Michael Ammons, a Patient Biller 3 at UCSD, joined AFSCME 3299 in 2015 with no union experience, but went into it excited and determined to do his part and be involved. Union leadership supported his transition by showing him the ropes and letting him know what it means to have a union family supporting you. This month-six years later-Michael has become a MAT leader himself and is looking forward to using his new position to support and uplift his union siblings the way others had helped him in the past.

Michael Ammons, Patient Biller and MAT leader at UCSD, with his union siblings.

During the 2019 contract negotiation, Michael got to see his union in action for the first time. Fighting for the same cause and for each other created a strong and lasting bond between Michael and his co-workers. The multi-year struggle for secure jobs and fair wages showed him what 3299 is all about, and it is a period of time he will never forget. “Being part of 3299 means comradery, solidarity, unity. It’s about doing what’s right by each other.”

One of the ways that Michael has felt a sense of solidarity with his union family is 3299’s constant support for him and the LGBTQ+ community. From union-wide commitments to diversity and fighting against sexuality based discrimination, to wearing 3299 Pride gear, Michael has always felt the unflinching support of his union.

Having lived in California for the past 15 years, Michael and his husband have built a stable life for themselves in San Diego. He appreciates the opportunities his union gives him to be active in the community . Taking part in 3299 sponsored events, such as food drives and financial relief, makes him feel that he is making a difference—the union difference.