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

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.

All-knowing sources of information. Tour guides to the highways and byways of history. The friendly voice of a morning story time.

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.

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. 

Our union gained more than 9,000 dues-paying members and nearly 19,000 dues-paying retirees in the last year, suggesting that billionaires and corporations are failing in their effort to “defund and defang” public service unions.

After months of negotiations, stalled talks and a two-day strike, the members of AFSCME Local 829’s Human Services Agency unit won a new contract this month and brought about a number of changes that will make working conditions better in San Mateo County.

Valley State Prison is in Chowchilla, California, about 40 miles outside Fresno. It’s here that Anthony Ngo, an AFSCME Local 2620 (Council 57) member, commutes every day, providing psychological counseling and group therapy to the medium security facility’s inmates.

“It’s a great job – great pay and benefits, and I love the staff, and I have a flexible work schedule,” says Ngo. “I also like the work I do.”