Leaders in Action for Justice

Sharon Davies

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Sharon Davies has been a front line health care professional for most of her life. She currently works as an LPN at Kaiser Permanente Colorado at their Longmont Clinic. As a front line health care professional at Kaiser, Sharon helps keep Boulder county healthy. She treats everyone from Children to Seniors, and does so in an increasingly volatile and uncertain environment for health care workers. She is also active in her community and has been a supporter of pro-worker candidates in Colorado as a volunteer activist at Local 105.

In addition to being a full-time care provider, Sharon is an active leader with significant responsibilities in Kaiser’s unique “Labor-Management Partnership.” Kaiser Permanente and 28 of its Local Unions across the country have agreed to participate in a very unique Partnership based off of a shared set of interests including maximizing patient care outcomes and experiences while making sure that Kaiser’s union represented, front line care staff have an equal voice in determining what it looks like to provide that care day-to-day.

Sharon is the chief sponsor of the “Primary Care Area Leadership Team,” a group consisting of regionally differentiated front line care workers (union members), Kaiser managers, and practicing physicians. They operate as a Consensus Driven work unit, discussing things like designing work processes, setting goals, reviewing team performance, making budgeting and staffing decisions, and using Interest Based Problem Solving to proactively identify workplace issues.

Sharon has not only been a successful health care professional, she is also one of the primary leaders of the most innovative and successful Employer-Labor relationships in the healthcare sector.

It was this combination of leadership and activism that prompted Congressman Jared Polis to ask Sharon to attend President Obama’s White House Workers’ Summit as his representative from Colorado. Sharon was able to address workers and business leaders from all over the country with a message about income inequality and the struggles of being a working woman in America.

From the Longmont Newspaper and Denver Business Journal:

“I’m fortunate enough to keep my dog in kibble,” states Davies. “A long time ago, a family could live off of minimum wage and employers gave fair increases. We all work had and we need good jobs, fair wages, leave, health care, cost of living raises for all workers.”

“I became a nurse to help people.” Davies hopes to inform Summit participants and politicians about the daily struggles of working families bringing to light struggles families face. “I don’t think employers or politicians really grasp worker struggles. Some working parents have employers that don’t recognize that child care providers won’t accept a sick child so the employee has to take a sick day. There are so many workers without the benefit of sick or vacation leave.”