Stewards Spotlight: Lisa McAuliffe and Carrie Sapienza of the Chicago Zoological Society

| October 18, 2017

Long-time Teamsters Local 727 members and 25-year Chicago Zoological Society employees Lisa McAuliffe and Carrie Sapienza are integral to the Chicago Zoological Society’s successful operations. As stewards, they also are the keen eyes and ears of Local 727 on the job.

“I see my job as steward as a helper and as someone who works to form a cohesive relationship between the Society and the Union,” said Sapienza, whose title is senior groundskeeper and who has been a steward for more than 10 years. “I try to make it one Society team, where we’re all on the same page.”

Senior zookeeper Lisa McAuliffe agrees and says the most enjoyable part of her job as steward is being able to help fellow members who may not be aware of their contractual rights. “I have their backs and am willing to fight for them,” said McAuliffe, who has been a Union steward since February 2015.

McAuliffe’s fighting spirit was on display recently when she got word that non-Union staff had received promotions during a promotions freeze at the Society and immediately informed the Union. Local 727, with McAuliffe’s help, was successful in getting management to agree to promotions for 10 Local 727 members. “This is why I love being a Union steward,” admitted McAuliffe.

Sapienza feels the same way.  In conjunction with Local 727, she worked with Society managers to get them to agree to allow 727 members more flexibility in scheduling, so craftsmen, carpenters, and welders can report early for work on projects before the zoo opens and finish work when the zoo closes to maximize productivity. With Sapienza’s help, the Union was able to influence management to get them to agree to allow Union Leads the ability to have more input over their schedules and work group. In the same way, the Union was able to persuade Society management to agree to allow 727 members the ability to split up vacations into single-day increments. Finally, Sapienza and the Union worked to persuade Society management to agree to reinstate the Roundhouse’s previous schedule of four 10-hour shifts. “In order to make things work with management, you have to have mutual respect,” Sapienza said.

“Stewards like Lisa and Carrie are important to the Union,” said John Coli Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “They stick their necks out every day to make sure members’ rights are upheld. They’re fighters, and we value their spirit.”


Category: ZOO

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