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U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez made a strong case for the value of labor unions following the release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014 Union Membership Report.The report highlights that the median weekly earnings of nonunion workers ($763) were only 79 percent of earnings for workers who were union members ($970). If you do the math, it amounts to $10,000 more a year for union members.


 

The 2015 AFSCME Women’s Leadership Academy will be held from June to December of this year.


 

Cheryll Grover from AFSCME Local 2700 said that Contra Costa County's budget had largely been balanced on the backs of union members. Grover suggested that instead of the supervisors tying their compensation rates to state judgeships, it should be tied to the wages of their own employees.

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MLK Day March

AFSCME members marched in Sacramento to honor Dr. King’s legacy and shared why it was so important to them to do show solidarity.


 

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.

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In a brazen act of disregard for workers, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted to help themselves to a hefty 33% pay increase in November. This is a stunning blow that doesn’t jibe with their claims there were insufficient funds to staff critical health care positions in the recent budget.

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WE CELEBRATE OUR 2014 VICTORIES AND WISH YOU A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

As 2014 draws to an end, Council 57 reflects on our union’s achievements this year and prepare for the challenges of the new one. Our activists have been instrumental in protecting union rights under our contracts, helping elect candidates who support the needs of working families, and educating and training our union activists of the future.

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IN MEMORIAM: NANCY MATULICH

We lost a true labor leader and dear friend when Business Agent Nancy Matulich died this month after a long fight against cancer. Sister Matulich started as part of the office staff working in the Sacramento office, then soon demonstrated her skills as a field representative when she took over a Business Agent route. Once she assumed a Business Agent position she was passionate in her defense of members to uphold their union rights, ever level-headed but with her characteristic sense of humor. Over the years she not only won the respect of our members, but Management as well. She will be sorely missed by her AFSCME family.

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 New Helvetia Brewery likes to say that they brew beer with a mix of art, science, love and hops. That was evident when AFSCME Local 146 members from the Sacramento area met with the brains behind the brewery, Dave Gull, for a special Union-only tour.

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Set in an idyllic setting of a rustic barn surrounded by pinot grigio grape vines, Local 146’s Next Wave members settled into an afternoon learning how wine is made but even better, tasting wine with cheese.

Our Union Business Agent, Karmen Lee Ortloff is a member of the wine club at Scribner Bend and so the barrel room tour as well as the tasting for the Next Wave members was free. “I really enjoy the perks we get being wine club members and I couldn’t spend the day with better company than our Union brothers and sisters,” said Ortloff. “But I want to make sure that this was a personal perk of my membership, so no Union dues money was spent on wine!”

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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 webmaster@ca.afscme57.org.



 

Insourcing: A New Trend for the Country?

In states and cities across the country, a new trend is fast taking shape: Fed up with the outsourcing of public jobs at taxpayer expense, concerned citizens and lawmakers push for new laws that would increase accountability and transparency in public-private deals.

In the Public Interest, a comprehensive resource center on privatization and responsible contracting, took the lead in educating the public about the risks and dangers of outsourcing public jobs. Thanks to ITPI’s efforts, lawmakers introduced “insourcing” legislation in 15 states.

Many of these initiatives not only focus on increasing transparency and accountability in public-private dealings but protect taxpayers from bad contracts that lead to wasteful spending. They also help prevent outsourcing fiascos that benefit wealthy corporations while destroying the quality of life of hard-working residents. Read More ...



 

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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