|District Council 57|
Ten years after the storm, we can still say about our AFSCME sisters and brothers: They rose to the challenge.
6 out of every 10 Americans now supports labor unions – a phenomenal five-point jump over the previous year. That’s the latest from a Gallup poll showing that during the past year, Americans’ approval of unions skyrocketed to its highest point in 7 years.
The Labor Movement is under attack again -- this time from the US Supreme Court. On June 30th, SCOTUS agreed to review Friedrichs v CTA, threatenting to overturn the longstanding precedent that allows for public sector unions to collect fair share fees to cover the costs of collective bargaining.
In response to this threat, California unions are aggressively organizing and signing up union members. California Labor Federation invites all unions with public employees to a Public Sector Strategy Summit, a forum for unions to share best practices, their challenges, and our collective solutions.
Public Employee Strategy Session
Operating Engineers Local 3
Former Enron trader and hedge fund billionaire John Arnold is launching a multimillion dollar national PR campaign attacking the hard-earned pensions of public sector workers. Arnold has already quietly poured tens of millions of dollars into his efforts to persuade politicians to reduce middle class retirement security and now it looks like he may really just be getting started.
Good news for many temporary and part-time workers is that paid sick leave is now required of employers if certain conditions are met for eligibility. You may get answers to frequently asked questions about the new law here. Check with your steward or Business Agent to determine how your employer will be administering this law.
AFSCME began its 2016 presidential endorsement process this week by meeting with several announced candidates for president. Endorsement questionnaires were sent to Republican and Democratic candidates, and those candidates who returned completed questionnaires were invited to meet with AFSCME’s International Executive Board. This week, members of our board met with Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, Governor Martin O’Malley, and Senator Bernie Sanders. The candidates’ remarks and conversations with the board included the following highlights:
Just like his brother George, Jeb Bush has Social Security benefits in his crosshairs. While “W” tried to privatize Social Security and let Wall Street get their hands on seniors’ guaranteed benefits, Jeb wants to raise the retirement age up as high as 70, tantamount to a 35 percent reduction in monthly benefits.
Americans are not keen on the idea of forcing seniors, who may be working physically demanding jobs, to ‘tough it out’ another half decade – a better long-term solvency solution is simply lifting the Social Security payroll tax.
Text SECURITY to 237263 to join our fight to preserve and protect #SocialSecurity.
This book critique offers some important points to counter the Right’s contentions that public sector unions have caused great harm.
Commercial property tax loopholes mean California’s schools and communities are losing billions of dollars. The Make It Fair campaign aims to close California’s commercial property tax loopholes so we can continue to invest in strengthening our schools and maintain important local priorities. AFSCME Council 57 is part of this broad coalition consisting of community, faith and labor groups determined to make California great once again by addressing inequities under Proposition 13 through a 2016 ballot measure.
Amidst their successful organizing drive, Local 1684 members are taking their activism to whole new levels. AFSCME Green T-Shirt Tuesdays, taking on the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors over short staffing, rallying in the streets for worker safety, and now the halls of Sacramento. Eligibility Supervisors Shannon Kenney and Lisa Huang (pictured) met with their Senator Mike McGuire on the day they testified before the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services about the shortcomings of CalHEERS, the state IT system.
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.
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
Attorney Peter McEntee of Beeson, Tayer & Bodine provides recent legislative highlights impacting workers in California.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.