AFSCME Iowa Council 61 - Every Day. Everywhere. Making Iowa Better.


November 25, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

This Thanksgiving I have much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family that is always there for me. I have the honor of serving as your Council president; every day I am able to work with my AFSCME sisters and brothers to better the lives of our families and strengthen our communities, our state, and our nation.

Thanksgiving is not just a time to reflect on what we have to be thankful for. It is also a time to think about how we can show our thanks and help those that are less fortunate. Once again, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is proud to be a sponsor of Toys for Tots in the KCCI viewing area. Also, many AFSCME Iowa Council 61 locals are involved in Toys for Tots and other charitable endeavors in their area. There are also Central Labor Councils that our members participate in that are taking part in efforts to assist those in need. I urge you to get involved in one of these efforts in your area; together, we can show the generous spirit of AFSCME members.

Another thing to think about is why there are so many in need. Over the past several decades, Americans have been increasingly confronting an economy that is out of balance. Rules have been manipulated by powerful corporations and CEOs to their benefit and at the expense of working people seeking to be paid fairly for the work they do. Our Union is at the forefront of the fight to change the rules and restore economic stability for American families. When a brother or sister asks you get more involved in our Union, please say yes – or even better, step up to the plate by volunteering.

As the holiday shopping season gets underway, you can also be conscious of fairness for working people when you shop. I urge you to avoid these retailers that will be open on Thanksgiving Day. While I understand that many workers have to work on Thanksgiving to provide essential public services (thank you to all AFSCME members working on Thanksgiving) or are working on Thanksgiving under a fairly negotiated collective bargaining agreement, that is not the case for these retailers. When you do your holiday shopping, please support Union-Made products (you can find a great list here) or small local businesses whenever you can do so.

Please have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

In Solidarity,

Danny Homan, President
AFSCME Iowa Council 61

Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds are at it again! The Branstad-Reynolds Administration is seeking to implement a massive tax cut without legislative approval. Their proposed changes to administrative rules could cost $46 million!

The Iowa Department of Revenue will be holding a public hearing on December 1st about the proposed rules:

Department of Revenue Public Hearing on ARC 2239C
Tuesday, December 1st
2:00 PM
Wallace State Office Building Auditorium
502 E 9th St, Des Moines, IA

We need as many people as possible to come and speak out against this proposed rule. Let us know you are planning on attending by clicking here and filling out the form.

At a time when the governor has vetoed funding for schools and mental health, it is absolutely outrageous that he is pushing through this massive tax cut for corporations in an underhanded manner.

If you can, please attend the hearing and speak out!

AFSCME Iowa Council 61 Holiday Party
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Starting at 5:00 PM
Dinner Served 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Airport Holiday Inn
6111 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, IA

Join us to celebrate the holiday spirit of giving, friendship, and solidarity. There will be lots of goodies, so bring the family to this Union family holiday party!

AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is proud to be a sponsor of Toys for Tots. We will be collecting new, unwrapped toys and monetary donations to Toys for Tots at the Holiday. Please bring a toy or monetary donation so that all can experience the joy of the holiday season.

Attention Parents: Santa will visit the party to greet our guests and visit with the children. If members would like for their own children to receive a toy from Santa at our holiday party, they should bring a separate, wrapped toy valued around ten dollars or less with their child’s name on it. We will be keeping those toys separate from those being donated to Toys for Tots.

November 16, 2015

Don Strong is proud to protect his community as a police officer. After working for several other police departments in Iowa and nine years of service in the Iowa National Guard, Don became a University of Iowa Police Officer in February and an AFSCME Local 12 member soon after.

On October 29th, Officer Strong was on patrol when he stopped a vehicle with a broken brake light. After speaking with the driver, he realized that none of the six children in the car were properly restrained.

Officer Strong could have written the family a ticket of up to $1,200. However, he realized that citing the family $1,200 “wouldn’t have made them any safer” and would have made it even more difficult for the family to afford the needed car seats.

Instead, Officer Strong decided the best way to keep the children safe was to purchase car seats for the family out of his own pocket. He knew that this decision would be “best for the children” and their family as they headed out on a long trip back to their home in Georgia.

“I knew what kind of car seats I needed; I am a child passenger seat technician,” said Officer Strong.

After purchasing the seats from a store, he installed the four seats and showed the family how to properly secure the children in the seats.

His AFSCME brothers and sisters are very proud of Officer Strong. “His actions on the day in question demonstrate the sort of great work on behalf of our communities that public sector employees do every day,” said Danny Homan, president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61.

Officer Strong looks forward to continuing his work as University of Iowa Police Officer. He noted that the University is a large, unique setting where it’s interesting and fulfilling to work in law enforcement. He also stressed that the support that he gets from his AFSCME brothers and sisters helps him do his work: “being union is great, knowing that my fellow Union members are there for me is very reassuring.”

November 11, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

As president of AFSCME Iowa Council 61, I have visited our members’ work sites all across the state. One work site that I have visited is the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. No matter what the reason for my visit, I always walk away with a sense of admiration for the veterans that reside there and a huge feeling of gratitude for their service and the sacrifices they made.

The veterans may seem like ordinary people when you first meet them, but the truth is that all of them have done extraordinary things. Each of their experiences are different in many ways but fundamentally are the same. For no matter where a war is fought or the reasons for the conflict, war is a heavy burden for those who serve. It is a burden they carry long after the guns fall silent. We owe so much to our veterans, their families, and those who never came home from the battlefield. The freedom we enjoy today would not be possible if not for the sacrifices of countless generations of those who served our nation.

I also leave the Iowa Veterans Home with admiration and gratitude for the AFSCME members who work there. Whether they are cleaning the Veterans Home, preparing meals, doing laundry, or providing nursing care, our members always seek to treat veterans and their spouses with dignity, respect, and caring. I think all AFSCME members can be especially proud this Veterans Day of their work and the work of other AFSCME members who work with our state’s veterans at different agencies and employers around Iowa.

On this Veterans Day, please show your appreciation for those who have served. If you know a veteran or the family of someone who gave their life in service to our country, please thank them for their sacrifice. If you live near a cemetery, visit it and leave flowers on the graves of those who have served our nation in conflicts recent and long past. Donate to a veteran’s charity of your choice. If it is your practice, say a prayer for those serving overseas and their families. In whatever way is meaningful to you, find a way to mark the day and pay tribute to its meaning.

I will spend this day thinking of my Dad, my Brother and my Son, all US Army Veterans. I will also spend today thinking of the Men and Women who I served with and the countless others who I know served. Their service, their sacrifice and their dedication is an inspiration to me. For those who made the ultimate sacrifice or who are POW-MIA, my prayers and thoughts will be for them this Veterans Day, God Bless Them.

In Solidarity,

Danny Homan, President
AFSCME Iowa Council 61
United States Army, October 1971 – August 1973

November 9, 2015

AFSCME Local 1868 is proud to support Toys for Tots. Look at all those toys their local is donating!

Click "Read more" to view a larger image of their donation.

Read more >>>

November 8, 2015

AFSCME Local 212 donated $1,000 to Mr. Goodfellow, a charity in Siouxland that brings joy to area children during the holidays. Check out the profile of their donation in the Sioux City Journal!

November 7, 2015

Our activism is making a difference! The federal government recently expressed concerns about the Branstad-Reynolds plan to outsource the management of Medicaid in Iowa.

However, this is only the first step and we cannot stop now! We need to keep telling the federal government's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reject the Branstad-Reynolds Medicaid Outsourcing plan.

Even if you have already submitted a letter to CMS, please do so again and help us stress how important this is to the lives of Iowans.

We can help stop this Branstad-Reynolds mess that will affect the health care of 560,000 Iowans. Click here to send your letter to CMS officials today!

Please make sure to use personal contact information from a personal computer/phone outside of work during non-work hours when contacting CMS.

October 28, 2015

AFSCME Local 2985 Donates to Patriot Guard Riders

CORALVILLE – Today, AFSCME Local 2985 presented an $1100 donation from their memorial fund to the Patriot Guard Riders at an event at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center. Steve Cox, the Patriot Guard Riders Iowa State Captain, was on hand to accept the donation.

“Patriot Guard Riders help the families of heroes preserve a dignified environment for families to pay their respects to their lost loved ones. We are proud to support the Patriot Guard Riders and their mission,” said AFSCME Local 2985 President Marty Hathaway.

Above is a picture from the event. Pictured left to right are: Chad Sauser (AFSCME Local 2985 Member), Steve Cox (Iowa Patriot Guard State Captain), Marty Hathaway (AFSCME Local 2985 President), Leann DeVos-Techau (AFSCME Local 2985 Executive Board Member), and Danny Homan (AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President).

The Patriot Guard Riders is an non-profit organization of motorcycle riders “which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring Fallen Military Heroes, First Responders and Honorably Discharged Veterans.” You can learn more about their mission and history on their website.

AFSCME Local 2985’s memorial fund was started many years ago by the membership. When a family member of a member passes away, the local puts $25.00 into the fund and at the end of the year the local looks for an organization to donate the money to in the names of the people that passed away that year so that their memory can live on.

In Iowa, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees and private sector employees. AFSCME Local 2985 represents employees at the Iowa Medical & Classification Center, which is part of the Iowa Department of Corrections.

October 22, 2015

We are AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and we are AFSCME Strong! Check out this video featuring eighteen of your sisters and brothers! Contact your Union Representative or an Organizer to find out how you can get involved in AFSCME Strong!

October 16, 2015

AFSCME Iowa Council 61 is once again a major sponsor of Toys for Tots in the KCCI viewing area. Here is a list of Toys for Tots events:

Sunday, November 29th 7:00 PM 
Oakridge Boys Concert @ Hoyt Sherman in Des Moines

Saturday, December 12 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM  
Mills Fleet Farm Toyland

Tuesday, December 15 All Day
KCCI Studios
Toys for Tots Tuesday

October 7, 2015

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The Branstad-Reynolds Administration is continuing to barrel ahead with its rushed effort to outsource the management of Medicaid in Iowa to for-profit corporations. The situation is a mess. The winning bidders have faced “serious charges of fraud or mismanagement” according to the Des Moines Register. The individual CDAC providers represented by our Union have already received inaccurate information from one of the corporations selected by the Branstad-Reynolds Administration.

However, you can help stop this. Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds need the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to approve their plan. We need you to tell the federal government to say “no” to a rushed, poorly thought out plan that affects the health care of 560,000 Iowans.

No other state has made this transition in such a tight time frame. The Branstad-Reynolds Administration is once again putting the health of Iowans at-risk for a political agenda.

Our Union’s Action Network makes it possible to send a letter to several key CMS decision makers with just a couple clicks. Act now to send a clear message saying No to Medicaid Outsourcing!

Let’s stand up to the Branstad-Reynolds Medicaid Outsourcing scheme!

In Solidarity,

Danny Homan, President
AFSCME Iowa Council 61

P.S. Several state legislators will be holding public meetings to raise awareness of the issues surrounding Medicaid outsourcing. The meetings will be held in Mason City, Independence, Mt. Pleasant, Marshalltown, Marion, Burlington and Muscatine. Click here for a schedule. We urge you to attend one if you can.

October 2, 2015

Brothers and Sisters,

It was with great sadness that we learned today of the death of Marty Beil, the long-time executive director of Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24. He passed away last night at his home. Marty led Council 24 from 1985 through his retirement in June 2015. He led the charge in taking on Scott Walker and his attacks on AFSCME members and working men and women in Wisconsin. Marty was a dedicated Union Brother and a personal friend to many of us here in Iowa. We were honored to be able to present him with a Friend of AFSCME Award at our last AFSCME Iowa Council 61 convention. He will be missed; we will never forget him, his activism, and all the lives he changed for the better. Rest in Peace our Brother and friend.

In Solidarity,

Danny Homan, President
AFSCME Iowa Council 61

August 16, 2015

The Summer Issue of our newsletter, the Iowa Unionist, is available for download. This issue includes 36 photos from the 19th Biennial Convention of AFSCME Iowa Council 61!

Click "Read more" to reach a page where you can download it.

Read more >>>

We're Your Community. We're Your Neighbors.

AFSCME Iowa Council 61
4320 NW Second Ave, Des Moines IA 50313
Phone and Fax: 515-246-1517 or (800)-372-6054 or 515-244-6467 (fax)

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