMC Patient Transportation Specialist — terminated without just cause: “Local 743 filed a grievance on my behalf and was successful in having me reinstated. I witnessed firsthand how Local 743 fights hard for its members.”

Latonya Pickett

Latonya Pickett, 11-year Patient Care Technician, newly organized at Rush University Medical Center — suspended without pay: “The union fought hard for me. I was reinstated with full back pay and seniority intact. I thank God for Teamsters Local 743 because without these union representatioves I would be out of a job. You don’t have a voice at work if you don’t have a union.” Lakeshia Jackson

Donna Mack-Bolden, UCMC Patient Transportation Specialist — overlooked for a job bid: “Union Representative Robin Sullivan went to work immediately and filed a grievance on my behalf. After all the obstacles, the union prevailed and I was awarded a position on my desired shift. I want to thank Mrs. Sullivan and President Debra Simmons-Peterson for fighting for me and helping me get what was rightly mine.”

Katherine Chapton (right) and Union Representative Robin Sullivan

Katherine Chapton, 34-year employee at UCMC — terminated without just cause: “Teamsters Local 743 took my case to arbitration and successfully got me reinstated to my former position. I am an example of how hard Local 743 fights for its members.”

Rotadyne Members Ratify Agreement Teamsters and the Rotadyne Corporation agreed on a new contract on the terms of a successor collective bargaining agreement that took effect January 1. Initial proposals from the Bargaining Committee called for a comprehensive

Donna Mack-Bolden

Lakeshia Jackson, Patient Care Technician at Rush University Hospital — terminated from her job: “From day cross training program, improved work conditions, higher wages and job security. After several rounds of negotiations, Local 743 secured a strong contract that includes wage gains and maintenance of health care and retirement benefits. “We negotiated a contract with solid wage increases and other economic gains. That was the commitment of the union all along, and together we achieved our goal,” said Local 743 member Alexander Llamas.

If you are a Local 743 and would like to be featured in an upcoming newsletter, please contact Local 743 Communications and Marketing Director Tracy Reed-Bowers at local743marketing@gmail.com The bargaining committee successfully negotiated a formal cross training plan. “The objective in cross training is to broaden members’ skills and help solidify long-term employment for Local 743represented employees,” said Local 743 Business Agent Jose Silva, who served as lead negotiator. “This collaboration benefits both the members and the company, making everyone and our relationship stronger.”

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or Debra Strickland, Teamsters Local 743 is not just a union, it’s a way of life. “Teamster blood runs through my veins. I’m extremely proud to say that I’ve been a part of the Teamster family for almost 25 years.” As the daughter of Diane Strickland, the first African-American woman Secretary Treasurer of Local 743, Debra fondly remembers sitting at the dinner table listening to her mother talk to members. “Members use to call my mother at all times of the evening and she always answered their calls.” Debra continues her mother’s legacy as the lead steward at Provident Hospital of Cook County. In fact, she helped organize Provident in 1993. Her hard work and dedication to Local 743 continues. She recently organized Provident’s food service department and is currently on her fifth Contract Bargaining Committee. Debra has advice for current Local 743 members and future members — “There’s always going to be someone trying to take away your rights but as long as we have the union we have someone in our corner.” Aileen M Troia started her career at Central States/TeamCare on August 28, 1978. She has been a proud member of Local 743 for 39 years and was brought up in a union home. Aileen say that the pride of being in the union and the benefits they’ve negotiated on behalf of members are the reasons for her longevity at Central States. “The only voice that employees have in this country is because of unions.” Since President Simmons and her board were elected, it has ignited a fire in Aileen to be more active in the union and to keep

Debra Strickland (from left), Mae Davis, Alieen Troia and Janise Page (bottom right)

union workers informed about their rights and the importance of getting involved. “I witness firsthand how hard President Simmons works for the members of Local 743. Her passion and determination have inspired me to become a better union member. She expects the best out of the Union Representatives, stewards and activists. President Simmons definitely leads by example,” Aileen said.

for several years and have proven to be responsible citizens. Everyone deserves a second chance,” Mae said. Janise Page began her career at Rush University Medical Center more than 37years ago. At an early age, Janise was part of a community affairs program headed by Reginald “Hats” Adams that helped introduce high school students to the medical profession.

Mae Davis has worked at Mercy Hospital Medical Center for more than 40 years. Mae has been a steward since 1992 and has been on every Contract Bargaining Committee since. Under the mentorship of Chief Steward Diane Strickland, Mae was taught the importance of being union and fighting for members’ rights.

“That program launched my career at Rush and Mr. Adams played a vital part in helping me and other young minorities gain employment at Rush, as did Local 743 President Simmons. In that program I was afforded the opportunity to work in mny areas of the hospital to determine which was the best fit for me,” Janise said.

“One of the first things I do to prepare for a new contract is to make sure that every member is on their correct pay scale. It’s unbelievable sometimes how members don’t know they are not receiving their proper pay. That’s why I always tell them to read their contract,” Mae said.

Janise has been a union activist for years. She recognizes the union’s importance and relays this message to co-workers every day.

Mae was an integral part in helping save members’ jobs. When a law was passed requiring employees at a health facility be subjected to background checks, she and Diane launched a letter-writing campaign and expunged some criminal records. “I really felt compassion for the members who had a past criminal background. Some of these members had worked

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“People are out there marching for fair wages but if you have a union at your side, you don’t have to do that. You can go to the table and negotiate working conditions and benefits. That’s important,” she said. Janise has a message for those who ask, ‘What has the union done for me?’ “I ask, what have you done for your union? What part have you played to strengthen it? Being in a union is like having insurance. You would rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it when trouble arises. I’m glad that I have it,” she said.


The Faces of Teamsters Local 743

The Teamsters Local 743 Bargaining Committee for Rush University Medical Center recently negotiated and helped ratify a strong new contract for 1,100 members.

Teamster Reginald Allison (right) meets with Illinois State Senator SamMcCann inside the Capitol Building.

Teamster daughter Paulina stands up for the union during May Day festivities.

Sally Hawkins (left to right), Armando Alvarez and Armandia Collins receive Member Recognition awards.

Teamsters Local 743 members put their best heel forward during a Paint and Sip Night at the union hall.

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The Voice  

Teamsters Local 743 all Member Newsletter Summer Edition