As a union that represents thousands of nurses and other health care workers, the Teamsters are proud to celebrate National Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 through May 12. If the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated anything, it’s just how much our country needs to respect and appreciate the work done by nurses.
One Teamster who embodies the selflessness, dedication and bravery needed to succeed as a nurse is Local 79 Shop Steward Brooke Brown. Brown is a Teamsters Local 79 member who has been a registered nurse at HCA Florida Bayonet Point Hospital in Hudson, Fla., for the past 15 years. For the past year and a half, she has also been a shop steward at the hospital.
“Brooke Brown has brought the same commitment and passion she has for health care into building union power at her workplace by taking a lead on negotiating and enforcing the union contract, representing her coworkers and signing up new members any chance she gets,” said Local 79 Business Agent Sharon Ayala.
In addition to taking action on behalf of her coworkers, Brown has also taken a lead on helping the less fortunate. Working with Local 79, she coordinates a program to donate toys to children at a local orphanage. Each month, Local 79 provides gift cards for toys and other goods to children at the orphanage for their birthdays.
Brown has also been engaging in political activism. This week Brown will join her coworkers Cindy Wheeler, Amanda Casey, Sherry Johnson and Lara Corlies as part of a Teamster delegation attending the Million Nurse March at the state capitol in Tallahassee. The Million Nurse March is a nationwide action geared toward getting policy makers and health care providers to address issues nurses face on the job – such as patient-to-staff ratios, wages, protection from harassment and more.
“Nurses throughout Florida are tired of the pizza parties; they actually want to see a difference in their pocket,” said Ayala. “With the sacrifices nurses make – time away from their families, their health, their safety – it’s about time politicians in Tallahassee recognize the incredible value that these courageous men and women bring to the table.”