|District Council 57|
A case to be decided next year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which could make it significantly harder for workers to have a voice on the job through their unions, is being pushed by a litany of extremist groups with ties to the billionaire Koch brothers.
Chuck Reed and Carl DeMaio’s shortsighted and unrelenting desire to undermine the retirement security of hardworking Californians has resulted in the submission of two ballot measures that will be certified for petition circulation around December 1, 2019.
Below are talking points on these two measures from the Californians for Retirement Security, a coalition of public worker unions that fights to protect the retirement security of more than 1.6 million workers in California, of which AFSCME is a partner. If the measures qualify for the ballot our coalition will not only throw everything we have at defeating them, we will turn out progressive and labor voters as we have in the past, lifting the campaigns of our allies.
HELP THE FIGHT FOR OUR RETIREMENT SECURITY BY JOINING AFSCME PEOPLE!
Former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio are bent on destroying your retirement security! The Reed/DeMaio ballot measure described in the October news was withdrawn once a union coalition called the architects of the measure out on their efforts to take retirement benefits away from existing employees. In its place they submitted two new measures which would impact existing employees and future hires! One would not allow any improvements to retirement benefits unless it was taken to a public vote, taking away our rights at the bargaining table and handing them over to voters instead. The other measure would (among other things) force employers to place new employees in a 401 (k) plan instead of in the defined benefit plan system, which would financially jeopardize the system intended to provide benefits to you when you retire! It’s all part of a systematic attack on public employees by conservative moneyed interests.
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Explained
America’s economy has swung out of balance. It’s getting harder to get by, let alone get ahead. Everyday Americans are working more than ever before. Our work has created record wealth for an economic recovery that’s been everywhere but ordinary peoples’ wallets. Our economic rules unfairly favor corporate CEOs and the rich because they manipulate the rules in their favor. Almost no one stands up for average Americans these days, and now this Supreme Court case threatens to make it even worse. Everyone who works should be able to make ends meet, have a say about their futures, and have the right to negotiate together for better wages and benefits that can sustain their family. Friedrichs v. CTA threatens our ability to do just that.
AFSCME STRONG is a dynamic new campaign to have one-on-one conversations with 80% of our members to engage them more fully and hear their thoughts about what our priorities should be in Council 57 and in their locals. Through this process we will strengthen and energize our union in our fight for our jobs, our families and our future. We also aim to reach 90% membership.
AFSCME Local 146 was featured in the national AFSCME blog during National Apprenticeship Week for their “Earn While You Learn” innovation. This is a unique way to enhance members’ job skills and improve their earning power. “I’m so proud of our apprenticeship program,” said Local 146 Pres. Belinda Malone. “This program is the result of hard, tedious work in building labor relations with our employer with the goal all along of improving members’ lives. Our efforts are about to pay off in a big way for our members.”
Over 100 leaders and activists brought life to the Council 57 AFSCME STRONG movement at the Leadership Conference in September themed Organizing for a Power Future. AFSCME Council 31 Director Roberta Lynch rallied the crowd about Income Inequality and the need to fight the billionaire agenda to dismantle unions. Members posed for a group picture which joined with AFSCME Council 31 members depicts AFSCME Strong solidarity. Longtime labor icon and social justice activist Dolores Huerta inspired our members with the history of United Farm Workers (UFW) organizing and the importance of home visits to engage members. She also emphasized how AFSCME’s support in the early years of the UFW grape boycott was crucial to the success of the campaign. Conference participants put this and their AFSCME Strong training to use making home visits to AFSCME Local 829 members, signing up new members, enrolling members into PEOPLE and engaging members in dynamic conversations about the future of our union.
AFSCME Council 57 also honored activists and locals at our first ever Outstanding Organizer Awards with a field of many distinguished nominees from around the state. In an Academy Award format presenters Belinda Malone, Bernadine Howell, and Ruben Rodriguez recognized outstanding activists and locals who are doing an outstanding job to build our union!
AFSCME Strong is our plan to build a union made up of committed members who feel their power in the worksite, at the bargaining table and with our elected officials. Our AFSCME Strong campaign aims to achieve 90% union membership: Council 57 has had 2,578 new members toward our goal of 3,700. Local 101 from the greater San Jose area contributed 575 new signers to that effort. AFSCME Strong aims to enroll 10% of our members into MVP membership of the PEOPLE (Public Employees Organized to Promote Legislative Equality) Local 3916 (AC Transit) exceeded their goal of 22 MVPs and signed up 46! Our AFSCME Strong goal also is to engage 80% of our membership in quality one-on-one conversations about your priorities for the union in the years ahead.
A Future for Workers: A Contribution from Black Labor offers a perspective that is timely and unique, blunt but hopeful, progressive yet tempered by the grotesque grip on wealth and power by global elites. It speaks in the voice of nearly 2.1 million African Americans in labor unions. This document seeks to advance a discussion that is so badly needed. What is it that workers need and want? How can this then become not the “special interests” of an isolated labor movement, but a robust agenda that can rally the bottom 99% to collective action? These questions anchor the analyses, conclusions and recommendations presented in this paper from a black labor perspective.
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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