August 2014 - The Member Organizing Program Part 2: Introducing Dernell George from Sunnybrook!

In our last issue, we introduced you to the Member Organizing (MO) program. Click here if you missed that story or to refresh your memory!

Member Organizers (MOs) are members of SEIU Healthcare, who come from all of our healthcare sectors, from hospital to long term care, from community care and retirement homes. This month, we’d like to introduce you to an RPN in the MO program: Dernell George.

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Dernell’s Story:

Dernell is an SEIU Healthcare member from our hospital sector and works there as a RPN.   “Working in a unionized facility, one of my goals is to see all or most health care workers have a union. A union for fairness, equal  pay and justice.”  Currently as a MO, Dernell organizing other healthcare workers to form a union, and with hands on training from the union, helps workers understand how a union can address their concerns at work.  “The MO program has inspired me, as I have  become more educated about the union. I have gained knowledge  that I never knew, from how to form a union in your workplace, to how the process is started, and how workers win their union vote in the end .  The union not just about workloads and grievances but so much more.” 

For Dernell, the MO Program has taught her to be a better public speaker, giving her boldness to speak with confidence and assurance that whatever is said will be understood by others.   

While being a MO, Dernell has been involved in many organizing campaigns, specifically in the community sector, including a women’s shelter.  Dernell has also volunteered at a pay equity rally and used her new skills in the provincial election.

Organizing non-union healthcare workers is vital.  The more workers that organize their union with SEIU Healthcare not only improves their lives, but it strengthens our entire membership and labour movement as a whole.  The more workers that can say they have a union behind them, the less corporations and management can take advantage of workers, and improves working conditions and standards overall. 

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