AFSCME Strong – Keep The Pedal to the Metal

JAL_IntouchThe unexpected death of United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the court’s deadlock 4 to 4 ruling in the “Friedrichs” case has rocked the judiciary and the political universe.

While it’s a significant victory, it changes nothing about the continuing threat we face from the state-by-state creep of right-to-work laws and an anti-union bill in the Ohio legislature. Now is not the time to take our foot off the gas pedal.

The court’s tie vote upholds current law and kicks the can down the road to a future court. This issue is far from over. And neither is the risk before us because there are several other cases moving up the judicial pipeline that are of great concern to us.

There is no clearer illustration of what’s at stake when it comes to the Supreme Court.

Blocking President Obama from exercising his constitutional duty to fill a Supreme Court vacancy is taking obstruction and political game playing to a new and dangerous level.

The next president will have the potential to shape the character of the court for the next 20 years and beyond.  That’s why it is critical to elect a President who will appoint individuals who will act for the American people, and are not beholden to special interests and the 1%.

Our fight continues, but we have been given the gift of time. Let’s make the most of it. We must continue to stay AFSCME Strong because AFSCME never quits.

Click here to visit AFSCME Strong and see how you can join the fight.

MetroHealth approves new contract

Members of AFSCME Local 3360 at Cleveland’s MetroHealth Hospital came away from the bargaining table with a strong contract that includes wage increases and breakthroughs on several long-standing issues.

Topping the list of gains are 2 percent across-the-board pay raises in each year of the three-year contract covering 1,900 bargaining unit members.  In addition, the union won a long overdue increase in the shift differential for second and third shift workers, raising the sift premium from 60 to 80 cents per hour.

“And we made real progress on mandatory overtime and sick leave for employees with a contagious disease,” said AFSCME Local 3360 President Julie Albers.

According to Albers, the union was able to win employees the right to refuse mandatory overtime once a year with no discipline. “You may have tickets to a concert or be in a childcare crunch so this will be a big help. And it also holds the administration accountable to plan staffing better,” Albers said.

Sick leave policy changes now protect workers who have a contagious disease like a strep infection or pink eye from burning through their sick leave while quarantined. “Now, with a doctor’s note, they will only be charged for the first eight hours they are off, even if it takes two or three days to fully recover,” Albers said.

In addition to Albers, The negotiating committee included Melanie Salem, Robin Lagorin, Michael Lancaster, Julie Albers, Kevin Smith, Theodor Jefferson, Michelle Sigler, and Roosevelt Jamison.

 

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(L to R) Melanie Salem, Robin Lagorin, Michael Lancaster, Julie Albers, Kevin Smith, Theodor Jefferson, Michelle Sigler, and Roosevelt Jamison.

 

Friday Labor Folklore: March 18

The Force Feeding of Alice Paul

It was shocking indeed that a government of men could look with such contempt on a movement that was asking nothing except such a little thing as the right to vote.

Alice Paul

Alice Paul, the American feminist and suffragist, led a successful campaign for women’s suffrage that resulted in the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920.  A founder of the National Woman’s Party (1916) she helped to organize picketing outside the White House demanding that President Wilson take action to secure voting rights for women.

In 1917 the picketers began to be arrested on the trumped-up charge of “obstructing traffic.”  When they refused to pay the fine the arrested suffragists were taken to Occoquan Workhouse, a rat-infested prison in Virginia.  There Alice Paul and her compatriot, Rose Winslow, began to stage a hunger strike.

“Paul chose hunger striking to show that she was willing to give her life for suffrage. Her own sacrifice would thus constitute a powerful form of nonviolent persuasion and pressure because no warden wanted to be responsible for the severe illness or death of this well-known leader.”

AFSCME 2

“As Paul’s hunger strike continued, she was threatened with force feeding.  In response, her supporters telegrammed commissioners and the warden and secured physicians to make statements for the press about the dangers of a hard tube being forced down the throat to shove food into the stomach.  Although protests appeared in newspapers, the threats of force-feeding turned into reality.”

“Yesterday was a bad day for me,” reported Rose Winslow in a letter smuggled out of jail by friends. “I was vomiting continuously during the process.  The tube had developed an irritation somewhere that was painful.  Don’t let them tell you we take this well.  Miss Paul vomits much, I do too.  It’s the nervous reaction, and I can’t control it much.  We think of the coming feeding all day. It is horrible.”

Fourteen other imprisoned women – at Occoquan Workhouse and at the District Jail – began their own hunger strikes. “Dr. Gannon then forced the tube through my lips and down my throat, I gasping and suffocating with the agony of it,” one woman wrote.  “I didn’t know where to breathe from and everything turned black when the liquid began pouring in.”

Alice Paul was subjected to force feedings three times a day. Despite her poor health and deteriorating condition she refused to stop her hunger strike.  After three weeks prison authorities transferred her to the psychiatric ward.Edited from Alice Paul and the American Suffrage Campaignby Katherine H. Adams and Michael L. Keene, Univ. of Ill. Press, 2008.

‘Fighting for Racial and Economic Justice’ Committee Holds First Meeting

The Committee on Racism and Economic Justice created by delegates to Ohio Council 8’s 21st Biennial Convention held its first meeting in Columbus to begin setting goals and defining AFSCME Ohio Council 8’s role in confronting racism and promoting economic justice.

The unanimously approved resolution was inspired “by the realization that America is in a moment of real change and labor needs to be a part of it,” said Ohio Council 8 President John A. Lyall.

“These individuals are ready to get down to work and make this an activist committee that’s going to be a powerful voice for our union,” he said.

AFSCME International facilitators Tiska Pasipanodya and P.J. Dowsing-Buie, along with AFSCME Ohio Area Field Services Director Boyd McCamish, led a discussion that enabled committee members to share their common ground and explore their individual perspectives.

According to Lyall, the committee will join with the national and Ohio AFL-CIO, and partner with movements like Black Lives Matter, The Fight for $15, and other groups and community allies “in a determined effort to tackle racial and economic injustice wherever we find it – at work or in our communities,” Lyall said.

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AFSCME Ohio Area Field Services Director Boyd McCamish leads a discussion on recognizing “dog whistle” politics.

Folklore Friday: Women’s History Month

Rosaura Revueltas in Salt of the Earth (1954) Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 5.54.00 PM

Everybody knows this infamous line from the movie ‘On the Waterfront’ – a propaganda movie about corrupt union bosses that Hollywood gladly made. But not too many folks know about ‘Salt of the Earth’ – a movie whose makers were blacklisted and terrorized by the U.S. government, major Hollywood studios, and other criminals. You thought Michael Moore had it bad having to deal with death threats? Nothing taken away from Moore’s efforts, but the makers of this simple movie were terrorized far worse. Click here to watch the video.

 

National Women’s Hall of Fame Honors

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Dolores Huerta

(United Farm Workers, AFL-CIO)
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Ohio Council 8 Child Care Unions Still Serve Members

Even stripped of their collective bargaining rights under Ohio law by Gov. John Kasich,  AFSCME Local 4025 Child Care Providers Together members continue to meet and support their union.

At their recent monthly membership meeting in Columbus, the union provided training to help providers advance in the state’s “Step Up To Quality” program.

While the union is no longer able to collectively bargain for Ohio’s independent child care providers, “our members still have a voice with representatives on the state’s Childhood Development and the Early Childhood Development committees,” said AFSCME Local 4025 President Asyia Haile.

“Many of us still support the union because even without our bargaining rights, its still the best place to get the latest information and training,” added 24-year child care provider Tammy Garham.

It was nearly a year ago that Gov. John Kasich erased the right of independent in-home child-care workers to collectively bargain with the state.  AFSCME Ohio Council 8 had represented independent child care providers for more than seven years.

AFSCME Local 4025 represents child care providers in more than 15 central Ohio counties.

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Child care providers Jennifer Bump, left, and Tammy Graham from Mt. Giliad, Ohio, increase their skills as they time each other while experiencing the difficulty a handicapped child has buttoning and unbuttoning a shirt.

Members Only Benefit: AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Grace Davis and William Fogle Scholarships Now Available

Application Deadline for the two $2,500 scholarships is Monday, May 2, 2016  

The AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Executive Board is pleased to announce that applications for the 2016 AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Scholarships are now available.

This year’s scholarships are named in honor of AFSCME Ohio Council 8 leaders Grace Davis of Cincinnati and William Fogle of Toledo.

Grace Davis began her career as a public employee in 1967, when she was hired by the City of Cincinnati as a Licensed Practical Nurse.  As an LPN, she worked in various city departments including school health clinics.

In 1972, Davis joined AFSCME Local 1543, the local union representing the city’s clerical and technical employees, and was elected president in 1985. That same year she was also elected as a Cincinnati Regional Vice President, and served on the AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Executive Board until 1993.

In addition, from 1988 until 1993, she served on the AFSCME Ohio Care Plan Board of Trustees.

After retiring from the City of Cincinnati in 1993, she became the AFSCME Ohio Care Plan’s Cincinnati Office Manager in 1994, a job she held until retiring in 2007.

Davis passed away on January 7, 2014 at 79 years of age.

William “Bill” Fogle started his more than 50-year career in the labor movement in 1956.

As a young man Bill started as a construction worker and then landed a job in a shoe factory. Becoming a member of the factory’s union sparked his life-long passion for improving the lives of workers and their families.

Fogle went to work for AFSCME in 1969 as an International Union Representative serving various locals throughout the state. With the unification of Ohio’s district councils into Ohio Council 8 in 1978, he worked for Ohio Council 8’s Toledo region from 1978 through 2009.

Fogle was a seasoned negotiator, and a skilled member advocate in arbitration and grievance cases.  In addition, he excelled as CDL and Health and Safety Trainer.

Fogle passed away December 21, 2012 at the age 74.

Each year Ohio Council 8 provides a men’s and women’s scholarship for a son and a daughter of an AFSCME Ohio Council 8 member.  To be eligible for the four-year grants of $2,500 per year, an applicant must be a high school senior graduating in 2016, and be accepted at a four-year accredited college or university as a full-time student.

Parents must complete the verification of union membership, and be a member in good standing for at least one year prior to May 2, 2016.  Students must fill out the official scholarship application form, provide the requested high school academic records, and compose two essays, each between 350 and 500 words in length. One on “What AFSCME Means To My Family,” and the second, on their reasons for pursuing a college education.

Application forms can be downloaded HERE, or from the Ohio Council 8 web site at www.afscmecouncil8.org

AFSCME Ohio Council 8 First Vice President Harold Mitchell, chairman of the scholarship committee said, “We strongly encourage every eligible student to apply for these scholarships.”

Mitchell stressed that all applications must be postmarked no later than Monday, May 2, 2016.  In addition, it is suggested that applicants place their name on each page of their essays, and to ensure verified delivery to AFSCME Ohio Council 8, mail the application with a return receipt request.

The AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Scholarship Program was created in 1982.  In addition to Mitchell, the Scholarship Committee includes Cleveland Regional Vice President Julie Albers, Council 8 Trustee Kimberly Gaines, and Council 8 Secretary Treasurer Patricia Taylor.

 

Friday Labor Folklore

Featuring content from the ‘Friday Labor Folklore’ weekly email.

James Baldwin

James Baldwin
Novelist, playwright, social critic
(1924-1987)

“History does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us and are unconsciously controlled by it.”


Those who have no record of what their forebears
have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes
 from the teaching of biography and history.
— Carter G. Woodson
  Father of Black History Month

I am theater

by Lynn Nottage author of Sweat


 


 

 

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Ohio Council 8 member saves life

Tuesday, February 16th stared out as a normal day for AFSCME Local 2678 member Ray Barnhardt, a 15-year member of the campus police force at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in Cleveland Ohio. Little did he know he would be called on to save a student’s life before the morning was over.

Tri_C 004According to union President John P. Buettner, at around 10:30 that morning Officer Barnhardt was on Tri-C’s western campus when an out of breath student approached him saying “‘I need your help right now – a woman is going to jump,’ and the two took off running,” he said.

They raced to the main campus building which has a large, common area where they saw a woman on the second-story balcony surrounding room. She was on the outside of the railing holding on with one hand.

Barnhardt dashed up the stairs arriving just as the woman let go. Fortunately, he was quick enough to grab her and pull her to back safety.

“Had it not been for the intervention of Officer Barnhardt, she would surly have died. My co-worker got to her at the very last second as she let go, saving her life,” said Buettner, a long-time leader of the 160- member bargaining unit for offices and blue-collar college employees.

According to Buettner, a similar incident at the same location four years ago led the death of a student.

Each year Cuyahoga Community College’s 12 locations serve more than 55,000 credit and non-credit students. Tri-C opened in 1963 as Ohio’s first community college, and today, remains Ohio’s oldest and largest public community college.

 

 

AFSCME Volunteers Help Rehab Center

Mansfield city workers represented by AFSCME Local 3088 helped make last weekend’s telethon in support of the Rehab Center, which provides behavioral health services drug and alcohol treatment services in Richland County, a huge success.

The “The Rehab Telethon”, which stared in 1992, marked it’s 25th anniversary by raising $110,351 which will go toward filling in the gaps in the center’s programs, which also include service for children and adolescents.

“It’s great we all came together to help make life better for those utilizing rehab services – and that makes Mansfield a better community, too.” said Mapes, who is union president has worked 23 years for the city

The Rehab Center, which has been in existence since the mid-1950s originally focused on vocational rehabilitation.

It takes more than 300 people to put on the telethon, including behind the scenes volunteers and those on the phone banks.

Using money raised from the telethon, the center has been able to make up for cuts in state funding. The proceeds from the event account for about 5 percent of the agency’s overall budget.

 

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Phone: 614-841-1918
Fax: 614-841-1299