Leader Spotlight: Cheryl Olson at St. Mary’s Hospital: “In Indiana we have NO CHOICE but to vote and get involved in our elections!”


On October 10th, Cheryl Olson, a Unit Assistant at St. Mary’s Hospital in Hobart, Indiana, spoke at our Health Systems Leadership Assembly and gave an impassioned statement to inspire fellow workers to volunteer to “get out the vote” in this election. Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020.

Cheryl laid out the stakes facing hospital workers, but ALL working families in Indiana.

As a Hoosier, I live in an anti-union state dominated by corporate and right-wing interests. The things you are able to win in Chicago and Illinois, like a $15 minimum wage, Fair Work Week laws – and even getting a Fair Tax on the ballot – aren’t options for us.

We’re fighting just to keep things from getting a whole lot worse, not working to make things even better.

I want to make things better, so I believe Hoosiers have NO CHOICE but to vote AND get involved in our elections and politics!

Our minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25 an hour. The starting wage at Hobby Lobby is $17 an hour. So the people selling you arts and crafts making a decent wage – but those of us who can save your life as a healthcare worker are in poverty.

I’m on medical leave right now because of a severe shoulder injury that has kept me from working. But I’m still “serving” as a steward and take calls every single day.

And I’m also phone banking, text blasting, Hustling, and giving our yard signs. We can’t wait for someone else to come and save us. We, as Union leaders and stewards, have to show our commitment and lead by example!

We don’t take any political race for granted – and we definitely demand that EVERY vote should be counted.

That’s why we need to make a plan to vote; and be ready to take action if we feel like our votes aren’t being counted or that our voices aren’t being heard!