Local News Wire

04/07/17: Martin Luther King Remebrance: April 4, 2017 marks the 49 year anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. King was in Memphis Tennessee to support and stand with over 1,300 of our union brothers from AFSCME Local 1733. He was there to support their strike for better and safer working conditions, and for basic respect as human beings. As the famous slogan said "I Am A Man." Let us remember and honor those who gave all for the labor movement.

01/16/17: Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike (1968): Today we celebrate MLK Day. In 1968, Dr. King was in Memphis, in support of sanitation workers; AFSCME Local 1733. Our Union brothers; who were not only fighting for decent wages and benefits. But for respect, fairness, and equality. Their signs read "I Am A Man". The most basic of human dignities; to be recognized as a human being. Let us remember that Dr. King gave his life for those principles; which AFSCME continues to fight for till this day. So let us remember Dr. King; not only as a Civil Rights Icon. But as one of labor's true friends. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends John 15:13.(King James Bible) Let us not forget history. Lest we want to repeat it. More.

11/19/16:  Good News About Pension Bad News: The estimated underfunding of America’s state public-pension plans is larger than ever, with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) putting the total at $5.6 trillion or almost one-quarter of the federal deficit. But as disturbing as this number is — and as hard as it will be for legislatures and municipalities to dig out of their financial holes — the pension problem has some redeeming features. More.

11/19/16:  NLRB's Micro-Union Ruling Hurts Workers:  Once upon a time, unions had to win elections fair and square to organize the workplace. And it required a majority of workers to form a collective bargaining unit. Today, though, thanks to the tools handed to Big Labor by the Obama Administration’s radical National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), workplaces across the country are bracing for a new type of union. More.

09/01/16: In U.S., Slim Majority Again Sees Unions as Helping Economy: By 52% to 41%, Americans say labor unions mostly help rather than hurt the U.S. economy. That is a reversal from 2009-2011, but is similar to pre-recession opinion. The 56% who approve of unions remains below the historical norm. More.

06/02/16: Mayor Gimenez Announces County Reaches Target Growth In Tax Rolls: For all those in our bargaining unit, we will be receiving a 4% COLA,  per Article 29 of our contract. This is in large part due to the collective efforts in our union. When we work together for the benefit of all; good things can and will happen. Moving forward; let us stay united and keep growing stronger. Follow links below for the Preliminary Tax Rolls from the Appraisers Office. The increase in taxes between Unincorporated (6.2%) and the Countywide tax (8.6%) equaled 14.8%; which was well above the 13% needed for us to earn our 4% COLA. See Mayors Announcement. See 2016 Estimated Taxable Values.

05/30/16:  Labor Department Expands Overtime Pay: A new May 18 overtime rule means a higher income or more time for family and friends—a better life overall—for millions of workers by closing a loophole in the law—the pretense of managerial or other specialized duties—to deny these workers overtime pay or require them to donate their labor, free of charge, in extra hours of unpaid work. The U.S. Labor Dept just increased the salary thresholds for workers to earn OT. The old threshold of $23,660 had not been updated for over forty years. This allowed employers to categorize employees making less than $7/hr as managers. The new threshold has been increased to $47,476, allowing about 12 million additional workers to now qualify for OT. This is great news for all workers; especially those who were not being properly compensated. While donations are accepted at the link below, it is not necessary. It is for these reasons that we have a union. So that workers get a fair days pay for a fair day work. It is together that we can achieve these victories. More

05/30/16: Your Fifith Amendment Right Not To Be A Witness Against Yourself: A law school professor and former criminal defense attorney tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police. Watch the video.

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Dear AFSCME Sisters and Brothers: Throughout our 75 years, AFSCME has always fought for a better future for public service workers and America’s working families. It was true in 1932 in Madison, WI when we started, continued when we received our official charter from the American Federation of Labor just a few years later in 1936, and is just as true today – as we continue the fight of our lives in Wisconsin and across the entire country.  And that’s why, today, we’re proud to share AFSCME’s storied history with you on our new 75th Anniversary website.  It tells the story of the women and men of AFSCME who have always made up the heart and soul of our union. Please take a few minutes to explore it today. More.

Americans' Support for Labor Unions Continues to Recover: Americans' approval of labor unions has jumped five percentage points to 58% over the past year, and is now at its highest point since 2008, when 59% approved. More.

Working America: The Department of Labor recently announced new regulations aimed at strengthening overtime pay protections so workers who make lower wages don’t end up putting in overtime hours for free. And right now everybody (including you!) has a chance to weigh in. Add your voice and let the DOL know where you stand. Click here to send a comment to the Department of Labor telling them to strengthen overtime pay protections.

When employees are made to work overtime without pay, they miss out on quality time with their loved ones and have a harder time caring for them. No one who goes to work full time should be living in poverty. While we can do a lot more to help working families make ends meet, the new rules are a step in the right direction. The guidelines will automatically extend overtime protection to at least five million additional workers and secure the overtime rights of another ten million. They will get more money by being compensated for working overtime, or more time to spend with their families.

Either way, it’s a win because workers will no longer run the risk of being wrongly denied overtime. These new rules are a good start—but we can still do even better for working families. Leave a comment for the Department of Labor telling them to strengthen overtime pay protections now.

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