Manuel Burse is a CWA Local 1037 Shop Steward and a Direct Support Professional at ARC of Essex for the past 14 years.
Tell us about your work. What do you do?
[MB] – I’m an overnight DSP. I assist individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live in the ARC residential communities, providing care and support for their needs.
Has being in a union helped in building solidarity?
[MB] – Definitely, I have learned to understand other people and their concerns and issues and build better relationships. My coworkers and I respect and cooperate with each other.
What have you learned from your time as a Shop Steward?
[MB] – It’s not about me. It’s about us. (I also come from a family of Shop Stewards: My father and both my brothers!)
Do you have any tips for members considering becoming a Shop Steward?
[MB] – Communicate and make sure to get all the information to resolve issues.