Union rights and solidarity

 

#1 My supervisor told us that they cannot give us a raise because of the union.

As an AFSCME member you can get discounts on entertainment, health plans, auto services, home loans ...

Well, not exactly. Two union members  came to members of the Local 800 Executive Board, asking for help, within a month of each other.

“I was one of those members who never thought I’d need the Union’s help.”

These are the words of Taeko Sakumoto, an employee of Jewish Family Service. Then, after 17 years employment, she was terminated from her position as a Residential Counselor at a JFS Domestic Violence Shelter.

If you are called into a meeting with management, you have the right to request union representation, should you believe discipline might result. You must make this request. Management is not obligated to tell you about your Weingarten Rights. You can make the request before or during the meeting, saying something that conveys the following message:

On a normal day, Sandra Pacheco, an administrative assistant in Puerto Rico’s Department of Transportation and Public Works, begins her day at 7 a.m., filing paperwork for her colleagues in the field. It’s a job that Pacheco, who is president of her local, AFSCME Local 3889, Council 95 (Servidores Públicos Unidos de Puerto Rico), does with pride and dedication.

The new year brings good news for millions of working Americans. Nearly 7 million of them are in line to get pay raises this year thanks to state and local minimum-wage hikes.

As a public librarian for the Philadelphia Free Library, Sheila O’Steen embodies what we think of when we imagine a public service worker. Every day, she interacts with members of her community. Whether her patrons are young or old, affluent or impoverished, O’Steen shares knowledge and information with everyone she serves.

The 1965 Voting Rights Act worked. In the years and decades that followed its implementation, the law helped minority voters make their voices heard, especially African Americans who had been discriminated against at the polls. As a result, our democracy became stronger.

But in 2013, despite bipartisan reauthorization of the law by Congress, the Supreme Court gutted it, ruling 5-4 that a key provision was no longer necessary because the Voting Rights Act had worked and the problem was fixed.

Despite high levels of stress on the job, many state and local workers say they highly value serving the public and their communities and feel generally satisfied with their jobs.

This finding, from a national survey commissioned by the National Institute on Retirement Security, will not surprise many AFSCME members, who work in state, county and local governments and never quit on their communities.