News

OCTOBER 2018

Ton Johnson

1-    Preparing for contract negotiations, comp will be passed on 15 July.

The 19 presidential candidates who participated in the AFSCME Public Service Forum on Saturday disagreed on a range of topics, but they all agreed on o

Assistant Attorneys General in Washington State officially gained the right to collectively bargaining when Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5297 into law this morning.

The bill signing was witnessed by an exuberant group of advocates and members of the Association of Washington Assistant Attorneys General (AWAAG). AWAAG joined WFSE earlier this year to make collective bargaining a reality for 600 AAGs across the state.

Workers Memorial Day is this Sunday, April 28, when we honor workers killed or injured on the job. On this day in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed.

For almost half a century, OSHA has been charged with helping to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for men and women across this country. But under the Trump administration, OSHA is failing us. As we observe Workers Memorial Day, it’s clear that we can do more – much more – for worker safety.

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.