We continue this week to introduce you to members of the Executive Branch Master Bargaining Team with a profile of Diana Richard.
Richard has worked for the Department of Health and Human Services since 2001, currently in the Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services. She has long been active in the SEA/SEIU Local 1984, and has served in a wide variety of functions from committees to chapter leadership up to the Board of Directors.
She is the vice president and a councilor in Chapter 16, and has served on numerous committees, including chair of the Dues Assistance Committee. This is Richard’s fourth time serving on the Master Bargaining Team, and she said her main concern has been raising wages for workers in lower labor grades — something that they achieved.
“We were able to increase wages for everyone in the 2007-09 contract as well as the current contract,” Richard said.
There’s still more work to do, she said, to get all workers up to a livable wage.
“It’s become evident that anything less than $15 an hour is not enough to meet the demands of our mortgages/rents, groceries, utilities, property taxes, education loan payments and so much more,” she said.
As health care costs continue to rise and squeeze employers and ultimately workers, she said the Master Bargaining Team has been at the forefront of trying to find savings.
“We’ve been the leader in researching health care costs and making suggestions to the state’s bargaining team in an effort to save the state and our members money,” she said. “We strive to continue this work and remain diligent in saving money in this regard.”