I went to Seattle Central and took their apparel design program. When I was going to school, I was in the work study program and I worked in the testing office a couple hours a day. After I finished the program I got a job working at Frederick & Nelson's in Bellevue Square. I worked in the alterations department, and I hated it. Nothing but old ladies there!

Then the dean of students at Seattle Community College at that time just called me up out of the blue and said, "Do you want to work at the college full time?" I said, "sure!" So I started working at the college in the testing office. I was working in the evening from twelve to eight-thirty doing various tests.


You know, back then, it was more like a family. When I started working there, they didn't have all these rules and regulations. As the college grew, the funding came from the state. There was just so much regulation. We had the three campuses—North, Central, and South—and then we had the district office. It seemed like it was too top-heavy.

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The college system flourishes when the economy is not good. There are people trying to get retrained, to better themselves. And then as the economy gets better, we lose students because they go out and work. So every cycle when the enrollment goes down, they always talk about budget cuts. And when they talk budget cuts, they usually talk people—the people who actually provide the services, not the administration.

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So that's when I think we really started looking at something like a union. That's when we decided we needed to do something. We wanted to participate in some of the decision making process. We said, "we're part of this community, too! We need to be involved and we should have a say." We were the ones who actually did the work (laughter). So I think part of it was just to have some recognition and dignity on the job—what we're still fighting for.

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