Posted on 06/24/2016
AFSCME members perform a lot of different jobs in Pennsylvania and all throughout America. Some of the jobs are better-known than others. For example, there are clerical workers, PennDOT crews and sanitation workers, to name a few, but AFSCME also represents corrections officers, demolition crews, and DCNR employees; all invaluable public services that sometimes can go unnoticed.
Some AFSCME Council 13 members took time out of their busy schedule to let a film crew come in and film them doing their everyday tasks. Each job is unique, and the purpose of the film shoot was to show the uniqueness of not only the job, but the member as well. The video will premiere at the AFSCME International Convention next month in Las Vegas, and Council 13 is proud to have its members showcased in front of more than 1,000 of our brothers and sisters.
Posted on 06/23/2016
Negotiators for both AFSCME and the Commonwealth met in August 2015, and then on April 28th, May 17th and June 6, 7, 14, 15, and 20th. Council 13 negotiators and 110 Rank-and-File AFSCME members entered negotiations seeking reasonable wage increases and continuation of healthcare coverage with little to no increases in employee contributions. Negotiators also sought other items of concern AFSCME members submitted in the Contract Times surveys.
The Commonwealth sought significant changes in employee healthcare contributions for current employees and for retirees. The Commonwealth proposed that healthcare payments would no longer be based on a percent of salary, but based on a percent of the premium. The premiums would vary depending on the employee’s choice of healthcare coverage, but would increase substantially.
Because this proposal would significantly increase the cost of healthcare for all bargaining units, AFSCME negotiators rejected it. There were lengthy discussions about cost saving that could be achieved to avoid moving to a percent of premium. However, negotiators were unable to reach a final agreement on healthcare.
Regarding wage increases, AFSCME negotiators sought a three-year contract with reasonable wage increases in each year of the contract. Unfortunately, the Commonwealth maintained that its current budget deficit of $2 billion precludes it from making a wage proposal that the union finds acceptable. As a result, the negotiators unanimously agreed that further discussions be postponed. We are now looking to schedule future dates.
If the parties are unable to meet before the expiration of the current agreement (6/30/16), AFSCME-represented Commonwealth employees will continue to work under the conditions set forth in the expired agreement.
AFSCME-represented Commonwealth employees should feel free to reach out to their Local Union's negotiator or contact their District Council staff representative for further updates and information.
Posted on 06/09/2016
AFSCME Council 13's Next Wave Conference is almost here! June 17-19th, the future of the labor movement rolls into Reading, Pennsylvania!
Click here for the full conference agenda!
Posted on 05/13/2016
CBS 21 News presents “Your Voice, Your Future Town Hall” on the subject of the Minimum Wage. Does it lift workers out of poverty or kill jobs? Moderated by award-winning television journalist and radio host, Mark Hyman, the town hall looks into both sides of the controversial issue. The town hall panel includes Kevin Shivers, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business, John Meyerson, Chairman of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project, Paul Fogal, owner of Pocono Whitewater and Tina Zeigler, home care aide. Joining them in the audience are Senator Rob Teplitz, Representative Patty Kim, Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor and Industry Kathy Manderino and CBS 21 Political Insiders Tony May and Charlie Gerow.
The issue of raising the Minimum Wage is one that draws strong emotions from each side. With Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf calling for an increase to the state minimum wage and Republicans in the state House and Senate holding up bills to raise the wage, the issue has been pushed to the forefront. This CBS 21 News Town Hall is an opportunity for citizens to speak with those intimately involved in the debate and ask questions.
The CBS 21 News Town Hall is open to the public and will be held at Central Penn College Conference Center on Tuesday, May 17th from 7 to 8 PM. It will also air live on My Central PA 21.2 and streamed on CBS21.com. For more information, email CBS 21 News at News@CBS21.com.
Posted on 05/05/2016 by William Kauffman
Derrick Sampson, correctional officer and President of AFSCME Local 543, Lehigh County Jail, was recently nominated as a Trustee on Council 13’s Executive Board.
“It was definitely an honor that somebody would entrust me with that privilege,” Sampson said.
“I really like what AFSCME is about. I like the resources they have, and that they make them accessible to the members. It’s a great union and I’m proud to be a part of it, and now I just want to continue being part of it, and continue making positive changes.”
Sampson, originally from Brooklyn, New York, grew up in a union household and has been a member of Local 543 since he started working at the jail in July of 2000. When he didn’t like the way the Local was being led in 2011, he threw his hat in the ring and was elected President of the Local. He has served in that role for five years, and has since become a part of District Council 88’s Executive Board and most recently a Trustee on Council 13’s Board.
Posted on 05/05/2016 by William Kauffman
For the third year in a row, members of AFSCME Local 2421, Millersville University, organized AFSCME Day for the nearly 300 members making that campus happen.
AFSCME represents maintenance, custodial, facilities, food service and many other types of employees at Millersville, and AFSCME Day was a great way to provide those workers lunch and let them learn about the union.
The event was open to all the AFSCME-represented employees on campus, which allowed time to engage with non-members and educate them about the advantages of full membership. Multiple people filled out AFSCME Strong forms, as well as signed cards to become full dues-paying members and PAL contributors.
Posted on 04/29/2016 by William Kauffman
Members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electricians (IBEW) employed by Verizon continue to strike as Verizon executives refuse to settle a contract that would put many technicians and customer service representatives back to work.
Customer service and quality of service continue to dwindle as Verizon tries to fill the void with replacement workers that simply cannot perform the job as well as the unionized workers.
CWA released a statement yesterday that gives the latest on the status of negotiations.
"It’s time for Verizon to set aside its obsession with short term profits and exorbitant salaries for a few executives. It’s time for Verizon to start bargaining in good faith in order to preserve good middle-class jobs and ensure that customers receive the high quality service they deserve," the statement read in-part.
Show your support for these workers by signing this petition.
"It is more important than ever for unions and their members to stand united with one another. Council 13 is proud to stand with the striking members of CWA and IBEW," Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said.
"Their fight is just, and we are with them until the workers get the contract they deserve."