“I’ve always liked school, so any classes I can take are really enlightening. Anything that can enhance your brain cells is a plus for you. And I believe that knowledge is power so the more knowledge you have the more power you have.” – Rebecca Tearte
Check out our Community Spotlight Series, where we get to know members of the Guild community! This week, we’re excited to learn from Rebecca Tearte, Senior Contract Administrator, Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), Deer Island Treatment Plant (DITP), United Steelworkers Local 9360.
Rebecca Tearte is a Senior Contract Administrator, Steward, and a Trustee with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), Deer Island Treatment Plant (DITP), United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9360. Rebecca began working at the MWRA as a Contract Coordinator in May of 1988 in the Charlestown Navy Yard. After working there for five years, she moved to the Deer Island Treatment Plant as an Administrative Manager. In 2014, she was promoted to Senior Contract Administrator in the Engineering Services Department.
Rebecca first came to the Guild when she became a Steward. “I basically asked the President of the Steelworkers Union, Local 9360, if there was a class that would teach you how to represent people, because I didn’t want to have to represent people and not know what to do. So he suggested I take a class at the Guild.” Since then, she has been back for four terms. “I’ve always liked school, so any classes I can take are really enlightening. Anything that can enhance your brain cells is a plus. And I believe that knowledge is power, so the more knowledge you have the more power you have.”
Rebecca came to the MWRA with an undergraduate degree in Economics and obtained her Masters in Management and Computer Network Certificate while working full time. Because of that education and experience, she has been able to tailor her work to her skillset, which means that her job is quite varied. In her current position, Rebecca does a wide range of work, specifically in the Engineering Services Department. She has over 28 years of expertise in administering and managing services for major construction projects with a focus in contract management, administrative management, and tracking analysis.
This term, Rebecca is taking “Media, Messaging, and the Labor Movement” with Lisa Field and Joe Markman. “The class is excellent. They bounce off each other. It’s almost as if they’ve been teaching the class for years. And I can always employ the content. I’m learning just to get my message out. My job as a Senior Contract Administrator is to administer contracts, process contract invoices, furnish new engineering offices and workstations, track the status of contract requisitions and staff summaries, and coordinate administrative projects. So just talking to the engineers is messaging. This class strengthens my knowledge in how to get my message out and make it clearer.”
Rebecca has also taken Union Administration and the Law, as well as The Steward’s Job and Next Steps for Stewards. “Next Steps for Stewards was very interesting because it kind of reinforced everything I learned in the first class, and how you can tailor your stewardship to get your members focused, especially when you don’t have a contract. You keep them on message, and you keep reiterating to them that this is why you need a contract.”
There are many differences between Rebecca’s union and the other unions represented at the Guild, and that is one of Rebecca’s favorite parts of attending classes. “What I get out of the Labor Guild is the focus that people from other companies have” and the similarities and differences in their strategies. So all these things we learn in class, it’s something you put into perspective. We’ve used some of the tactics that the Next Steps for Stewards class that I took last term.” How would Rebecca rate the Guild? “Excellent courses, great instructors, highly recommend.”
The Guild is lucky to have a student and community member like Rebecca!