Holly Kirk can only describe her work as a surgical tech at UC Davis as exciting. The crazy hours and fast-paced environment would burn out a lot of people, but not Holly. A major reason why she’s able to keep up is because she knows someone has her back.

Joining 3299 in 2015, Holly was shocked to see the unity. Having been burned by other unions in the past, Holly was used to being left to fend for herself, so when 3299 let her know that she had support, she was thrilled. Inspired, she threw herself into her union to contribute to the culture of support.

There are two moments that will stay with Holly forever. One was two years ago, when 3299 fought for a worker’s rights bill. Watching the university crack under the pressure that we, as a union, put them under and meet our demands was a defining moment for her. This showed her that in working hard and working together, change can happen.

The second moment was much more personal. UCD recently lost a member, and Holly and her union siblings immediately went into action, fundraising and offering support for the individual and their family. Watching everyone come together in that way was incredibly emotional for her. “At any other job or union, we’d all be a bunch of coworkers. But instead, 3299 embodies that we are a family, that we are one, and that’s the part I love.”

Holly’s spirit of giving and support is something that she brings to all aspects of her life. When the pandemic hit her community, Holly and her husband jumped right into action, organizing a system that provided aid to everyone in her neighborhood. “Union values don’t end at work.”

If there’s one thing Holly won’t hesitate to tell you, it’s that 3299 changed her life for the better and gave her the room to learn and be an involved member of her union.

“3299 is about solidarity, and that’s what keeps me going. You’re not just a shell working here, you’re it, you can make this happen.”