News

In a recent letter to the editor of the New London Day, Local 3419 President Chris Gardner pushed back against the constant attacks on Connecticut state workers.

Here is Chris's letter:

Megha Desai is a public defender in Multnomah County, Oregon. In a given week, she might work upwards of 60 hours. Right now, she has about 145 open cases.

Hamden,  CT, April 15, 2019 - Leaders of AFT Connecticut and Council 4 AFSCME today presented a joint donation to workers picketing outside the Dixwell Avenue Stop & Shop in Hamden.

Using the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME as a jumping-off point, Council 4’s biennial conference served as a call to action to maintain strength and solidarity in the face of stern challenges ahead.

More than 200 members participated in the conference, which took place April 5-7 in Groton, and embraced the theme of “Our Union, Our Future” as we engaged further in the fight to protect our rights and freedoms.

“The Janus decision was supposed be our funeral,” Executive Director Jody Barr said during his opening remarks to delegates. “But it wasn’t."

All-knowing sources of information. Tour guides to the highways and byways of history. The friendly voice of a morning story time. If that’s all you think of when you think of your library staff, you’d do well to meet some of AFSCME’s library workers, whose reach goes far beyond their libraries’ walls.

Today is National Library Workers Day, when we honor those professionals who keep our libraries running: librarians, technicians and other staff, including custodians, security and maintenance workers.

Fifty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to help rally the community around 1,300 AFSCME sanitation workers who had gone on strike.

In the 1980s, I was living and going to school in Minnesota when women who worked for state government won a big victory. They got the state to increase the pay of women in “female dominated jobs” by passing a pay equity bill. In other words, they put a dent in the gender pay gap. As a student, I researched and wrote about the process of crafting, passing and implementing that legislation. And I learned something that I have never forgotten: the union made it happen. And not just any union. Our union: AFSCME. 

Our union gained more than 9,000 dues-paying members and nearly 19,000 dues-paying retirees in the last year, suggesting that billionaires and corporations are failing in their effort to “defund and defang” public service unions.

Council 4, a union representing 30,000 workers across Connecticut, has donated $2,000 to support Veterans OASIS (Operation Academic Support for Incoming Service Members) at Manchester Community College.

Sandy DeCampos of AFSCME Local 991 (Town of Manchester), a member of the Council 4 Veterans Committee, presented OASIS Program Coordinator Michelle LaBelle with the donation from the union’s Veterans Committee.

Training union members to be strong advocates for their co-workers and defenders of their contractual rights and freedoms is a critical part of the AFSCME mission.

“Our union is only as strong as our activist core,” said Council 4 Education Coordinator Joe Aresimowicz. “That’s why we’re dedicated to providing training that meets the needs of our union members.”

The election of Council 4 AFSCME officers took place on March 15, 2019 at our union headquarters in New Britain, CT.

The results are as follows:

Executive Director
Jody Barr, 17,725 votes
Charles DellaRocco, 3,735

President
Bernie Bombardier, 17,544 votes
Ian Shackleton, 3,169 votes

Judicial Vice President Seat
Dana Beecham-Brown, 17,120 votes
Sotonye Otunba-Payne, 2,625 votes
Charles Marino, 983 votes