They're "Re-Membering" To Stick With Their Union

As more Americans realize unions may be their best bet to reverse economic trends that favor the rich and powerful, the labor movement faces relentless attacks from the very forces that benefit the most from economic inequality. Shadowy front groups funded by billionaires spend millions of dollars attacking unions in the courts, in the media, and at the ballot box. 

The recent Supreme Court ruling in the Janus vs. AFSCME case, which attacked the rights of millions of public service workers to join together in strong unions, was brought by the Illinois Policy Institute, part of the State Policy Network, a group of allied organizations pushing an anti-union agenda. The players include Connecticut's Yankee Institute, whose latest ploy is trying to scam public employees into dropping their union.

Council 4 members aren't falling for the con. They're "re-membering" to stick with their union by talking about the union difference to their co-workers, signing union recommitment cards, and being engaged in politics and legislation so we can better fight the attacks on our pay, our healthcare, our retirement and our jobs.

Here are a few of our members talking about why the union matters in a post-Janus age:

Merisa Williams

Merisa Williams, AFSCME Local 562, State NP-3 Administrative-Clerical: “In 2003, I was among the 2,800 state employees illegally laid off by former Gov. Rowland. Thanks to AFSCME and the state union coalition, I not only got my job back in 2004, but was part of a successful class action lawsuit against Rowland and the State. I never could have afforded this fight and won damages without my union representing me. The AFSCME difference is huge. That’s why I signed my recommitment card.”

Eric Prinzhorn

Eric Prinzhorn, 
AFSCME Local 1303-026, Southington Public Works, Parks & WPCA: “Our recent collective bargaining agreement with the Town of Southington provides continuous overtime after eight hours of work during a National Weather Service-named storm. The new language has made a big difference by boosting our pay and improving safety through staggered scheduling.  We would not have been able to win that language without being in a union and having the right to bargain.”

Robert Beamon

Robert Beamon, AFSCME Local 391, State NP-4 Department of Correction: “Our AFSCME NP-4 bargaining unit has negotiated strong contracts. Everything we have — from wages and benefits and safer working conditions to transfer rights and overtime scheduling — is because of our union. I’ll keep paying union dues so Council 4 has the resources to represent us at the bargaining table and the legislature, where our rights are under constant attack.”

Courtney Poirier

Courtney Poirier, AFSCME Local 3689, Killingly Paraprofessionals: 
“Being a school paraprofessional is rewarding and challenging. Council 4 has helped us become stronger advocates for our services by speaking up at board meetings and engaging the community. Our latest contract agreement includes a pay differential for paras who are assigned to children with special needs and paid time off to attend trainings. We get a huge return on our union dues.”