Member Spotlight: Adrienne Dozier

As an office manager and acting executive assistant at St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM), Adrienne Dozier wears many hats when it comes to supporting the fundraising and alumni relations work for the college. From reconciling budgets to preparing meeting documents, Adrienne says, "I enjoy working with a great group of people at the college. We are a real team, and they feel like an extended family to me." It also doesn't hurt that Adrienne will be able to save on tuition next year when her daughter begins her classes at the college.

Adrienne, now vice president of AFSCME Local 3980, first became more involved in her union when she witnessed her fellow union members working together to pass legislation in Annapolis so that St. Mary's employees could finally receive the full cost of living increases provided to other state employees. Since then, being a part of her union has allowed her to break down the silos on campus, meet new people, and help others. "I find a great deal of satisfaction in helping those who may not know how to navigate the system. It's very gratifying, and it's these victories, no matter how big or small, that give me the motivation to keep going."

When Adrienne first took a job at St. Mary's, she started off in a part-time contractual position before a full-time permanent position opened up. Now, nearly a decade later, her local has ratified a new contract for St. Mary's employees that includes many wins, including language that offers full-time employment for all contractual employees after 1.5 years of service and grants them the same workplace rights and benefits that permanent employees have. Along with this win, the contract also includes raises and language that finally allows health and safety topics to be negotiated at the bargaining table.

Reflecting on the process of bargaining this new contract, Adrienne says, "It's been empowering to push back against the powers that be and to have them concede. It's been an incredibly educational experience."