Every fourth Wednesday of the month, Michelle Markham makes sure she is present for the NEO at CSU Fullerton. As the Organizing Chair for the Fullerton Chapter of CSU Employees Union, Michelle welcomes new faces at the monthly employee orientations and provides basic information about what a union is. Employees learn about the many benefits they enjoy thanks to having a union, such as paid medical leave, weekends off, fee waivers, etc. Michelle’s union pitch is typically last on the agenda and it’s effective. “I speak to them for about 15 minutes regarding the importance of joining. I tell them your membership is your voice; it’s you telling the CSU you are part of a bigger team,” she said. Michelle has worked as a Department Coordinator for Mihaylo College of Business for 11 years. During this time she has encountered countless students who often thank her for preparing them for real life in a way the classrooms don’t. She teaches them about never looking down on anyone who is doing a job that may seem small; every job counts and every CSU employee is part of the team that helps students succeed. As part of her union recruitment efforts, Michelle has visited CSU campuses at San Diego, Northridge and Long Beach to spread the union message: “It’s a great chance to explore other campuses and meet other members so we can share ways of how to get membership up statewide. It also give us a chance to be a present face and not just another email. “I’m constantly recruiting. I hear employees complain about certain common issues throughout all campuses and I ask them: Are you involved with the union? When they give me the guilty look, that’s when I point them to the CSUEU.org website to sign up. In my opinion that is the first step in implementing change.” About her job: I create the semester schedule in order for students to register for classes. I assist students with registration when the system doesn’t recognize their prerequisites in order to take classes. I connect students and faculty members in order for students to stay on track for graduation. Each and every one of us does our part to keep things running, and without us, CSU could not operate. What union membership means: Not only is it about the numbers when we are at the bargaining table, but also showing the CSU we are a union, unified, vocal, and we mean business. That’s when I start seeing hands raised asking for union applications. We will demand respect in the workplace, and continue to fight for fair and equal pay until our noise reaches the governor’s office and gets his attention. #AB369 On union dues: I tell non-members that we pay union dues to Starbucks every week and they are not here fighting for us, so why not invest in yourself? This is you taking action and doing your part in your workplace, and not depending on someone else to protect you. This is you saying, Hey, I’m important, I have rights, and I will speak up and make noise until change happens.