News

Next Saturday, February 24, our union, along with tens of thousands of workers across the Country, will be participating in the Work

In looking for appropriately seasonal clip art, I stumbled upon something I wasn’t looking for. Among the images of noisemakers and party hats and old men and babies, there were old engravings of a person with two faces, inscribed at the bottom “Janus.” If you’re reading this, you’ve probably also read previous articles about a Supreme Court Case, Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, that threatens (perhaps) the very existence of public sectors unions in the United States. I had known that Janus was also a Roman deity, portrayed with two faces. What I hadn’t known was Janus’ symbolic meaning.

The New Year's Edition has updates for our contract negotiations, musings on Janus, books to help us change the world, and a union word find! Click on the link below to view/download as a PDF

Hardworking Americans’ right to retire with dignity is in danger because billionaires are spending a lot of money to take away our pensions.

John Arnold is one of the worst offenders. He’s a former Enron trader who’s spent $50 million of his own fortune trying to gut retirement security nationally. Enron’s implosion caused billions of dollars of losses to its workers and their families, including a $1.5 billion hit to public pension assets. Yet Arnold escaped with an $8 million bonus right before the crash.

A case the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up this term called Janus v. AFSCME could make the entire public sector “right-to-work” in one fell swoop.

Janus is the culmination of decades of attacks on working people by corporations, the wealthy and the politicians who do their bidding to rig the economy in their favor. The forces behind this case are the same ones that have pushed to limit voting rights, undermine civil rights and attack immigrants.

Thanks to help from AFSCME members, numerous worker-friendly candidates won Tuesday’s election outright or are leading in the polls.

AFSCME members and retirees volunteered hundreds of hours of their time to tirelessly call voters and knock on doors across the state in the weeks leading up to the municipal and school board elections.

AFSCME Council 5 has a new executive director.

John Westmoreland, the former assistant director, started his role Nov. 1.

He replaces Council 5’s founding director Eliot Seide, who is retiring.

“Our union is in good hands,” Seide says.  “Under John’s leadership, our union won’t miss a beat as we continue our program with energy and discipline.”    

Westmoreland says he plans to meet with leaders of every local and build “a coalition of the willing.”