|District Council 57|
Council 57 President Cynthia McCabe and former State Senator Ellen Corbett (middle) demonstrate solidarity before heading out for precinct canvassing for SD7 Candidate Susan Bonilla. Labor has made the May 19th special election a top priority to elect Labor Warrior Bonilla and to defeat the anti-worker candidate, Steve Glazer. They were joined by Local 2620 Political Director Marc Victoria (left) and 2620 activists Maureen Young and Rita Magana. Council 57 is turning out volunteers from all over the state to work on this important campaign.
Your newly elected Executive Board members start their terms with the launching of Council 57’s AFSCME Strong campaign which calls for locals to recruit and energize our membership. Locals are committing to achieve at least 90% active membership, and to contact 80% of our members in the next year to assess our strengths and our challenges.
Despite Bad Press, Support for Public Unions Strong
While there’s a good deal of ambivalence toward unions and our role in the economy, majorities believe that workers should still be able to join unions in every industry and sector. With the attacks on public sector unions in the last few years, it’s especially noteworthy that there is strong public support for workers being able to join unions in the public sector. Over 70% agreed teachers, police, firefighters and transport workers should be able to stand together in a union.
BART WORKERS RESPOND TO NTSB REPORT, FOLLOWING FEDERAL INVESTIGATION INTO OCTOBER 2013 INCIDENT
Workers Urge Immediate Action on NTSB & BART Board Labor Relations Reports’ Recommendations to Improve Service and Safety for Riders
Over 100 Humboldt County workers converged March 16th on their bargaining proposal meeting to demonstrate strong support for a strong contract, and to discuss members’ needs in the new MOU. Local 1684 continued the momentum the following day wearing AFSCME Green at a rally and showing at the County Board of Supervisors meeting. Social Workers from the Child Welfare division protested the prolonged staffing shortages that have impaired their ability to take care of the children in the community who are in jeopardy and need protection.
Take Action Against Fracking! Sign Onto the Emergency Petition to Halt Fracking
The petition to Governor Jerry Brown to stop fracking has been opened up to individuals! Please take a moment today and sign on by going to: californiansagainstfracking.org
How Medicare Was Made - The New Yorker
For the first time, the federal government would play a direct role in the health-care system. Most liberals wanted much more, but they understood that passing Medicare and Medicaid was itself a historic step.
Please read and share this fascinating history of How Medicare was Made from The New Yorker.
AFSCME Council 57 opposes fracking because of its devastating impact on communities where our members live and work.
AFSCME Council 57, Local 444 and Local 2428 are among 150 groups calling for Governor Jerry Brown to take emergency action to ban fracking in California after officials admitted to allowing the oil industry to inject wastewater into protected aquifers. For far too long, Gov. Jerry Brown has remained silent while a growing number of Californians call for statewide action to protect our communities from the risks associated with fracking and other unconventional oil extraction methods. Following the recent revelations about the illegal use of protected aquifers to dispose of oil field waste, the urgency for Gov. Brown to act has never been more clear. Countless studies have linked fracking to environmental damage and health problems, and now we have proof that oil industry practices are compromising our precious water supply as we face severe drought. We were among the 8,000 Californians who marched in Oakland this month and ask the governor to heed the call and put a halt to fracking and other well stimulation techniques immediately.
AFSCME is mourning the loss of Vernon R. Watkins, a dedicated labor organizer, activist and inspirational force who had a major impact in the labor movement during a long and dedicated career fighting for working families with AFSCME. Watkins died March 5. He was 76.
Attorney Peter McEntee of Beeson, Tayer & Bodine provides recent legislative highlights impacting workers in California.
The Governor’s 2015 budget lacked the alarming cuts of past years to local agencies, schools and courts. His announced intention to reduce retiree health costs at the bargaining table will be watched closely by our union. Calpensions reports he is seeking a 50% share by employees, as well as offering lower cost high-deductible plan options. Our state members in Local 2620 are in mid-contract, so this won’t have an immediate effect on them. For our many members who are safety net providers at the local level, this Governor’s budget didn’t restore funding for programs slashed during more austere budget times.
TAKE THE BULLETIN BOARD CHALLENGE!
Social media and the web are hugely useful for communicating with our members, but don’t underestimate a bulletin board with timely and informative materials posted. AFSCME Local 146 in Sacramento County issues this challenge to all Council 57 activists to make your worksite bulletin boards a happening place!
Many thanks to Business Agent Karmen Ortloff and the Local 146 production team for use of this video.
Read how to take THE CHALLENGE here.
Reverend William Barber’s Speech Highlight of Convention 2014
The recent AFSCME International Union Convention concluded on July 18th and delegates returned refreshed and ready for the fights ahead of us. Council 57 delegates to the convention agreed that Reverend William Barber’s speech was the most inspiring of all four days of the convention. Reverend Barber is the President of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and you can hear his inspirational speech here.
We are collecting photos and personal accounts of impressions from the Chicago convention! If you have items to share please send them to email@example.com.
The anti-fracking movement in California is especially critical in light of the huge drought we’re suffering in our state. Council 57 delegates went on record at their July 2013 meeting opposing fracking, and we are watching our endorsed state legislators closely as this moves through Sacramento. Read More
Public Employees: Saving Time, Money and Jobs
Public employees and their unions are frequent scapegoats when elected officials seek to score political points or contract out government services. But despite what you may have read, there are many examples of productive labor-management relations in the public sector. Read and share this new report from Jobs with Justice that shows public employees saving taxpayer money and improving the delivery of government services. Read more . . .
Are Unions Useful Anymore?
Tell me if you've heard this one before: "Unions were good at one time, but haven't they outlived their usefulness?" This statement is old hat for those who want to crush workers' rights on the job. How old? The revelation at the 48-second mark says it all.
Wealth Inequality in America
Our perception of inequality and the actual numbers. The reality is worse than we think.
Worker's Independent News "WIN"
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Photographs and illustrations, as well as text, cannot be used without permission from AFSCME.