AFSCME Relaunches State Council to Focus on Growth and Activism for Florida’s Working Families

In a move designed to both better reflect the breadth and depth of workers represented across the state and to better the position the union for future growth, Florida leaders of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) voted to rename their state council.

Following a vote by the executive committee, AFSCME Council 79 has been reorganized into AFSCME Florida 979 Organizing Committee. The executive committee, which is comprised of union members and leaders representing every part of the state and every type of member AFSCME represents, believed the new name reflects the reality of what AFSCME has grown to become in the Sunshine State.

“The fact is that because we are state, county and municipal employees, as well as school employees and private-sector workers, you can find AFSCME members serving our communities in every county and almost every town every day,” said Marcellous Stringer, a Miami-Dade County sanitation services member with AFSCME Local 3292.

It is a change that can already be seen and felt across the state. AFSCME Florida has recently launched 10 new organizing drives, pushed back against multiple outsourcing and other attacks on members and has even completely rebuilt their website at The website is accompanied by an expanded internal and external communications efforts along with new Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“With additional staff, resources and a clear mandate from our members, AFSCME Florida is built for growth,” said AFSCME Florida Executive Director Andy Madtes. “This new council and its members will fight back effectively when challenges arise while keeping our focus on the bold and determined action necessary to improve the lives of our members and all working people.”

And it is a change that will be felt in legislative chambers big and small across the state and even nationally.

“We are doubling down on our efforts this year and throughout 2016 to ensure working families have a clear, loud and respected voice at the bargaining table, at the ballot box and in the legislative chamber,” said Glenn Holcomb, a juvenile probation officer with the state of Florida and a member of Local 3041, covering Palm Beach and Broward Counties. “Growth means more members standing together on behalf of our families, neighbors and coworkers and that won’t stop when the workday ends.”