Steward profile: Peggy Busher
Peggy Busher is a committed caregiver who puts as much time into helping her colleagues as she does her patients.
Busher is a licensed clinical social worker at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, a career choice inspired by her mother, who was a social worker when Peggy was growing up in the Midwest.
“I really like the idea of supporting people to make their lives better,” she says.
That’s the same way she feels about her work as a union steward.
“It’s so rewarding to see what we’ve been able to accomplish,” says Busher, who has been active with NUHW since the bargaining unit organized with the union.
Getting EVS workers reinstated as hospital employees in 2018 after their jobs were subcontracted was an especially meaningful victory.
“They were miserable. They were getting yelled at, they weren’t receiving the full benefit package,” she recalls. “We got a petition going and the goal was to get 400 signatures, and we got 1,200. The hospital gave in.”
When the employer tried to change one of the programs Busher works for, which impacted her job responsibilities, she worked with an NUHW organizer on a “cease and desist” order for changing her working conditions without prior consultation.
Those wins have shown Busher the power of being in a union, something she tries to instill in her co-workers.
“I really like the democratic nature of NUHW, and I think it’s infectious,” she says. “Once they find out what the union is, and understand how the union can help them when they need it — people love to see that support and camaraderie.”
When she’s not working, Busher and her husband are hiking the 400-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail with their dog, a “pandemic puppy” they got two years ago.
“We’re doing it piece by piece,” says Busher. “So far we’ve covered almost everything from Berkeley to San Jose.”