News

In January 1993, Joann Mapp shared a powerful message on a conference call with newly elected President Bill Clinton.

The following is adapted from remarks delivered by President Saunders at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s Martin Luther King Day Breakfast on January 14, 2023.

Thanks to efforts by the Biden administration and AFSCME, many public service workers, 

We’ve said it before: Life is better in a union

Workers who belong to unions make more money than their nonunion counterparts. They have better health care insurance and retirement plans, more job security and safer working conditions. They’re happier.

Some of the nation’s largest cultural institutions accepted more than $1.6 billion in federal help to weather the coronavirus pandemic, but continued to let go of workers – even though the assistance was meant to shore up payrolls and keep workers on the job, according to a report released by AFSCME Cultural Workers United.

When Fran Krugen’s late husband was first diagnosed with diabetes, his insulin cost about $35 a bottle.

But Krugen, an AFSCME retiree from Arizona, will never forget the day when she and her husband went to the drug store to pick up his insulin and the pharmacist told them it now cost $900 a bottle.

“This was medication he needed to live, and we had insurance,” she said at a press briefing earlier this month. “We looked at each other and had to ask ourselves: Do we make the house payment? Do we buy food? Or do we pay for his medication?”

The pandemic has led many of us to take stock of our lives and our goals. For AFSCME New Jersey member LaTrenda Ross, the pandemic ignited a long-held dream—starting her own life coaching business.

“I was thinking about revamping my whole entire life,” recalls Ross, a member of Local 2306. “I was looking out for things I want to do, things I haven’t been going after.”

More Americans approve of labor unions today than at any time since 1965, according to annual Gallup poll results released around each Labor Day.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents – 68% – approved of labor unions. That means a clear majority of voters views labor unions favorably. Among adults 18-34 years of age, 77% approve of unions. Support is also high among those with annual household incomes under $40,000.

RICK EILANDER ELECTED PRESIDENT OF AFSCME COUNCIL 61

Todd Copley Elected Secretary/Treasurer at Biennial Convention This Weekend

URBANDALE – In convention this weekend, the delegates of AFSCME Council 61 unanimously elected Rick Eilander to be the next Council President. Eilander has been a union representative with the council since 2006, and most recently was an organizer working with locals and bargaining units to expand the reach of the union in their workplaces.

DANNY HOMAN ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT AS PRESIDENT OF AFSCME COUNCIL 61 AFTER 16 YEARS

New President to be elected at Council 61 Convention July 24th

DES MOINES – Danny Homan, President of AFSCME Council 61, today announced that he will retire at the end of his term. A new President will be elected at the union’s upcoming convention on July 24th. Homan, 68, has been an employee of Council 61 for over 33 years and was elected President in 2005.