The Washington Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (WARLCA) announced that Snoqualmie – North Bend rural letter carrier Janie Walla is its 2018 Outstanding Member of the Year.
Each year at the WARLCA State Convention, nominees are considered based upon their services to their fellow rural letter carrier craft members. Walla’s many years of commitment and dedication to the members of her craft has made her the overwhelming choice for this year’s signal honor by her state peers and co-workers.
Walla began her postal career as a rural letter carrier in 1994 at the Snohomish Post Office and joined her union, the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association (NRLCA), shortly thereafter. She began attending union meetings of the King-Snohomish (K-S) county unit of the WARLCA to gain a better understanding of the organization, which represented her, and soon became more involved in her union’s activities.
She was elected as K-S vice president and legislative liaison, then went on to become K-S county unit president. She has been a county unit elected delegate to WARLCA State Conventions for 20 years and has been a state-elected delegate to the NRLCA National Convention every year since 2007, proudly representing the interests of her fellow Washington state rural letter carriers.
Walla has also been a stalwart supporter of her fellow carriers’ contractual rights, having been elected as the local steward for rural craft employees at the Snohomish Post Office from 1999 to 2007. When she transferred to the Marysville Post Office Annex in 2007, she was again elected as local steward, continuing to vigorously defend the rights of her rural co-workers. At the same time as her transfer to the Marysville Annex, Walla accepted an additional appointment as an area steward. This new position meant that she was the certified union representative for all rural craft members of up to 20 additional post offices without local stewards in her area, a responsibility she has performed with dedication and compassion.
Her exceptional steward abilities were recognized as one of only four recipients nationwide of the 2014 NRLCA William B. Peer Scholarship Award, given in remembrance of the NRLCA’s longtime general counsel for “…NRLCA stewards who have shown outstanding promise in providing exemplary service to the rural carrier bargaining unit.”
In addition to her county officer, delegate and steward positions, Walla has also benefited her fellow rural craft members through participation in the Quality of Work Life / Employee Involvement (QWL/EI) program. She first volunteered as a local work-team member, then was trained as a QWL/EI facilitator, helping mentor other Post Office QWL/EI craft-management teams as they problem-solved using the QWL/EI process. She also supported her daughters, Tiffany and Alyssa, who as active WARLCA Juniors members, encouraged Juniors program activities in association with the WARLCA Auxiliary at state and national events.