President, Local 436
Judith Arroyo, the president of the United Federation of Public Nurses and Epidemiologists Local 436 since 2007, was elected to the Executive Board in November 2017.
Her local has over 1,000 active members who protect the health of New York City.
“Women represent almost half the membership and we need more women to step into leadership roles,” said the registered nurse, who is a U.S. military veteran.
Arroyo believes in grassroots organizing—getting to know people and having conversations—to build stronger unions. As the largest donor to PEOPLE, the American Federation of County State and Municipal Employees political fundraising program, Arroyo said, “The union tried the business model of the 1980s and ’90s and has had to come full circle in its organizing techniques to reach members. In the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s unions talked one-on-one with members. Today we are back at it.”
“My members are always in the field. We talk to people and that gives us a better handle on what they are thinking,” Arroyo said. “We cannot afford to make assumptions or put people in a box. We can’t afford to alienate any member whose views may be different than ours. As union leaders we cannot take any member for granted.”