Catholic bishops are backing AFSCME in U.S. Supreme Court Fair Share Fee Case

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has sided with unions in the Janus vs. AFSCME case now before the U.S Supreme Court. The Bishops submitted an amicus brief in support of public-sector unions and their right to “fair share fees” from nonmembers for the collective bargaining and representation benefitting non-members.

The bishops’ involvement with Janus vs. AFSCME. surprised some. But church leaders made their support clear, taking part in a forum last week on labor and faith at Seton Hall University.

Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin, on stage with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, explained the bishops’ interest in the case saying the church has a long history of supporting workers and unions. “You should not be able to benefit from all the work that unions do to represent workers without paying your fair share,” Cardinal Tobin said.

Pope Francis, who recently told a gathering of union delegates in 2017, “There is no good society without a good union.” He was far from the first Pontif to side with unions and workers. In his 1981 encyclical Pope John Paul II lauded organized labor organizations as “an indispensable element of social life” And in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged the church’s long history of Catholic-labor relations in a lengthy encyclical.

The Bishop’s brief argues that ruling against the unions would “constitutionalize” a national ‘right-to- work’ law. The brief points out that no U.S. bishop ever publicly supported right-to- work laws.

Condensed from a story by Jack Jenkins/Religion News Service

We Never Quit – The Flood of 2018

Heavy rains have caused extensive flooding along the Ohio River and AFSCME Council 8 members in Ohio and West Virginia show they will never quit protecting their cities.

As heavy rain pushed the river above the flood level, the 21,000 residents of Portsmouth, Ohio, called on a team of AFSCME Local 1039 members to protect their city.

The crew began putting up gates on February 21 in preparation for rising water, and as the days of rain continued, they set to work putting up the flood walls.

AFSCME Local 1039 member Mark Puckett, who heads up the city’s flood defense operations, said protecting the city is a team effort.

“It takes all of us to do this and these guys work extremely hard to get the job done. Many of the guys have over 100 hours of overtime during this two-week period,” he said.

A few miles east, in Ironton, Ohio, where the river is expected to crest at 57 feet, AFSCME Local 771 member Rich Jenkins is in charge of flood defense for the city of 12,000.

According to Jenkins, it takes a dozen men 12-16 hours to put the city’s flood walls up.

“This is a team effort. These guys have worked hard around the clock to keep the city safe from the rising water,” Jenkins said.

And the crew knows the job because AFSCME Local 771 has represented city workers for 52 years.

About 50 miles further east and across the river in Huntington, West Virginia, AFSCME Local 598 members are battling to keep the rising river in its banks and out of the city’s streets.

Union President Lee Adams said everyone works together to protect the 50,000 residents of Huntington from major flooding.

AFSCME Local 598 and two other West Virginia AFSCME local unions joined Ohio Council 8 last year after passage of the state’s right-to- work law.

 

Mark Puckett, far left, protecting the
city is a team effort.

Local 598 members never quit protecting
their city from Ohio River flood waters.

Rich Jenkins, far left, we work around the
clock to keep the city safe from the rising water.

Happy Nurses Week from AFSCME Council 8!

During National Nurses week we celebrate and honor the commitment and dedication of our front line health care providers — nurses!
Operating room nurses and techs at Trumbull Memorial Hospital salute their fellow care givers.

“We salute every nurse for their tireless work to meet the needs of their patients,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.  “Nurses are passionate about their work because they are also healers, teachers, and leaders during the most trying times of our lives,” he said.

“Nurses are the backbone of the health care industry and I’m proud to be represented by AFSCME Ohio Council 8, said Tom Connelly, president of AFSCME Local 2026, which represents 378 nurses at Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren.

“So proud of all my fellow nurses but most importantly my brothers and sisters from Trumbull Memorial Hospital. You have helped patients enter and exit life and all points in between. Nurses can be found in hospitals, clinics, public health, military service, in the air and on the sea, wherever life and health needs safe guarded!  So proud to be one ! God bless all of you who stand with and for the patient!,” Connelly said.

Each year National Nurses Week is celebrated during the week of May 12 in honor of the founder of modern nursing: Florence Nightingale.

Along with her trail blazing 19th century work in establishing sanitary “proper care” standards, she was also known for her night rounds to aid the wounded during the Crimean War, establishing her image as the “Lady with the Lamp”.

In addition to 311-bed Trumbull Memorial Hospital, Ohio Council 8 also represents health care workers at 69-bed Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital in Howland.  AFSCME Ohio Council 8 health care worker across the state including Akron City Hospital, Barberton Citizens Hospital, O’Bleness Hospital in Athens, University of Cincinnati Hospital, University of Toledo Medical Center, and MetroHealth System in Cuyahoga County.

Election 2016 Special Event with Special Guests Lee Saunders and Leo W. Gerard

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Come join United Steelworkers and AFSCME  in Cleveland this Friday afternoon to show your support for your union brothers and sisters.

6800 North High Street, Worthington, Ohio, 43085-2512
Phone: 614-841-1918
Fax: 614-841-1299