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Members elected a new Executive Board for Council 57 at the April Delegates Meeting, bringing in a number of fresh new voices to guide AFSCME's presence in Northern California over the next term.

Out of the 15 board positions, 12 different locals are represented. That's a true testament of the democratic nature of our union, and each new board member pledged to do their part to represent all locals' interests and make our union stronger.

Workers Memorial Day is this Sunday, April 28, when we honor workers killed or injured on the job. On this day in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed.

For almost half a century, OSHA has been charged with helping to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for men and women across this country. But under the Trump administration, OSHA is failing us. As we observe Workers Memorial Day, it’s clear that we can do more – much more – for worker safety.

Megha Desai is a public defender in Multnomah County, Oregon. In a given week, she might work upwards of 60 hours. Right now, she has about 145 open cases.

“It's like a conveyor belt. Every day you work on your assigned cases, new ones roll in,” said Desai, a member of Local 2805 (Council 75). “There's a joke in the office: If you don't come in on the weekends, you’re screwed for the next week.”

The first weekend of April was an exception: It was her wedding. 

All-knowing sources of information. Tour guides to the highways and byways of history. The friendly voice of a morning story time. If that’s all you think of when you think of your library staff, you’d do well to meet some of AFSCME’s library workers, whose reach goes far beyond their libraries’ walls.

Today is National Library Workers Day, when we honor those professionals who keep our libraries running: librarians, technicians and other staff, including custodians, security and maintenance workers.

Fifty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to help rally the community around 1,300 AFSCME sanitation workers who had gone on strike.

Council 57 members will have an opportunity to elect a new Executive Board at the upcoming April Delegates meeting.

Nominations for all open board positions closed on March 29. Officer elections will take place by secret ballot at the regularly scheduled 10am Delegate meeting on Saturday, April 27, at the Council 57 Oakland Office, located at 80 Swan Way, Suite 104/105.

The following are the nominations:

In the 1980s, I was living and going to school in Minnesota when women who worked for state government won a big victory. They got the state to increase the pay of women in “female dominated jobs” by passing a pay equity bill. In other words, they put a dent in the gender pay gap. As a student, I researched and wrote about the process of crafting, passing and implementing that legislation. And I learned something that I have never forgotten: the union made it happen. And not just any union. Our union: AFSCME.