Donna Yule's goal is to boost membership in the Idaho Public Employees Association five-fold, from 1,000 to 5,000.
Yule, the association's executive director and a delegate to the Idaho Democratic Convention, says the perception of public employees as civil servants contributing to community well-being has badly eroded, even as state budgets have been deeply cut.
"It has become commonplace to see public servants like school teachers, agriculture inspectors, food stamp workers, and snow plow drivers vilified as if they were sucking the lifeblood out of our society," Yule writes in the IPEA's Summer newsletter.
Restoring confidence in government is critical to improving the lot of Idaho's 17,200 full-time employees, Yule says in a second entry in the newsletter.
"As public employees, we need to be aware of how the cuts in state government affect not only our own job security, but the very nature of our communities," Yule writes. "We will not convince the Idaho legislature to adequately fund our government just by asking for our own raises and benefits. We need to work hard to show people how our entire community benefits when government is adequately funded."
Yule also makes a pitch to recruit. "When we have 5,000 members, we will be a force to be reckoned with!"
An IPEA membership is $16 a month for standard members, $8 a month for retirees.
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