CBS 21 Town Hall on minimum wage

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  For more information, email CBS 21 News at

Correctional Officer serves his community and his union

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.

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AFSCME Day comes to Millersville University

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. 

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AFSCME Council 13 stands with Verizon workers

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."

Correction regarding Next Wave Conference

Posted on 04/29/2016 by William Kauffman

One of the forms regarding making reservations for the Next Wave Conference at the Crowne Plaza in Reading, PA, gave the wrong phone number.

To make reservations for the Next Wave Conference, you must call 1-877-814-2538, and use block code "CME". 

Click here for additional information about the Next Wave Conference. The link now includes the correct information.

Council 13 enters into negotiations with Commonwealth

Posted on 04/28/2016 by William Kauffman

On Thursday, April 28, the Council 13 negotiating team, 110 Rank-and-File AFSCME members and 30 1st Level Supervisors, sat down across from Commonwealth negotiators to continue the process of hammering out a new contract for AFSCME-represented state employees. 

This is the second negotiating session, in which the Commonwealth presents its proposals after Council 13 presented proposals in August 2015. More negotiation sessions are expected in the future, and all parties are striving to pass an agreement prior to July.

As the process begins, negotiations are not expected to be particularly easy. The state budget that recently passed without the governor's signature failed to produce additional revenue for the state, which could put a strain on bargaining. 

Nonetheless, AFSCME leadership is invested in creating the best contract for Commonwealth employees, who took a one-year extension last time around. It is the hope of AFSCME leadership and negotiators that the upcoming deal is more long-term and comprehensive.

"Times like these bring to the forefront the need to bring more revenue into the state. AFSCME members are doing the work that makes the Commonwealth happen, and they have only had to work harder in recent years," Council 13 Executive Director David Fillman said. 

"For that reason, they deserve a strong contract, and we are here to fight for that."

Remembering those we lost and fighting for the living on Workers Memorial Day

Posted on 04/28/2016 by William Kauffman

"Safety first" is the motto for a lot of things in life, and going to work should be no different.

Unfortunately, more than 4,800 people died on the job in 2014, while 50,000 more died from diseases caused by workplace hazards. Additionally, it was found that public sector employees are at a higher risk than others.

Today is Workers Memorial Day, but it is important every day to prioritize safety in the workplace. AFSCME continuously fights and advocates for strong contracts that focus on workplace safety, and lobbies for laws that enforce it. Nonetheless, there is much work to be done. 

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AFSCME Council 13 AFSCME Council 13 16 January 2016, 16:01
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AFSCME Council 13 shared AFSCME Council 5's photo.