Throwback Thursday: AFSCME Retiree Member Sallie Robertson

By Pete Levine ·

Meet Sallie Robertson. She worked as a school crossing guard for many years. Now she's retired and loving it. She’s the subject of the first Throwback Thursday feature on AFSCME Now. Throwback Thursday is a series of video and written profiles of AFSCME retiree members in which they talk about the work they did and why they chose to stick with AFSCME after ending their public-service careers.

Q: What was your job?

I was a school crossing guard in Brooklyn (N.Y.). For 30 years, I worked on Nostrand Avenue, between Midwood Street and Maple Street.

Q: What is your fondest memory from your job?

I loved the people. I used to get up at 3:15 a.m. every day to get to work. I knew everybody – the school kids, the people from the neighborhood, even the people just walking their dogs. And they knew me. If I wasn’t at work, the dogs wouldn’t budge because they wouldn’t hear my voice telling them it was OK to go.

Q: What did being a member of AFSCME mean to you?

Being a crossing guard didn’t pay a lot. After two weeks of work, I came home with $84. I had one son, and I had to do other jobs on the weekend to make ends meet. I painted houses. I babysat a lot. But (District Council) DC 37 fought for us part-time workers. Our hours improved over time and I knew I could always depend on that job. It was a way for me to move up. That’s what I told young people when I was a shop steward: This job’s a start. After this, you can go for the stars.

Q: What do you enjoy most about retirement? What is your favorite thing to do?

I’m still involved with DC 37. I’m also involved with the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. That keeps me going. I tell everyone to get involved with the union, even my grandkids and my great-grandkids. Everyone. But I also watch my shows: “Gunsmoke,” “Hawaii 5-0,” “The View” and “Wheel of Fortune.” I enjoy myself. I’m blessed. 

Retired or nearing retirement and want to get involved in the AFSCME Retirees? Click here: