Head of government employees union leaving after 25 years
After a dozen years leading the Utah Public Employees Association, Audry Wood is leaving the organization that represents nearly 10,000 government workers.
"Things for public employees have not always been easy and I truly hope and believe over the past years that we've been able to give them a voice and they've been able to feel represented before the Legislature," said Wood. "They may not have always got what they wanted or what they deserved, but they were always represented."
Wood got her start at UPEA answering phones for the group, but moved up through the ranks. For the last 12 years, as executive director of the organization, she became a fixture on Capitol Hill as the group fought against an overhaul of the state's retirement system, advocated for public-employee benefits and salaries, and fought to keep protections in place for state and municipal workers.
"I've committed more than half my life here and UPEA is going to continue on," she said. "I hope it continues to get stronger and stronger and better and better and that I've made some sort of impact on the lives of public employees."
Wood is going to work as the administrative manager for the Utah Education Savings Plan Â a state-run fund in which parents can set aside money for their children's college education.
She will be replaced by Todd Losser, who spent the last eight years as an employee relations representative with UPEA.