News

The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act was introduced today in the House of Representatives by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.). The bill, which currently has 144 cosponsors, would set a minimum nationwide standard of collective bargaining rights that states must provide. It would empower workers to join together for a voice on the job not only to improve working conditions but to improve the communities in which they work.

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.

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.

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?”