AFSCME holds "Unity Day" demonstrations
7 months ago
Union members picketed at 3rd and Maine in Quincy on Tuesday
The largest state employee union is planning a series of workplace demonstrations next week to draw attention to stalled contract talks with the state.
Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are organizing “Unity Day” events at state work sites. The events are to be held Nov. 13-15.
The demonstrations are intended to show the administration that AFSCME members will not accept the kinds of contract concessions being demanded by Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.
“Members who work on the front lines of state government are frustrated and frankly angry at Gov. Quinn’s lack of respect for their work and the essential services they provide,” said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall. “His administration has dragged out contract negotiations for nearly a year and continues to push for concessions that would reach into employees’ pockets, driving down their take-home pay.”
In a September email to members, AFSCME said the administration was demanding a pay cut for union workers, followed by a two-year wage freeze. It also said the administration was pressing to have workers pay more for their health insurance. In all, many workers could see a $10,000 reduction next year, it said.
Unity Day activities are being organized by individual locals and will vary by worksite. At some locations, Lindall said, union members may wear their green AFSCME T-shirts or other green apparel. Some may choose to display signs at their workplaces or have all employees take a break at the same time. Others may choose to have all employees gather outside of the workplace at the start of the day and walk in together.