Andres Franco is an Investigator and a CWA Local 1037 Shop Steward at the Office of Law Guardian. For the past 15 years, Andres has assisted in cases involving the most vulnerable in our community, children subject to child abuse and neglect. Read below to learn more about his work.
Can you tell us about your work?[AF] – I work at the Office of Law Guardian which is an offshoot of the Office of the Public Defender. Our office primarily represents children who are subjects in child abuse and neglect cases. In essence we help those children have a voice in the court room.
How do you think the work you do helps communities?[AF] – The work I do has a direct impact on our community because we assist the most vulnerable which are children in these cases. Many times, we raise issues like childcare, therapy that children may need or medical issues that the parents may have not been aware of prior to our involvement.
How long have you been in this position?[AF] – I’ve been working for the State of NJ for 15 years.
How do you think being union improves a workplace culture?[AF] – I think being union helps improve workplace culture by being inclusive and addressing issues that are particular to each member. Also helps to focus our attention on the things other members may experience which can impact everyone as a whole.
How many years have you been a CWA 1037 Shop Steward?[AF] – I have been a shop steward for 7 years now. I started in 2015.
What have you learned from your experience as a Shop Steward?[AF] – As a steward I have learned that it is important to speak on things the minute they happen because the sooner you address the issue the better.
Any tips for members who might be considering becoming a Shop Steward?[AF] – What I can tell people who want to become a Shop-steward is to do it, you’ll help people who perhaps are too shy to speak up and you can boost morale in your office.