News

Despite high levels of stress on the job, many state and local workers say they highly value serving the public and their communities and feel generally satisfied with their jobs.

AFSCME members who work in health care and social services jobs face workplace violence daily. Now they are closer to having it.

Megha Desai is a public defender in Multnomah County, Oregon. In a given week, she might work upwards of 60 hours. Right now, she has about 145 open cases.

“It's like a conveyor belt. Every day you work on your assigned cases, new ones roll in,” said Desai, a member of Local 2805 (Council 75). “There's a joke in the office: If you don't come in on the weekends, you’re screwed for the next week.”

The first weekend of April was an exception: It was her wedding. 

OLYMPIA, Wash. — On Wednesday, community and family gathered to honor fallen and injured Washington State Department of Transportation workers.

This week marks the 2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week. In Washington State, DOT worker safety remains a significant issue. According to WSDOT, 11 workers lost their lives due to work zone crashes, and 422 workers were injured just in 2018.

At the worker memorial, an honor guard of 60 WSDOT workers commemorated the service and lives of the 60 workers killed on the job in Washington since 1950.

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.

WFSE members from the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) held a summit over the weekend to identify workplace issues and strategize on how they can address them as a union.

Members brought up everything from outdated equipment to the need for biohazard training, issues they plan to take to management next Monday.

Joy Draper, a maintenance lead tech from Tacoma, said that taking on issues starts with becoming a union member.

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.

Workers in Missouri and New Mexico have chalked important victories against anti-worker laws that would have robbed them of their voices and the right to bargain collectively.

In Missouri, two separate anti-worker measures, HB 1413 and SB 1007, were halted by state courts last week.