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Candice Owley is a 67-year old nurse who drove in from Milwaukee, and provided much needed medical care to the people sleeping inside the Capitol and those marching outside, due to close quarters and inclement weather. She has a grandmotherly-like nature but is tough-as-nails, having watched public health care deteriorate over time. Her personal turning point came when, negotiating a contract several years ago that would increase pension plans for nurses, a hospital administrator told her that nurses should just “marry better.”
Candice Owley, R.N., is president of the Wisconsin Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals. She also serves as treasurer of the Wisconsin Labor History Society and is an executive board member of the Milwaukee chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women.
In 2007, Owley became the first AFT leader to be appointed to the executive board of Public Services International, a global federation of public employee unions. She also serves as chair of the AFT Healthcare program and policy council and chairs the AFT democracy committee.
Throughout her career as a nurse, Owley has served on many prestigious health-related committees, councils and task forces. They include the healthcare task force of Citizen Action of Wisconsin; the health policy interagency work group of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO healthcare committee; the Wisconsin Nursing Coalition; and the board of directors of the Milwaukee chapter of the American Red Cross.
Owley also has many labor-related appointments, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops subcommittee on Catholic healthcare and work; the Milwaukee United Way labor participation board; Wisconsin State AFL-CIO Legislative Committee, the Wisconsin Labor/Management Council; and the Wisconsin Chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association advisory board. Most recently, she was appointed by Gov. Jim Doyle to the State of Wisconsin Legislative Council on Healthcare Reform, the Wisconsin Council on Workforce Investment Healthcare Sector Sub-Committee and the eHealth Care Quality and Patient Safety Board.
Owley has served on numerous civic groups, including the board of directors of the Greater Milwaukee Committee; Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District Commission; Milwaukee City Plan Commission; Wisconsin Women’s Network; and the Wisconsin advisory committee of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Owley received a master’s degree in public administration from the National Labor College and a bachelor’s degree in labor studies from Antioch University. She received her nursing diploma from the Ancker School of Nursing in St. Paul, Minn.