In early 2022, UPE met with Nicole Silveira as a candidate for the Merced County District Attorney's (DA's) office. After the meeting, UPE knew that we had to endorse Ms. Silveira.
Prior to Ms. Silveira taking office in January 2023, the DA's office was described as a "hostile work environment." UPE was continually called upon by members for what seemed to be an endless array of harassment and discrimination complaints. Morale in the office was dangerously low. Staff grew tired of the constant pressure and unreal expectations in the workplace. Senior staff with 15+ years of experience were tired of being overlooked for promotions. The department continued to promote from the outside or other departments causing more stress and higher workloads for our members as untrained supervisors came to them for help. Many had given up, leading to a high turnover rate.
Six months into her position as Chief DA, Ms. Silveira has fulfilled the commitments made to UPE. She has met with each staff member at the DA's office to address any needs or concerns presented. UPE is ecstatic to report that the weight has been lifted off the staff's shoulders. Staff and management are now in a position where they can effectively and respectfully communicate the needs of the office as well as the staff members. Several much-anticipated promotions were given to staff within the DA's office. Having experienced and knowledgeable staff occupying the supervising positions allows for a smoother work environment, as everyone knows how to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
UPE is looking forward to a long and collaborative relationship with District Attorney Nicole Silveira.
Image by Merced County Times (Whitaker 1/12/2023)