News

All-knowing sources of information. Tour guides to the highways and byways of history. The friendly voice of a morning story time. If that’s all you think of when you think of your library staff, you’d do well to meet some of AFSCME’s library workers, whose reach goes far beyond their libraries’ walls.

Today is National Library Workers Day, when we honor those professionals who keep our libraries running: librarians, technicians and other staff, including custodians, security and maintenance workers.

Fifty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to help rally the community around 1,300 AFSCME sanitation workers who had gone on strike.

In the 1980s, I was living and going to school in Minnesota when women who worked for state government won a big victory. They got the state to increase the pay of women in “female dominated jobs” by passing a pay equity bill. In other words, they put a dent in the gender pay gap. As a student, I researched and wrote about the process of crafting, passing and implementing that legislation. And I learned something that I have never forgotten: the union made it happen. And not just any union. Our union: AFSCME. 

Our union gained more than 9,000 dues-paying members and nearly 19,000 dues-paying retirees in the last year, suggesting that billionaires and corporations are failing in their effort to “defund and defang” public service unions.

The 80th legislative session kicks off today and provides us both opportunities and challenges.  We have the chance to pass significant legislation to improve our working conditions.  However, we also have to be vigilant and fight proposed changes to Oregon law that may hurt us or make our jobs more challenging.

LAS VEGAS — More than 160 AFSCME members gathered in Las Vegas last week to lift up the voice of public service workers and move our union forward.  

At the AFSCME Volunteer Member Organizer Rise Up conference, VMOs from around the country attended skill-building training sessions and visited Nevada state employees to share the vision of improving the quality of public services and the lives of those who provide those services. 

LOS ANGELES — As fires burned in Northern and Southern California and the death toll continued to rise; as smoke engulfed nearby cities, prompting health warnings to stay indoors; and as survivors relocated to makeshift camps and hoped for the best, the best often

Pamela Knight, a child protective investigator with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service (DCFS), was sent to check on the welfare of a child last fall. When she arrived at the child’s residence, the father viciously attacked her. She died months later as a result of the injuries she sustained during the attack.