RI Council 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO 40th Convention

President, J. Michael Downey, called RI Council 94’s 40th convention to order at 10:00 AM today.  President Downey conveyed a very clear message to the more than 22 delegates and staff present this morning:

“I cannot stress enough the importance of each and every one of you and our members to vote in the upcoming November elections.  Our livelihoods depend on it.  In my 44 years of being a dues paying member of RI Council 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, the worst thing that occurred during my employment with the State of RI was not caused by the Union or even our administration but by the RI General Assembly at the State House, our senators and our representatives, the very people we elected to protect and defend our rights as taxpayers and public employees.  They eliminated longevity and reduced our pensions for most, if not all, workers.  Those two devastating actions by elected officers in the State House have devastated morale and reduced retention of hardworking state employees.”

President Downey highlighted the progress made in regaining some of what has been lost and made it clear that it could not have happened without the hard work of RI Council 94’s elected officers and staff.  Through their dedication and tireless efforts, President Downey stated that “we were able to get a reprieve with the 5 to 3 year change in the pension” and proudly to report to all present that RI Council 94 was successful in getting its members who work as public safety officers “to be treated with the same dignity and respect” as those who work in Rhode Island’s cities and towns.

In expressing the importance of the elections for the progress made at the State House, President Downey went on to state that “we must make it a priority to elect people that care about workers, that care about the work that public employees do.” and he urged everyone in RI Council 94 to join him in voting in the upcoming November elections. 

The convention delegates joined President Downey in voting to endorse Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representatives Seth Magaziner and Gabe Amo shortly before adjourning at 11:15 AM.