Shut down the government?

Dear Ohio Council 8 Member,

Here we go again. In just a few days, our country faces the threat of another government shutdown, all over a multi-billion dollar game of chicken President Trump and extremists in Congress are playing with our nation’s budget.

If our government shuts down, it will be because President Trump has threatened to veto any budget that does not defund key pieces of the Affordable Care Act, and pay for a $1.4 billion down payment on his proposed border wall.

Call your Senators today and tell them to pass a clean budget that supports working families and does not cut health care for millions.

If this budget stalemate results in a government shutdown, even funding for state and local public service workers is affected. A shutdown could cost us the resources we need to do our jobs, and it will cost our communities the public services they rely on.

For our communities, for our families and for our country, we need to stop this shutdown before it happens.

Call your Senators today and tell them to pass a clean budget that supports working families and does not cut health care for millions.

Those of us who spend every day making our communities stronger, safer and healthier know how important it is to keep the government running. Make sure Congress and President Trump know our communities are depending on them.

In solidarity,

Lee Saunders
AFSCME President

Two statistics you need to know


Dear Leader,

I can’t emphasize enough how devastating making Ohio a “Right to Work” is Wrong state would be for working people.

Today, I’m going to tell you about two numbers that are truly unbelievable, but unfortunately all too real.

“Right to Work” is Wrong because it will make all of us, union and non-union workers, poor. In RTWIW states, the average household median income is $681 less per month. What would you do right now to reduce your household monthly budget by nearly $700? And that’s every house in your community.

The next number I’m going to talk to you about is even worse if you can believe it, and that is the death rate on the job in “Right to Work  is Wrong states is 49% higher than in free bargaining states like Ohio.

Yes, 49% higher. 

We all want our loved ones, spouses, children, neighbors to go to work and come home safe and sound. In “Right to Work” is Wrong states, the death rate is 49% higher. And that means fewer loved ones are coming home at the end of the shift.


There’s a simple reason for this: Workers lose their voice and their freedom and their rights on the job with this deviously named anti-worker idea.

So, let’s keep our incomes rising, ourselves and our loved ones safer, and let’s stand together because “Right to Work” is WRONG for Ohio, wrong for working people and wrong for all of us.

In solidarity,
John Lyall
AFSCME Council 8

Friday’s Labor Folklore: Helen Keller — Labor’s Unsung Hero


“The true task is to unite and organize all workers on an economic basis, and it is the workers themselves who must secure freedom for themselves, who must grow strong.”

Helen Keller (1880-1968) is perhaps the most recognized symbol of the disability community – a powerful representative of a person overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles. Yet the now-mythic story of Keller as a deaf-blind child learning to communicate with her teacher has overshadowed the complex story of the mature advocate, activist, lecturer and author who honed her intellect and leveraged her celebrity to side with the disadvantaged the world over – especially in defense of the American working classes.

Born in Alabama to a wealthy family, she lost her sight and hearing as an infant as a result of illness.

In 1903, at the age of 22, she published the first installment of her autobiography “The Story of My Life,” which became a bestseller and brought her worldwide fame.

In 1908 Keller joined the American Socialist Party (SP) and the Women’s Suffrage movement.

In 1912, she joined the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), noting in her lectures that that many forms of blindness prevalent in the U.S. were traceable to industrial working conditions.

Journalists, interviewers and editors frequently redacted, edited or outright censored her comments to fit the sensibilities of the times. Keller herself noted the contradiction in the way her life and ideas were treated – how the iconic story of the disabled child cast a long shadow over her own mature ideas and activism. In the second installment of her autobiography in 1929, she reflected:

“So long as I confine my activities to social service and the blind, they compliment me extravagantly . . . but when it comes to discussion of a burning social or political issue, especially if I happen to be, as I so often am, on the unpopular side, the tone changes completely. They are grieved because they imagine I am in the hands of unscrupulous persons who take advantage of my afflictions to make me a mouthpiece for their own ideas . . . I like frank debate, and I do not object to harsh criticism so long as I am treated like a human being with a mind of her own.”

Mansfield City Council Unanimously Approves Resolution Opposing ‘Right to Work’

Mansfield City Council unanimously approved a resolution opposing ‘Right to Work’ yesterday. AFSCME Members turned out in large numbers to make their voices heard and show that ‘Right to Work’ is WRONG for working and middle class families.

In states with ‘Right to Work’ policies, wages are $681 lower per month and there are 49 percent more deaths on the job.

Learn more about the threat of ‘Right to Work’ by clicking here.

Elissa McBride Elected AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer

LEESBURG, VA — The International Executive Board of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees today by acclamation elected Elissa McBride as its new secretary-treasurer. McBride, who will assume office effective immediately, has served as AFSCME’s director of Education and Leadership Training since 2001.

“AFSCME members are the backbone of our communities,” McBride said. “Members of our union staff our libraries, maintain our roads, care for us in times of medical crisis, ensure the safety of our children and much more. I am honored to serve as their secretary-treasurer, and I pledge to serve with passion, integrity and commitment as we continue to organize for workers’ rights and fight for public services.”

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders added: “Elissa McBride has been a dynamic force in our union for more than 15 years. As a superb educator and organizer, she has helped lead us through a period of growth and change. She never quits fighting for our members, and for all working people, to get the respect they deserve. At this critical moment in AFSCME’s history, she has the energy and expertise we need to put us on the right course for the future.”

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AFSCME Council 8 Member Pat Waller on the Affordable Care Act

Registered Nurse and AFSCME Council 8 member Pat Waller spoke with AFSCME about the effects that repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting Medicaid would have in her rural community of Athens, Ohio.

“No one should ever have to worry between taking your child to the doctor, or putting food on the table,” she said. “I’m afraid that, you know, with the current administration that they’re going to just repeal every good thing in the Affordable Care Act that has made health care so much better for people in this country.”

Pat works in labor and delivery at a small, rural hospital in Athens, Ohio. She describes the passion she has for her job and the people she serves, but also notes that many more patients coming into the hospital now have coverage because of the Affordable Care Act.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if 60-70% of the people we serve in the hospital do not have some form of the Medicaid health care expansion, especially in Labor and Delivery where I work.”

With insurance, more and more women are getting prenatal care, which makes for a safer and healthier pregnancy.

Share Pat’s story and call 1-888-851-1916 to tell Congress: NO CUTS to Medicaid.

Resident takes stance against Right-to-Work

Letter originally appeared in Crawford County Now. You can read it on the site by clicking here.

I write in response to Rep. Wesley Goodman’s (R-Cardington) Feb. 27 op-ed. Like many statehouse politicians, Rep. Goodman seems to be easily fooled by the deceptively-named “Right to Work.”

I’m a customer service representative for the Ohio Dept. of Job and Family Services and I assist unemployed workers. I’m also a mother, a neighbor and a taxpayer, and I spend my hard-earned dollars right here in Crawford County. As an active community member – not a statehouse politician – I can tell you that Right to Work is WRONG. It’s wrong for middle and working class families. Wrong for Ohio. Don’t trust it. Ohio is surrounded by a desert of Right to Work is Wrong states. In these states, wages are lower. Workers in Right to Work is Wrong states make $681 less every month than workers in free bargaining states, like Ohio. $681! That pay cut is devastating to families, and it hurts our communities too. Less wages means less spending at local businesses. And that hurts everyone.

Right to Work is Wrong strips workers of their voices and that makes workers less safe. Death rates on the job are 49 percent higher in Right to Work is Wrong states. Workers put up with unsafe working conditions – at risk of losing their lives – to avoid being fired for simply speaking up.

What makes Right to Work is Wrong states even worse is the lack of jobs and opportunities. Right to Work is Wrong laws don’t create jobs. What businesses are looking for when they move and hire is a well-trained workforce and great communities. And good businesses are willing to pay good wages for skilled workers in healthy communities.

Compared to these other states, Ohio is a free bargaining oasis. And we can attract more businesses by continuing to be a free bargaining oasis.

Right to Work is WRONG. Don’t trust it.

Jackie Stuckert
Bucyrus, OH 44820


AFSCME Utility Workers on the Job 24/7

On the job rain or shine, day or night, public employees across Ohio are at work providing water to our homes and fire protection to our communities.

Water main breaks are often due to Ohio’s winter weather, but they can occur at any time of the year. They happen on both older and newer water lines.

While the pressurized lines are buried nearly 4 feet deep to keep them from freezing, intense cold and extreme swings in temperature “can cause the ground above the pipes to shift which can put a lot of stress on the lines,” said Chip Moore, president of AFSCME Local 1632, which represents Columbus city workers.

“We have about 150 people who maintain the 3,518 miles of water mains belonging to the City of Columbus. The crews work two shifts, but our members are on call 24/7. They are an incredibly skilled and dedicated workforce” he said.

According to Moore, the city utility department delivered an average of 133 million gallons of water daily to the Greater Columbus area and also maintain the city’s 25,611 fire hydrants.

From large cities to small towns AFSCME members keep the water flowing – including AFSCME Local 100 members in Cleveland who maintain the city’s nearly 5,200 miles of underground pipes and water mains.  And in Toledo, where AFSCME Local 7 members are responsible for more than 1,100 miles of water mains and more than 10,000 fire hydrants, and Cincinnati where AFSCME Local 240 members supply the area with more than 48 billion gallons of water a year.

Athens Child Care Provider Honored

Athens independent child care provider Juanita McLead is being honored as the 2017 “Child Care Provider of the Year” by the Ohio Children’s Hunger Alliance.
An AFSCME Child Care Providers Together supporter, McLead has been an in-home child care provider since 1983. “I appreciate this honor because child care providers and the Alliance make a difference in the lives of a lot of children,” she said.“I still see many former clients around town and they’re now young adults. They remember me and I enjoy seeing their success. I know the care we provide makes for successful parents too.”According to McLead, the Alliance provides food assistance across the state especially in high child poverty areas like Southeastern Ohio. “If it was not for the Alliance, the parents would have to provide meals for the children, which because of the family income, can be a hardship and may not be adequate or nourishing.”Founded in 1970, Children’s Hunger Alliance is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger.The Alliance partners with more than 900 organizations throughout Ohio to provide nutritious meals to at-risk children who need them most. The Alliance provides resources for balanced, healthy meals to day care providers, day care centers, local school districts and after school and summer programs.

The Children’s Hunger Alliance, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio with regional offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo, has a team of 65 professionals throughout the state who are passionate about ending childhood hunger in Ohio’s 88 counties.

Volunteer Firefighters Choose AFSCME

Ohio Council 8 members in the Cincinnati Region welcomed their newest members with the addition of the volunteer firefighters serving the city of Mt. Healthy, who recently voted to form an AFSCME Local union.

Representing 23 members, the new local is now in negotiations with the city. “We are the only department that is not represented by a union”, said Todd Marshall, who has been with the department for 24 years. “We are just looking for fairness, and improving our wages and benefits across the board,” he said.

The Mt. Healthy Fire Department provides firefighting, rescue, haz-mat, and Intermediate-level EMS service in a 1.4 square mile area serving 6,100 citizens.

The department, which was an un-paid volunteer force until 2004, averages about 1,250 runs a year. In 2015 they answered 1025 EMS calls and 225 fire calls.


 Right to left, Firefighters Logan Tuscany and Todd Marshall

Right to left, Firefighters Logan Tuscany and Todd Marshall

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