My name is Tondalya Thomas and I have worked at the Cook County Recorder Deeds Office for over 20 years. I have been a steward for 2 years. I have known about the union since I first started in this position but I was much younger then and I didn’t see a need to be active. I’m older now and my needs at work have changed. I’ve become more opinionated about making sure those needs are met.
I used to be in a position that was classified as management and I didn’t have union rights. I didn’t like the way upper management treated me. I was often being used to fill the responsibilities of 4 or 5 other people, but never received the proper compensation for it. I realized that management compensated whoever they wanted. I found out that many more of my coworkers were frequently working out of their job descriptions as well. It was then that I decided to learn more about my union contract and realized that management had been breaking many policies in our CBA. Later, I petitioned for my position to also be a union position and began speaking up for fair compensation for everyone at my workplace.
I’m currently working as a member organizer at Local 73 and focusing on Chicago Parks District employees and Chicago Public Schools employees to convert to them to full membership and educate them on what’s coming down the pipeline with Janus and policies being pushed by Governor Rauner. I know that it is up to me to educate and inspire people to make them see that a change is going to come.