News

AFSCME members sat down with congressional lawmakers last week to share stories about how the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act would improve communities and empower workers.

The Minneapolis-St Paul metro region is in the middle of a housing crisis. Home prices are rising, rents have skyrocketed, and construction of new housing has not kept pace with the number of people moving to the region. The housing squeeze harms the most vulnerable first; with no affordable options and nowhere else to go, more people must resort to surviving on the streets.

When it comes to retirement plans, most working Americans have only a few options. For many public workers, though, a pension promises a secure, dignified retirement after a lifetime of service.

Here’s a big reason to join a union – a bigger paycheck.New numbers from U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show just how much of a difference a union makes in terms of worker pay.

On a normal day, Sandra Pacheco, an administrative assistant in Puerto Rico’s Department of Transportation and Public Works, begins her day at 7 a.m., filing paperwork for her colleagues in the field. It’s a job that Pacheco, who is president of her local, AFSCME Local 3889, Council 95 (Servidores Públicos Unidos de Puerto Rico), does with pride and dedication.

The new year brings good news for millions of working Americans. Nearly 7 million of them are in line to get pay raises this year thanks to state and local minimum-wage hikes.

Marvin Timmons is a self-declared union man, through and through. He’s also a veteran; a “mechanical guy;” a loving husband, grandfather and brother; a lover of animals and nature; and, in his own words, a “forever optimist.”

And to his coworkers and supervisors at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, where Marvin has spent the past 15 summers working in building maintenance, grounds keeping and security at Upper Sioux State Park near Granite Falls, Marvin is much more than a colleague. He’s an inspiration.

As a public librarian for the Philadelphia Free Library, Sheila O’Steen embodies what we think of when we imagine a public service worker. Every day, she interacts with members of her community. Whether her patrons are young or old, affluent or impoverished, O’Steen shares knowledge and information with everyone she serves.