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Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight

Tracey Schwerdtfeger
Ascension St. Francis Hospital – Tech/Service Chapter

Meet our featured member, Tracey Schwerdtfeger. Tracey has been a Patient Care Associate at St. Francis Hospital for two years on the Inpatient Psychiatric unit.

Tracey first went to school for Journalism and Sociology, but things didn’t work out quite as she expected. While she learned about systems and structure in Sociology, she realized that what she really wanted to do was to work more closely with patients. She’s currently working as a nursing assistant while going to school to become a nurse. She feels that working in Psych gives her a better look at how people must deal within the confines of a system. To her, a healthcare professional’s role isn’t just about the healthcare setting; but, also includes having a better understanding of how her patients have to deal with a lot of policies that just aren’t working.

When you talk about our union with Tracey, to her, having a union means being able to have a voice in the workplace. “Having a contract provides protection and enables us to carry that voice without fear of retaliation. Our union gives collective power to the workers and helps us do what we see as providing the best care for our patients.”

Tracey’s husband, Kas, is a teamster and they believe that both of them having union jobs also enables them to have a more secure life outside the workplace.

Because of her strong belief in unionism, Tracey wanted to become more involved. She stepped up to become a Steward in her Chapter; and, that quickly led to her running for and being elected as the Executive Vice President of our Local. Tracey said, “The role of the Steward is not just about filing grievances—but, also being an organizer and helping to empower my co-workers to stand up for themselves. Talking to management can be challenging and intimidating; but, my role as Steward helps me challenge bad practices and help my colleagues realize that we do have collective power. When we win--it’s great for everybody.”

As Executive Vice President of our Local, she’s looking forward to helping build our collective power across the state.

Tracey is also very passionate about her involvement in the Milwaukee Area Labor Council’s Young Workers Committee. Together young workers across all industries are joining forces to fight for all working people. These young workers are not only learning about the history of unions, but what the labor movement means and what it can do.

Tracey is very excited about working to build momentum going into bargaining at St. Francis this fall. She and her fellow officers are reaching out to every member to get their input. She wants her fellow workers to understand that together they can do better and fight for a stronger contract. “We all have a role to play and an opportunity to work together to have the strongest union possible.”

When she’s not working at the hospital, in school, or fighting for workers everywhere, Tracey enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, reading, the outdoors, hiking, fishing and gardening. Tracey and her husband recently bought their first home and are looking forward to the birth of their first baby in March.

Thank you to Tracey for giving all of us the opportunity to get to know you better. But, more importantly, thank you for all you do each and every day for your co-workers and patients. We are honored to have you among our union family.

Stay tuned to the Pulse for our next ‘Member Spotlight.’ If you have a suggestion of who you would like to see featured in an upcoming issue, email your suggestion to

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