Eric Gerken is the Executive President and Legislative and Political Coordinator for AFGE Local 2152. He began working at the Reno VA in 2012 as an Occupational Therapist. Eric had not been involved in a union prior to working at the VA, but began attending AFGE meetings after coworkers talked about the assistance they received from the union. He soon became AFGE’s Legislative Political Coordinator, educating members about legislative issues that impact Veterans, employees, and the performance of the VA. He continues to educate and motivate VA employees to contact their U.S. Senators and Representative to express their opinions about legislative issues. Eric has attended AFGE’s annual Legislative & Grassroots Conference in Washington, D.C. for the last 3 years, meeting personally with members of Congress to promote the best interests of the VA and its mission to provide world class healthcare to our Veterans.
In November 2017, Eric became the Chief Steward and is now working full time to assist VA employees by facilitating improved working relationships with their colleagues and supervisors, representing employees in meetings with management and Human Resources, providing an AFGE presence at staff meetings, educating employees in union benefits, and many other tasks that arise in the daily work of being a Steward.
Eric has been instrumental in affiliating AFGE with the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council, reestablishing a local Retiree program, promoting AFGE through the Chip Evans Radio Show, organizing AFGE rallies, organizing AFGE attendance at activism marches, and strengthening ties with other AFGE locals at TSA, Social Security, and nearby VA facilities.
When not at work, Eric enjoys all that the Sierra Nevada outdoors has to offer, from bicycling to hiking to skiing to kayaking. He hopes for many more years of indulging in the beauty and adventure available to outdoor enthusiasts in the Reno-Tahoe area.