Local 8 members at the Seattle Housing Authority rallied on May 20 at the monthly SHA Board of Commissioners Meeting to send a message to SHA leadership that front line staff need to be recognized by hiring necessary staff and compensating fairly.
In a letter from SHA Executive Director, Andrew Lofton, to the Board of Commissioners about the 2013 Proposed Budget, Mr. Lofton said:
“…Our most vital asset in our endeavors is the Housing Authority staff who are dedicated to our mission and proud to contribute to the success of our housing programs and the well-being of tenants and participants. We must, however, recognize that it is HARD for people to keep doing good work in the face of declining resources, when the day to day needs and tragedies faced by our residents and participants are so difficult, demanding, and emotionally draining. The work that the staff does is …facing people in crisis day after day, and the stress of doing that in an unrelenting climate of scarcity can be truly debilitating, both for employees and those who turn to them for housing assistance …It is the power of their motivation and dedication that gives me confidence that together we can chart a course through the difficulties and uncertainties ahead.”
Although it is nice to receive acknowledgement of our hard work in a speech or letter, what we really want and need to see is action to back up the words that otherwise ring empty and meaningless. It is true that SHA runs because of the front line employees that carry out the day to day operations of this agency!