Brothers and Sisters,I thank you for sending VP John Rose and myself to represent Local 528 at the 41st International convention of AFSCME July14th-18th. While at the convention representing our Union we were able to meet many Brothers and Sisters from around the country, learn about the challenges they are facing, share our experiences in RI and discuss the battles being won from coast to coast. The week was filled with informative workshops, committee work, a large organizing effort as well as inspirational speeches from our International President Lee Saunders, and Secretary Treasurer Laura Reyes where our path forward for the next 2 years was articulated and laid out.One of the many highlights of this years convention came when our very own VP John Rose was appointed to a commission charged with discussing the threat of privatization culminating with a stage appearance proudly describing the battle against the privatization of DPW services in North Providence one of many battles we have recently won against the short sighted and costly move to privatize vital services. These battles are being waged all over the country and Brothers and Sisters I am proud to report in many cases we are winning!The second highlight of the week culminated in a large rally which I am proud to report shut down several blocks of downtown Chicago. The rally was a launching point in an effort to organize 12,000 cab drivers in the city of Chicago. I could not have been more proud to be surrounded by men and women who represent the backbone of our country in support of cab drivers who are being squeezed, forced to work for less money, except credit card fees no matter how small the fare, and are exposed to a ridiculous discipline system within the city where they face outrageous fines for minor infractions.Brothers and Sisters the theme of this years convention was Bold, Brave, and Determined. After spending the week with several thousand members of AFSCME representing every state plus Puerto Rico I am convinced now more than ever if we continue to stand together as we did for cab drivers in Chicago we will not only survive we will move forward as a stronger union.The same lessons hold true here on campus if we the members of Local 528 continue to stand together as we have for so long, continue to look out for each other, and display the dedication and commitment to the important work we do there is no fight to great, no hill to steep, and no challenge to great to overcome!Brothers and Sisters I am proud to be part of AFSCME, proud to be part of RI Council 94, and most proud to be a member of Local 528! The 41st AFSCME International Convention served to reaffirm my pride in our movement, bolster and re-energize the commitment I have made to you, and remind us all we are not alone in our fight for workers. We are 1.6 million strong and together we will protect the rights of working men and women.I look forward to resuming membership meetings in September and throughout August look forward to seeing everyone on campus. Thank you for your support, and most importantly for the commitment and dedication displayed to each other.Click link below to watch video of the Chicago Cab Driver rallyClick link below to watch President Lee Saunders keynote speechIn Solidarity,
Brothers and Sisters,
It is hard to believe the 4th of July is only a few weeks away and not long after Rhode Island will elect a new Governor. First September 9th (Primary) and then again on November 4th (General Election) we will have an opportunity to elect a candidate who respects workers and the services we provide.
I would like to use this opportunity to urge everyone number one register to vote and two be sure to vote both in September as well as in November. I look forward to working with you this Summer in an effort to elect candidates who truly respect working men and women. The most important steps we can take right now aside from being registered to vote is to begin to educate ourselves on the issues, and the candidates statewide. Remember for all the damage the Treasurer did to our retirement security it was the General Assembly who passed the legislation enacting the single most harmful pension cuts in the country to date. If you need assistance registering to vote please contact the Union Office.
In the coming months there will be opportunities for Local 528 members to take an active role (phone banks, door knocking, get out the vote efforts, etc…..) to date we have received an outstanding number of commitments and I would like to encourage everyone to take part. We are all busy with day to day life however I maintain there is no greater cause than collectively in solidarity working through the political process in order to protect our jobs and each other. The only way to reverse the attacks on public employees in our state is elect candidates, and protect elected officials who have respect for workers. The only way to accomplish this is through time, effort, dedication and hard work. In a time when Local 528 can count on a shrinking number of elected officials we must look within and count on each other!
PENSION LAWSUIT- The State has requested Judge Taft-Carter to add any/all cities, towns, water boards, quasi government agency, etc…..with an intersest as defendants in the court case. As of today there has been no decision rendered.
As I stated at the May membership meeting later this summer we will be getting together as a union to discuss moving forward with the suit, how we fund the lawsuit, estimated length, and other related topics.
CONTRACT (raises)- Since the budget was released last week there has been much speculation regarding the funding of our upcoming raises. In response to the speculation I would like to be clear as president Downey articulated late last week we have a signed contract and anticipate the state following the contract. I share these sentiments and like you am eagerly awaiting our 3 well deserved raises over the next 18 months.
August 10th last day for primary voters registration
September 9th primary election day
September 9th Local 528 general membership meeting (scheduled)
October 5th last day general election voter registration
November 4th general election
Below please find the link to contact info for both the House/ Senate
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