Dave Pautsch, Dept. of Human Services, Grand Junction Regional Center, 11 years with the state.
“I’ve been with the state for 11 years and I’m a supervisor of a group home – I work with direct care staff who care for people who are developmentally disabled. Most of the guys we work with aren’t even ambulatory, they’re in wheelchairs.
There are people who live here who have not really been dealt a good deck of cards to play, people less fortunate than ourselves, so we give them the best life possible. The guys that I work with, most of them are non-verbal, so they can’t really tell you what is wrong or right with them, but there’s times where they show you.
The other day I was sitting with a gentleman and he looked at me and smiled! He was happy. So, to the best of his abilities, he’s experiencing life to the fullest as he knows it.
I’m in my 60s and I really didn’t see the need for a union most of my years of work as a computer programmer and a systems analyst for a big insurance company. We were always very well taken care of… I kind of assumed that pretty much nowadays everyone was in a job where they were well taken care of and if they didn’t they moved on to something else.
But when I started working for the state our pay wasn’t very good, benefits weren’t very good. So having the union there to go to the Joint Budget Committee, to look out for raises for us is crucial. The union takes care of me so I can continue to take care of these guys.
I work with a lot of great staff dedicated to taking care of our clients. Big hearts, caring, nurturing. You almost become some of our clients’ extended family. It is a lot of good staff and a lot of good people.”