News

AFSCME mourns the loss of Mildred Wurf, a beloved member of our union family, a pioneer

Striketober and Strikesgiving are over, but worker strikes are still going strong.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders on Monday joined President Joe Biden and members of his administration, as well as a bipartisan group of lawmakers, for 

The House of Representatives has passed President Joe Biden’s transformational bipartisan infrastructure plan, which Biden will soon sign into law. The passage earned praise from AFSCME President Lee Saunders, who, in a statement, said, “We are turning a corner.”

As solidarity actions and strikes sweep the nation, workers are making history by organizing their workplaces for the first time.

When workers belong to a union, they have a unified voice to create safer, stronger and healthier workplaces. Organizing is our most effective tool to determine workplace dignity, hours, working conditions and quality of life. Workers aren’t stuck with dangerous workplace conditions with poor wages and benefits. They can improve them, together.

The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act was introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.). The bill, which currently has 144 cosponsors, would set a minimum nationwide standard of collective bargaining rights that states must provide. It would empower workers to join together for a voice on the job not only to improve working conditions but to improve the communities in which they work.

Our brothers and sisters who work at the East Bay Regional Park District recently won a historic wage increase with their new contract, showing that park workers deserve the same respect and pay as people doing similar jobs in the Bay Area.

By organizing and demanding that the park district pay them fairly—and by bringing thousands of people from the community into their campaign—they got a 9 percent raise and a new three-year contract, and they made a strong case for why the park district should continue to pay them higher wages in the coming years.

We’ve said it before: Life is better in a union

Workers who belong to unions make more money than their nonunion counterparts. They have better health care insurance and retirement plans, more job security and safer working conditions. They’re happier.

Isaias Lona, a hazardous materials inspector, may appear to be a laid-back, patient guy, according to his co-worker Jennifer Rojero, but he’s no pushover. You can’t be when the safety of your community is at stake, and when you’re part of a team whose responsibilities are as broad as Lona’s.

Whether it’s conducting fire inspections, hazardous waste inspections, wastewater treatment inspections or any of the safety checks that Lona performs to ensure that the businesses in Gilroy, are operating safely, being patient yet rigorous with clients are hallmarks of Lona’s approach.

Some of the nation’s largest cultural institutions accepted more than $1.6 billion in federal help to weather the coronavirus pandemic, but continued to let go of workers – even though the assistance was meant to shore up payrolls and keep workers on the job, according to a report released by AFSCME Cultural Workers United.

When Fran Krugen’s late husband was first diagnosed with diabetes, his insulin cost about $35 a bottle.

But Krugen, an AFSCME retiree from Arizona, will never forget the day when she and her husband went to the drug store to pick up his insulin and the pharmacist told them it now cost $900 a bottle.

“This was medication he needed to live, and we had insurance,” she said at a press briefing earlier this month. “We looked at each other and had to ask ourselves: Do we make the house payment? Do we buy food? Or do we pay for his medication?”