Marlene experienced remarkable emotional cruelty at work when she got some terrible news about a co-worker.
An administrator for the long-term care home where she works east of Oshawa was rude and dismissive about it, and didn't allow the staff to discuss it, or give them the time or space they needed to process.
That's when Marlene decided to become a union steward. She stepped up for her co-workers and provides them with representation and support, especially when traumatic events happen at work.
Marlene lives with her husband and two daughters (12 and 17) and has worked as a personal support worker (PSW) for 23 years.
She's attending SEIU Healthcare's Convention this week (November 15-18) in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Together with 400 other healthcare workers from across the province, she will learn about union engagement and the union's priorities and direction for the next four years.
"I'm excited. It's my first Convention. I'm going to further my education, and to learn more about the union so I can benefit the members at my facility."
When she's not busy with work at the long-term care home, taking care of her fellow union members, and spending time with her family, Marlene loves to sew, and wanted to prepare lots of different things for Convention.
"I even made three new nightgowns," she laughs.