AFSCME members make DCNR happen

Posted on 07/31/2015 by William Kauffman

Have you ever spent a weekend hiking, camping or just driving around Pennsylvania’s state forest land? Have you ever been impressed by the well-maintained roads, facilities and beautiful scenery? Have you ever considered all the hard work that goes into keeping these areas safe and fun for the public? The reason Pennsylvanians are able to enjoy the abundant forests and woodlands in the state are because of the dedicated employees of the Game Commission and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), both of which have AFSCME members in their ranks. Edward Wileman, Maintenance Supervisor in the Tuscarora Forestry Bureau and President of AFSCME Local 2245, is one of those people, along with Equipment Operator and member of AFSCME Local 2137, Bryan Sonnenberg.

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Free online class for newly-elected local presidents

Posted on 07/25/2015 by William Kauffman

AFSCME's Education Department is hosting a FREE online class that will lead new local union presidents through first tasks, understanding their primary roles, and finding and accessing additional resources. AFSCME International will interview three local presidents who will address the challenges they faced when first taking office and how they overcame them.

This training is geared specifically for new presidents of local unions or chapters, but is open to all AFSCME members.

After this 30 minute session, you will be able to:

1. Take important first steps upon winning office
2. Expand your understanding of the role of the president and how to use it effectively
3. Access the appropriate resources for support and information

Click here to register for Tue., Jul 28, 2015, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EDT
Click here to register for Wed., Jul 29, 2015, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

PennDOT employee dead, 4 injured following crash

Posted on 07/17/2015 by William Kauffman

A PennDOT van filled with workers crashed Thursday morning in route from Williamsport to a Driver's License Center in Bradford County.

AFSCME Council 13 is deeply saddened to report the driver, PennDOT employee and AFSCME Council 13 member Christopher Kerns, was pronounced dead at the scene. The four other passengers were taken to a hospital in Williamsport. Fortunately, the four passengers, who are all AFSCME Council 13 members, have been released from the hospital. We wish all of them a speedy recovery and extend our condolences to the Kerns family. 

"Chris was a good worker and union member, and more importantly a good friend. Times like these make us reflect on how under-valued the jobs are that people like Chris do. Hopefully this makes people a little more appreciative of PennDOT employees," AFSCME Local 1977 President Clark Smith said. "It's always difficult when we lose a brother or sister on the job, and we just wish the best to his family. They are in all our thoughts and prayers."

Support T-Mobile Workers

Posted on 07/17/2015 by William Kauffman

T-Mobile workers' attempts to organize with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) have been met with vicious anti-union tactics. The CWA is petitioning the German goverment to investigate T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom for labor rights violations. It is important to note that Deutsche Telekom's largest shareholder is the German government.

We need to take action. Let's help CWA get a hearing in the German parliament by signing their petition to be presented to the German government.

You can learn more about the campaign and support these workers by following this link and signing the petition.

In Memoriam of Jamaal Husam

Posted on 07/17/2015 by William Kauffman

Jamaal Husam, former Vice President representing District Council 86 on Council 13's Executive Board, passed away on Wednesday at his home. Husam worked for PennDOT for 30 years, and was a dedicated member of his union. "Jamaal was known as an upstanding member of his community, and I can say the same about his service as a union member and Executive Board member," Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said. "We send our condolences to his mother, companion, siblings, his six children and his many grandchildren. He will be missed."

Click here for Jamaal Husam's full obituary.

In Memoriam of Russell Keating

Posted on 07/16/2015 by William Kauffman

Former AFSCME Council 13 Director of Communications Russell Keating passed away on Tuesday evening following a hard-fought battle with cancer. Keating is known by many as a trailblazer in labor communications in Pennsylvania, as well as a great friend and coworker. He began his career with AFSCME as a staff representative at District Council 89 in 1973. He then served as a representative in Council 13's Grievance and Arbitration Department before becoming Director of Communications. Along with being heavily involved with various labor organizations and their communications efforts, Keating served as president of the Pennsylvania Labor Communications Association (PLCA). He was also a major part of Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, which had some kind words about him here. "Russ Keating paved the way for AFSCME Council 13's Communications Department, and lived his life as a warrior for the working class," Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said. "He will be greatly missed, but his vast contributions to labor in Pennsylvania will live on forever. We send our deepest condolences to his family."

Petition to give 11 million Americans the chance to receive overtime

Posted on 07/11/2015 by William Kauffman

Millions of Americans are working longer hours, but still not getting ahead. The problem is these people are working more than 40 hours, but receiving no overtime pay for it. Overtime laws have not been updated for decades to adjust for inflation. Today, you are only automatically eligible for overtime if you make less than $23,660 after working 40 hours a week. The Department of Labor released an overtime rule change proposal that would fix this problem by raising the base pay for overtime eligibility, but they need to hear from you! By increasing the salary cap for inflation to an expected $50,440, approximately 11 million more workers would qualify for overtime pay next year. 

Sign this petition and let the Department of Labor know that working people support this proposal! Big, corporate interests are already demonizing the effort, so we need as many people as possible to sign. After you sign, make sure to share it to Facebook and Twitter!

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AFSCME Council 13 AFSCME Council 13 31 July 2015, 07:09
Check out this story on @AFSCME members who make DCNR happen in the Tuscarora State Forest