Posts tagged AFSCME

    Voluntary Recognition of Unions Is Increasingly Popular Among U.S. Employers

    January 23, 2023 // In January 2023, Microsoft recognized a union of playtesters at its subsidiary ZeniMax Studios; Major League Baseball voluntarily recognized minor league players’ choice to join the Major League Baseball Players Association in September; workers at a number of media organizations had their unions recognized throughout 2021 and 2022; and mission-driven organizations such as charities, museums, civil rights and environmentalist groups, think tanks, and other nonprofits all voluntarily recognized worker unions as well. Other businesses, including The Metals Company, Forever Energy, and the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, signed neutrality agreements with unions, under which the firms agreed to refrain from engaging in anti-union tactics during an election. Some companies have communicated that they have pursued voluntary recognition because their own organizations’ goals broadly align with those of workers. In particular, a number of mission-driven organizations have opted for voluntary recognition in recent years, including the Whitney Museum, the Shed, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles, the Brookings Institution, the National Center for Transgender Equality, Capital Roots, Code for America, and others. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a national nonprofit that litigates to protect civil liberties, first voluntarily recognized the unionization of national staffers with the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 70, also called the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union, in 2021.* One of the ACLU’s state affiliates, the ACLU of Texas, also recognized its workers’ choice to unionize with United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2320 in 2022. Indeed, as the ACLU of Texas stated after recognizing its employee union: Media and news organizations have seen some of the largest voluntary recognition agreements signed in the United States. Along with workers at Politico, The Atlantic, Public News Service, The State, and others, employees at Condé Nast won voluntary recognition for their staff union with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in 2022. Spurred on by their co-workers at The New Yorker and other Condé Nast publications that voted in favor of joining the NewsGuild-CWA in 2018, these workers organized a union that covers 500 workers, including 100 subcontractors. Workers have also won voluntary recognition in the entertainment industry, including at the International Documentary Association, Seven Seas Entertainment, and the iHeartPodcast Network, as well as through the Animation Guild.

    Philly’s largest municipal union has endorsed Jeff Brown for mayor in a surprise vote

    January 18, 2023 // Garrett said the union invited all of the mayoral candidates to speak before the board except former Councilmember and real estate magnate Allan Domb. Garrett said Domb’s record was not in line with his members’ values. Although many of the other candidates, as veteran city officials, have more experience with the union, Brown won the board over during the interview process, Garrett said. Jeff Brown, mayor

    Maryland Gov. Hogan, largest state employee union reach deal on worker pay

    January 2, 2023 // The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Maryland Council 3 announced late Saturday that the two sides struck a deal affecting more than 30,000 state workers.

    Oregon teachers quit union, Kansas teachers need legislative relief

    December 13, 2022 // Oregon school districts added about 2,100 teachers in the last school year, but union membership in the Oregon Education Association (OEA) dropped by almost 500. Jason Dudash, Freedom Foundation Oregon Director in Oregon, says the membership decline disclosed in internal documents obtained by his organization indicates unions have overstepped their authority in the classroom. “Teachers are realizing their unions support policies that are actively harming the students and profession they love. In Oregon and across the country, thousands of teachers are telling their union, ’We’re sick of this, and we’re done with you.’ That may seem like a crisis for the unions, but it’s great news for the rest of us.

    Michigan teachers unions continue to shed members

    December 9, 2022 // The latest report from the state’s largest education union shows that the Michigan Education Association shed 1,000 members since the previous year, continuing a trend. The number comes from the LM-2, a financial report the MEA and other labor unions must file with the U.S. government. According to the report, MEA’s revenue decreased to $84.2 million, and its membership stands at its lowest in at least 22 years. Michigan has a right-to-work law, which prevents unions from getting a worker fired for not paying union dues or fees. When the law was enacted in 2012, the MEA had 117,265 members. The number has dropped consistently in the last ten years, reaching to 79,839, a 31.9% decline.

    Storm King Workers Push to Unionize Amid Art Center’s $45 M. Revamp

    November 23, 2022 // Employees at the Storm King Art Center, a sculpture park in upstate New York, announced plans to unionize late last month, the Art Newspaper reported Tuesday. The move follows the non-profit’s announcement in August of a $45 million revamp of its campus. Staff organizers, who come across numerous departments of the outdoor destination, detailed their plans to join the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), an affiliate branch with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

    Tennessee adds right-to-work to state constitution

    November 10, 2022 // Tennessee sent a clear message around the country yesterday: Worker freedom is a constitutional right that must be protected. Voters approved Amendment 1 by a two to one margin, elevating right-to-work from law to a constitutionally protected right in Tennessee. The amendment swept all 95 counties in the Volunteer State. Gov. Frank Keating, Gov. Bill Haslam, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally,

    South Jersey Bus Drivers Win Back Illegally-Seized Dues Money in First Amendment Lawsuit Against IFPTE Union Officials

    October 27, 2022 // A settlement has now required IFPTE union officials to return to Foxworth and several other drivers all dues money taken from their paychecks unconstitutionally, plus interest. The settlement also bars the IFPTE union from demanding or seizing any dues from the drivers going forward. The drivers argued that IFPTE officials violated their First Amendment rights recognized in the 2018 Foundation-won Janus v. AFSCME Supreme Court decision. In Janus, the Court declared it a First Amendment violation to force public sector workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment. It also ruled that union officials can only deduct money from the paycheck of a public sector employee who has voluntarily waived his or her Janus rights.

    Strike by Philadelphia Museum of Art workers shows woes of ‘prestige’ jobs

    October 10, 2022 // Organizing one workplace can serve as an example for other similar workplaces to do the same. Adam Rizzo, art museum educator and one of the union’s leaders, says when it formed, it also created a new chapter, Local 397, which employees at other museums could join.

    Striketober Is Back As Workers Fight To Close The Wage Gap

    October 4, 2022 // Strike Activity Heats As Workers Grapple With Covid Inequities Workers have long been frustrated by a wide range of issues–from low wages to poor working conditions, but Covid brought these problems into sharp relief. Workers who interact with customers in person, from medical staff to restaurant workers, realized that while companies considered them essential, they also considered them expendable. As the immediate horrors of Covid fade into the rearview, the way workers were treated has left a permanent scar. The combination of a lack of basic benefits (like healthcare), poor working conditions, unfair labor practices and the extreme wealth disparity between business owners and workers has triggered action—which is now showing up in worker walkouts, says Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.