Important Membership Convention Update

The member-led Convention Planning Committee unanimously recommended to the AFSCME Council 5 Executive Board that we move to a virtual convention over a 2-day period (Thursday, Sept. 30 and Friday, Oct 1). After significant member discussion of protecting the health and safety of all and providing equitable access to the convention, the AFSCME Council 5 Executive Board voted yesterday to approve their recommendation to move to a 2-day virtual convention. Therefore, we have canceled the room blocks at the Holiday Inn and the Radisson hotels. Please notify your delegates accordingly. The following reasons were given:

1. The significant increase in the spread of the delta variant and the increase in hospitalizations and infections that our members are experiencing first hand across our state, and;

2. Members and staff expressed concern with regard to their unvaccinated and ineligible 12 year old and under children and grandchildren possibly contracting COVID-19 as a result of an in-person convention, and;

3. Upholding our image as a labor union that protects the health and safety of all of our members, including those who continuously and bravely serve on the front lines and cannot work from home. We are all in this together. The more safe we are, the safer all workers will be in their workplaces and communities. Having a 600-700 in-person convention would not serve our union well if members become infected. We owe our front line workers and all workers not just words but continued actions to protect their health and safety, and all of us collectively, and; 

4. How to control and enforce potential mandatory mask mandates in St. Louis County, as well as managing who can attend the convention and who cannot in-person if capacity requirements would be put in place by the DECC. It was determined that the most equitable solution was to operate a virtual membership convention.

We have learned a lot from last year’s virtual convention. We all would much prefer to be a One AFSCME family together in-person. With the timing of the delta variant increase and its trajectory, it is unfair to our members and staff to operate in limbo without the assurance of one direction or the other. We will work to make our convention, as always, informative, fun, and engaging for all with speeches, videos, and workshops. More information on the convention will be forthcoming.

Click here to access further details regarding convention.