News

WFTS Tampa Bay reports: 

“As a bus driver these kids become your kids when they’re with you,” President of AFSCME Local 2227 James Hopson said.

American Red Cross (ARC) workers, including many AFSCME members, are rallying this week in cities nationwide to fight back against mistreatment from their employer and demand a fair contract.

With several hundred new custodians to Miami-Dade County Public Schools participating in training on everything from safety to how to manage their benefits, AFSCME Local 1184 members, along with AFSCME Florida staff, made sure the workers were welcomed and urged to join their union on Friday, October 15. Local 1184 President Phyllis LeFlore told the new employees that the first thing she did 36 years ago when starting to work for the district was to become an active member. At least 16 followed LeFlore’s lead that day and joined the union.

When contract negotiations started last fall, Jackson Health System workers had weathered multiple surges of COVID-19.

The hardworking front-line staff of South Florida’s largest public safety-net health system were hopeful that their next Local 1363 (AFSCME Florida) contract would recognize how they pulled together to serve their community even when patients levels were high and staffing levels were battered by infections, burnout and more.

It did.

Unions, worker justice organizations, labor-friendly elected officials and even representatives of the Poor People's Economic Campaign rallied Thursday, September 30, in Miami  to celebrate the voter-approved increase in the state's minimum wage. Janice Coakley, President of Local 3293 in North Miami Beach represented AFSCME Florida to recognize the importance of the measure, which will continue increases over the next several years:

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.

Following the explosive story by Lawrence Mower on the lack of transparency for state workers concerning COVID-19 exposure, the editorial board for Florida's largest newspaper weighed in. 

On Monday, September 27, Lawrence Mower, the Tallahassee Correspondent for the Tampa Bay Times / Miami Herald group, wrote an extensive piece detailing how state workers have been left in the dark, on purpose, about COVID issues in the workplace. 

"Gov. Ron DeSantis’ efforts to keep Florida open has been felt acutely by many state workers, some of whom have been among the earliest to return to in-office meetings," he writes. 

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?”