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Amy Banelis

I work at a non-profit agency that provides day, residential and employment services for people with disabilities. My Aunt Mary received services there for 30 years. I saw the impact services had on my aunt’s daily life. I organized a union with my co-workers for safer working conditions in our workplace, to have a united voice to advocate for ourselves and the people we provide supports to, an equal voice at the table to discuss wages, and a contract to protect us from unfair disciplinary action. I was illegally fired for forming this union. It was our union that stood beside me while I fought to get my job back. I won my job back and we won our union. Most of us work multiple jobs to put food on the table. We deserve more than barely surviving. We have provided direct care for clients during the pandemic. Many of us live with immunocompromised families. The risk of Covid has been a constant stressor. Having a union, has given us voice to discuss these concerns and to ensure the safety of all. We are negotiating our second contract. We are fighting for the equity and safety we deserve!