Wishing You Happy Holidays – President Fred Wright

Wishing You Happy Holidays – President Fred Wright

As we close out 2018, we are grateful for our positive outcomes from negotiations, which helped us maintain our standards of living. This includes pay increases and the continuation of medical and time benefits. These benefits are collectively bargained for periodically. So, having an active Union and an engaged membership is the key to achieving our goals, at the bargaining table. In 2018, we successfully negotiated contracts with the City of Philadelphia, American Friends Service Committee, First Judicial District, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Kaiserman JCC, and KleinLife. In each of these contracts, we had obstacles to overcome; such as, the looming Janus decision which affected public sector workers, resistance from management, and pending right-to-work laws in the state legislature. We overcame these challenges through the hard work of dedicated union members like yourselves. You voiced your concerns and your co-workers’ concerns and you demanded fairness and respect from management. Your recent demands for full funding for public libraries continues our struggle for improved working conditions for our members. Also, the hearing in city council and support for improvements regarding secondary trauma are aimed to improve members health and well being. We will continue to voice our concerns with city council and the administration as we did in 2018, to work toward bringing about these changes We will need that same collective power at the ballot box. I was proud to have members working the polls on November 6th. If you are not registered to vote, please do so. We need every vote on election day, to advance policies and elect people that support working people and union concerns. Voting is power, and we cannot afford to relinquish our right to vote. By voting, you can make a difference in local, state and federal government, and in turn, our work places, communities and families. As always, the officers and staff of AFSCME District Council 47 wish you and your families a pleasant Holiday Season and a very joyous New Year.

Neighborhood Networks Hosting Potluck November 28

Thank you all.  Your efforts this past Tuesday were instrumental in stemming the invasion of Middle Easterners from Central America who planned to infect us with smallpox and leprosy.  Because of you, Fox has no longer deemed the caravan as being a threat.  Good job.

Now, back to reality.  Three and a half years ago, frustrated by a State budget that arrived nine months late and carried very little new money for public education, I sent an email out to fellow activists about what we could do to change the State legislature.  The replies that I received were:

(1) Pennsylvania’s gerrymandered districts were too extensive to elect responsible legislators;

(2) Outside of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the State is incurably reactionary;

(3) Those legislative districts in question lack good progressives;

Over that ensuing time, a movement began that tested the veracity of those statements, and Tuesday’s results provided sufficient evidence to reject those claims.  Here is a “Before” and “After” snapshot of how your efforts impacted our government.

Before November 6                                                         

                        Governor                    US Senator               US Congress                          State House                 State Senate

Democrat            1                                     1                                 5                                           81                                  16

Republican          0                                     1                                13                                         122                                 34

After November 6                                                            

                       Governor                    US Senator                US Congress                     State House                      State Senate

Democrat            1                                    1                                   9                                      92                                        21

Republican          0                                    1                                   9                                     111                                        29

Yes, we still have work to do, but now we know that we can do it.  On Wednesday, November 28, from 6 to 8 PM, Neighborhood Networks is hosting a pot luck at Summit Presbyterian Church (6757 Greene Street).  If you did anything to help in our campaign to make Pennsylvania a more humane place to live and work, you are invited.  Come share your war stories with like minded folk and learn our future plans to turn PA Blue. 

Thanks again.    – Coleman