Ken Haynes Elected Vice President Ohio AFSCME Council 8 Columbus Region

AFSCME Council 8 congratulates Ken Haynes, who was elected Vice President of the Ohio AFSCME Council 8 Columbus Region.  He has served as President of AFSCME Local 954, Franklin County Engineers Department, and was elected to his current post at a mini-convention held in the Columbus region.

Haynes was a dedicated member mentored by former President Jim Mattox. Ken has been employed by the County for twenty years as an auto mechanic. As an active member and eventually President of his Local, he constantly worked to accomplish Council 8s agenda to secure better salaries and working conditions for all union members.

He replaces former regional vice president AFSCME Local 2191 Columbus Health Department member James Hicks, who resigned to pursue an advanced degree.




AFSCME: World’s Greatest!

Tomorrow the ION Network will air a segment featuring AFSCME, dubbing us the world’s greatest public sector labor union. It features footage of AFSCME members serving their communities as I talk about our proud history.

If you want to watch “World’s Greatest!…” live, visit and click on the location icon to find the channel listings for your cable provider (illustrated below). The schedule for Episode 228 is here.

If you don’t have access to The ION Network, you can watch the video above.

Thank you for all that you do.

Lee Saunders
President, AFSCME

Cincinnati Unions Key to Successful Book Drive

Cincinnati Council 8 members helped a community book drive surpass its goal of furnishing 3,000 books to the city’s elementary schools.  In fact, AFSCME unions were responsible for nearly half of the 3,400 books collected during the two-week effort.

“Our goal was to place one new book in the hands of each student in kindergarten through third grade before the start of summer vacation – and we succeeded,” said Gina Pratt, president of AFSCME Local 3119, representing the city’s public health nurses. According to Pratt, summer reading is critical for every student, and especially important in helping to meet Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

Each book given to a student will come with corresponding activities and will encourage summer reading through incentives tied to a student’s school.

“This is our way of giving back to the community,” said Cincinnati Regional Director Renita Jones-Street.  “And in the front of each book there was a label naming the union that provided the book,” she said.


Cincinnati Book Drive

Members of the six AFSCME local unions representing city members who pitched in to help.

George Q. Johnson wins the 2016 Leo E. Dugan Labor Award

George Q. Johnson, has been serving as the AFSCME Ohio Council 8, AFL-CIO Akron Region Vice President from May 2014, to date and as a Delegate to the Tri-County Regional Labor Council AFL-CIO.

George states “when I became involved with the union I never expected to meet so many wonderful and caring people. I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to work for and be elected by, the membership of AFSCME 1360 on many different levels of our union. I am now back at the Division of Customer Service working as a Public Project Crew Leader, and loving every minute of it.”

George Q. Johnson is pictured below, accompanied by his daughters Tiffany (right) and Tia (left).


Community Action Derails City County Merger Plan

Public officials, AFSCME Local 101 members, leaders from the Dayton NAACP and local church and community groups succeeded in a drive that stopped a proposal to merge the governments of Dayton and Montgomery County.

“This is the first time in a long time that Republicans and Democrats are on the same page. The Mayor, the City Commission, and two out of three County Commissioners are against the plan,” said Ann Sulfridge, president of AFSCME Local 101, the union representing both city and county workers.

The final blow to the merger plan was delivered by the  Dayton City Commission’s recent decision to annex city-owned land in Greene County. Merging cities that cross multiple county boundaries is complicated and difficult under state law.

Dayton Mayor Ann Whaley said the city annexed the land to protect the water system and because it would impede consolidation efforts.

The merger plan put forward by the non-profit group “Dayton Together” would have consolidated the governments of Dayton and Montgomery County.

Supporters claimed a more unified local government structure can help build a stronger regional economy and save money by cutting costs and duplication of services.

However a closer look at other city/county mergers showed little long term saving and a lot of citizen discontent.

Critics also said the merger would have disenfranchised 140,000 Dayton voters and given suburban voters control over city operations. They also took exception to the behind-closed-doors way the plan was drafted.

Dayton Together has pulled its merger proposal and now plans to focus on achieving savings through shared services.

“AFSCME has always worked with the both city and the county at the bargaining table to provide efficient public services.  We’ve always been open to ideas that produce real savings while maintaining the high quality of the services our members now provide,” Sulfridge said.


Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, center, speaks for the coalition in opposition to city county merger plan.

Pullman Strike of 1894: When Labor Day was Born

From The Chicago Tribune, September 4, 2011 by Ron Grossman 

Read the full article here.

On America’s mental calendar, Labor Day marks summer’s end with a reminder to close up beach cottages and get the kids to school. But the circumstances of its birth were bloodier. Legislation declaring the first Monday in September a national holiday was signed by President Grover Cleveland mere days before he sent the Army to violently squash the Pullman Strike of 1894.

Fourteen years earlier, George Pullman had built a self-sufficient community, south of what were then Chicago’s city limits, with factories, homes for the workers who built his famed sleeping cars and all the shops and schools its inhabitants needed. The Tribune saluted Pullman Town as “a model in its arrangements for the welfare of its citizens.”

But in 1893, with his business declining because of a depression, Pullman cut his workers’ wages — while holding them to their rents. He owned everything in town. “How long will it be before he owns you body and soul?” a labor organizer asked Pullman workers. They struck on May 11, 1894.

When railroad workers across much of the nation refused to handle Pullman’s cars, uncoupling them from trains and, in some instances, destroying them, a federal judge declared the strike an illegal interference with the mail.

In the midst of that unrest, Cleveland on June 28 established Labor Day, for which organized labor had been campaigning. With the situation in Chicago boiling over in the spring of 1894, it would have been impolitic for the Democratic president to resist the efforts of labor’s supporters in Congress.

But with railroad cars being sabotaged, Cleveland on July 3 ordered troops into Chicago. The Tribune reported: “Bayonets bristle from Grand Crossing to Harvey.” Pitched battles were fought in working-class neighborhoods until it looked like Chicago was descending into civil war. Soldiers rode on locomotives — “their mouths filled with cartridges, which protruded like steel tusks” — shooting their way through blockades. The Tribune described scenes right out of the French Revolution: “The women were hysterical and they urged the men to wipe the soldiers off the face of the earth.”

About two dozen were killed in clashes between soldiers and strikers, and the conflict’s momentum began to turn. “The shedding of blood brought the men to a realization of the folly of resisting United States authorities,” as the Tribune put it, and in August, Pullman’s factory reopened. It was a monumental setback for labor. The American Railway Union, the country’s largest union, disappeared, and with it the hope of organizing industrial workers until it was revived by the Congress of Industrial Organizations, four decades later.

But it was pyrrhic victory for Pullman. In 1898, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled a company town illegal, ordering it sold off, although the factory remained open until the 1950s.

The Pullman Strike became part of Windy City lore and labor history, but who now recalls that Labor Day, a holiday seemingly so bucolic, was born amid turmoil and bloodshed in Chicago?

Workers Memorial Day 2016

JAL_IntouchAs we observe Worker’s Memorial Day, it is important to note that according to a recently released report by the National Safety Council, workplace injuries have reached their highest level since 2008.

In 2014, the latest data available, 4,132 workers died in workplace related accidents — an increase of 6 percent over 2013. This is the first sizable increase in workplace deaths in 20 years.

Since OSHA went into effect, workplace fatalities have been cut by 62 percent and occupational injury and illness rates have declined 40 percent.

On Worker’s Memorial Day we need to remember those we have lost and renew our commitment to safety so we can save lives and reverse this trend.

Today we are up against the Tea Party radicals, fat-cat contractors, and billionaire businessmen who are working to turn back the clock on job safety by pushing state right-to-work laws.

In addition to lower pay and skimpy benefits, the rate of workplace injuries and deaths is higher in right-to-work states. How much higher? According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 36 percent higher.

Mother Jones’ said we must “mourn for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” That’s one more reason why we say “Right to Work is Wrong!”

Our fight for the living must be to stop the Ohio Legislature from passing a right-to-work law in the lame duck session on their way out the door after the November elections.

This is not just a political issue or only a union cause – it is truly a matter of life and death for every Ohio worker – and their families who will care for their injured and mourn for their dead.

Members Only Benefit: PayCheck Direct Gift Finder

Check out this special Members Only Benefit from PayCheck Direct! Click the picture below to visit the website and learn more.

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Financial Standards Training

Cincinnati union officers spent a sunny spring Saturday brushing up on their responsibilities as guardians of union funds under the AFSCME Financial Standards Code.

“These treasurers, trustees and officers do the most important, and often the least appreciated, work in the local union,” said AFSCME Ohio Council 8 First Vice President Harold Mitchell.

“Our union has one of the strongest financial standards codes in the labor movement, and it’s critical those who are elected to guard the unions funds receive the tools, training, and resources to do the job correctly,” he said.

The AFSCME Bill of Rights for Union Members” states that “members shall have the right to a full and clear accounting of all union funds,” which is something every AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Local union takes very seriously.

“Tax rules are always changing and it’s critical for our members to keep up with the latest developments,” said William Del-Pino, a Certified Public Accountant from AFSCME International’s Auditing Department, who was one of the main instructors.

The day-long workshop presents a comprehensive overview of the union’s financial standards code, including officer responsibilities and how to authorize and account for all union expenditures. Other issues dealt with record keeping, audits, and IRS filings.

The training also focused on tips and technology to make the job of record keeping easier and more accurate.

“As a newly appointed Executive Board member I found the training very informative and comprehensive,” said first time attendee Tyree Jackson, Executive Board member, AFSCME Local 250

The next workshop will be held in Columbus on April 30th, and May 14th in Cleveland.



Equal Pay Day is about making sure that EVERYONE gets equal work for equal pay–regardless of gender.

Visit AFSCME.ORG to find out more.


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