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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.

All-knowing sources of information. Tour guides to the highways and byways of history. The friendly voice of a morning story time.

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.

North Providence – Today, Rhode Island Council 94, AFSCME, AFL-CIO announced the appointment of Alexis Santoro as Executive Director, effective April 2019.

Workers in Missouri and New Mexico have chalked important victories against anti-worker laws that would have robbed them of their voices and the right to bargain collectively.

In Missouri, two separate anti-worker measures, HB 1413 and SB 1007, were halted by state courts last week.

In its Feb. 27 editorial (“Getting R.I.’s sheriffs in line”), The Providence Journal criticized Rhode Island’s Division of Sheriffs on the grounds that large numbers of sheriffs have been out with injuries, some for years, collecting pay tax-free. It characterized the problem as a “mess” that the incoming state police superintendent needs to “clean up.”

Our sheriffs deserve better.

LAS VEGAS — More than 160 AFSCME members gathered in Las Vegas last week to lift up the voice of public service workers and move our union forward.  

At the AFSCME Volunteer Member Organizer Rise Up conference, VMOs from around the country attended skill-building training sessions and visited Nevada state employees to share the vision of improving the quality of public services and the lives of those who provide those services. 

A federal court has ruled in favor of working families and against wealthy special interests in Danielson v. AFSCME Council 28, a case out of Washington state.