Public Employee Press
Two DC 37 stalwarts retire
Joan Reed, center,
won full pensions and dignity for members. Pictured with Reed are (from left):
DC 37 staffers Rose Cabble, Ellen Medwid, Asst. Dir. Chris Wilgenkamp, Audrey
Hall, and Deborah Guglielmino.
College Assistants Local 2054
an hour and no benefits
convinced me to join the union.
Praised for her grace, wisdom and 40 years of dedicated service to DC 37,
Local 2054 President Joan Reed celebrated her retirement with 300 friends and
family March 18 at Russos on the Bay.
She is one of the hardest
working local presidents I know, andDC 37 is blessed to have had her,
said Lee Saunders, executive assistant toAFSCME President Gerald McEntee.
Joan is a soldier, a leader and an everyday hero who represented DC
37 to the fullest. Reed was elected an AFSCME international vice president
in 2004 and will serve until 2008.
Joan Reed, president
of L. 2054 and AFSCME International VP, with husband, Mike, at her retirement
in 1967 as a part-timer at Queens College library. During those days we
were paid $2 an hour, she said. Each year the college gave us a 25-cent
A bomb scare led to a campus-wide evacuation for which management
docked its workers. This shook us up about our rights and lack of benefits,
Reed said. So we organized.
I wasnt really interested
in the labor movement, but I was interested in better working conditions
and I had a big mouth, said Reed, a New Orleans native. In 1970, College
Assistants Local 2054 was formed and Reed was elected shop steward. She became
a grievance rep in 1971. Nat Lindenthal, then White CollarDivision director, urged
Reed to run for local president and she has remained in office for 35 years.
Reed won full benefits, including NYCERS pensions, for her members. It
means people can retire with dignity, Reed said. We cannot think of
ourselves as just College Assistants. We are valuable employees.
For the last decade, Reed chaired DC 37s Education Committee, which disbursed
more than $18,000 in college scholarships in 2006.
I have tremendous
shoes to fill, said Local 2054 President Colleen Carew-Rogers. Joan
is inspiring and sets a standard of dignity for us all.
Diane S. Williams
president of Local 420, presents Johnnie Locus with a plaque during her retirement
party at DC 37 on March 30. Locus, who began her career in 1968, was joined by
family, friends and staff.
have been honored to work with the members and staff of this great union.
After an exceptional career that stretched out over 39 years and took her
from an entry-level Nurses Aide position to director of DC 37s Hospitals
Division, Johnnie M. Locus is looking forward to her well-deserved retirement.
To help launch her new journey, her colleagues, friends and family gathered
at the union March 30 for a festive retirement party and tribute to her years
of dedicated service and leadership.
Im looking forward to
traveling around the country and visiting friends and family, Locus said
at her party. I have been honored to work with the members and staff of
this great union.
Born and raised in Alabama, Locus began her career
in 1968 at Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island. She became increasingly active
in the union and was named shop steward at Coler in 1978; later, co-workers elected
her chapter chair. She became a grievance rep in 1989 and assistant director of
the Hospitals Division in 1993. In May 2004, DC 37 Executive Director Lillian
Roberts promoted her to division director.
Locus and her husband are set to start a new life of travel, visiting friends
and family around the U.S.
me its always been about winning respect for our members and the work that
they do, she said, after receiving gifts and flowers from her staff and
hearing farewell speeches from Local 420 President Carmen Charles, Assistant Division
Director Norbert Harry, Director of Field Operations Barbara Ingram-Edmonds and
Without a doubt Johnnie was one of the staunchest and strongest
supporters in the fight for respect for our members, said Charles, who first
met Locus more than 20 years ago when they both worked at Coler. She will
be sorely missed.
Johnnie Locus is an excellent example of
a member who rose through the ranks and has made a significant contribution to
the union every step of the way, said Roberts.