Joyce (AFGE Local 2145)

Joyce is a one person machine when it comes to union activism (and she cooks up a mean plate of greens too). Joyce worked in the radiology department at Maguire VA Medical Hospital where she performed x-rays and cared for veterans for over two decades.

Joyce saw first-hand how the scars of war can impact veterans- both physically and mentally- and how important it is to make sure they’re properly cared for.  Her husband was a veteran and her grandson served in Iraq which made her work even more personal and meaningful to her.

She pounces on those who talk negatively about federal employees: “According to Mitt Romney and George Allen, our jobs are too menial to them.  They feel like we’re not needed. So why worry about us?”

Joyce explains the value of unions in protecting jobs and how “in my experience, if it were not for unions a lot of people would be out of jobs.” She then shared that last week a social worker and nurse at her adult community were given pink slips and how upset that made her, noting “these are people we really need. We need a nurse in our building but now we don’t have one. We need a social worker who can help us but now we don’t have one.” She adds, “it’s not fair that a social worker with a masters degree and a registered nurse were let go because they said they had no money, but no one in a higher position was asked to sacrifice.”

Joyce also served as Executive Vice President of her local, AFGE 2145 and speaks with pride of how her union represents working people, protecting their jobs and making sure they’re treated with respect.

She stays super active as a retiree, “I’m a people person. Helping people- that’s how I make my day” adding, “my uncle told me years ago, ‘you get a government job and the minute you get in that door, you run for the union office and when you get in that union, you stay in that union.”

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