PEF Region 6 Coordinator – Coordinator Jeanette St. Mary
Jeanette St. Mary has a strong history of union activism from her years serving in various capacities and heading committees. In her new role as the PEF Region 6 coordinator, she plans to raise the bar and spread union enthusiasm to her 1,560 members.
St. Mary knows it’s not an easy task to engage more member participation, especially for new and young employees. But she is up to the challenge.
“I want to educate my members about the role of the union and how we benefit when we work collectively for common goals. I hope to provide advocacy for members in agencies who are not currently being recognized or contributing concerns and solutions at a labor-management forum,” St. Mary said. “I am also devoted to improving safer working conditions for all members, but especially those who work in the field and for agencies such as the state Office of Mental Health, Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, and the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS).”
Those are just a few of the many state agencies and departments that play an integral part in public services found in Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery and Oneida counties.
“Sometimes it is difficult to get to members based on their location and in instances where access is limited due to security restrictions, such as with DOCCS. I make an effort to attend as many membership meetings as possible. I have found apathy among members, so I have encouraged union participation in creative ways such as working on a PEF float for our St. Patrick’s Day parade, or arranging a PEF family night at a hockey game to boost union camaraderie.
“Other ways to engage more member participation is by providing resources or directing members to the various PEF departments. And I hold regular meetings in the region and at my facility, Mohawk Valley Psychiatric Center,” said St. Mary, an intensive case manager.
She added, “PEF members are the strongest when we are united. A spirited debate is good, but at the end of the day, we are all in this together.”
Region 6 - Utica
Jeanette St. Mary