|AFSCME Iowa Council 61 - Everyday. Everywhere. Making Iowa Better.|
AFSCME LOCAL 0451 DONATES $2,500 FOR MONUMENT AT JASPER COUNTY COURTHOUSE SQUARE IN NEWTON THAT WILL HONOR FALLEN VETERANS
NEWTON – On Wednesday, March 5th, AFSCME Local 0451 donated $2,500 towards a veteran’s monument that will be placed on the courthouse square in Newton. The monument will honor fallen veterans.
“It is important to honor our fallen veterans. This monument will help ensure that future generations of Jasper County residents never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country,” said AFSCME Local 0451 President Jerry Jones.
Included with this release is a photo of the check presentation for the donation. Included in the photo are AFSCME Local 0451 President Jerry Jones, Jasper County Treasurer Doug Bishop, AFSCME Local 0451 members, and members of the Veterans’ Committee of Jasper County.
Every Jasper County resident that was killed in action will be placed on the memorial at no charge. The project is being led by Jasper County Treasurer Doug Bishop. No public funds are being used for the project.
In Iowa, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees and private sector employees. AFSCME Local 0451 represents employees at the Newton Correctional Facility and at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville, which are part of the Iowa Department of Corrections.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
AFSCME Iowa Council 61 strongly encourages our members to attend legislative forums held by all legislators.
After cicking "Read More," you will find lists of legislative forums created by the party caucuses in the Iowa House and Iowa Senate. We are providing these links as a resource to you.
To view the forum lists, click "Read More" below and then look under “Additional Resources” at the bottom of the page.
The lists include forums in Alburnett, Ames, Ankeny, Arnolds Park, Bellvue, Bettendorf, Bloomfield, Bondurant, Burlington, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Central City, Charles City, Cherokee, Clarence, Clinton, Coggon, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Cresco, Davenport, DeWitt, Dubuque, Emmetsburg, Fairbank, Fairfield, Fort Dodge, Fort Madison, Hawarden, Humboldt, Iowa City, Jesup, Keokuk, Keosauqua, Knoxville, Le Mars, Lisbon, Lowden, Manchester, Marshalltown, Mason City, Mechanicsville, Mitchellville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Muscatine, New Hampton, Newton, Northwood, Oelwein, Orange City, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Pleasantville, Pocahontas, Primghar, Rock Valley, Runnells, Sioux Center, Sioux City, Spencer, Springville, Stacyville, St. Ansgar, Stanwood, Tipton, Washington, Waukee, Waukon, West Branch, West Burlington, and Wilton.Read more >>>
AFSCME LOCAL 2985 DONATES $775 TO IOWA VETERANS WELCOME CENTER IN CEDAR RAPIDS AT EVENT IN CORALVILLE
February 18, 2014
CORALVILLE – Today AFSCME Local 2985 presented a $775 donation to the Iowa Veterans Welcome Center in Cedar Rapids in an event at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.
“We owe a debt of a gratitude to every veteran. We hope that our donation will help the Center further its cause of Veterans helping Veterans by providing ongoing outreach, activity services, and supplying resource information as veterans continue to adjust to civilian life,” said AFSCME Local 2985 President Marty Hathaway.
In photo from left to right (click "read more" below to visit a page with a larger photo): Jim Payton (AFSCME Local 2985 member and veteran), Chad Sauser (AFSCME Local 2985 member and veteran), Marty Hathaway (AFSCME Local 2985 President), Roger Wiest (Iowa Veterans Welcome Center President), and Jay Kaiser (Iowa Veterans Welcome Center Vice President).
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 dollars 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.
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AFSCME IOWA COUNCIL 61 PEOPLE COMMITTEE AND TEAMSTERS LOCALS 90, 120, 238, AND 554 ENDORSE JACK HATCH FOR GOVERNOR
CEDAR RAPIDS – Today, the AFSCME Iowa Council 61 PEOPLE Committee and Teamsters Locals 90, 120, 238, and 554 announced their endorsement of Jack Hatch for Governor.
“Jack Hatch is the leader that we need in order to build a better Iowa – an Iowa with a strong and growing middle class. With a record of success in both the private sector and the public sector, Jack will bring Iowans together to create real opportunity for Iowa families,” said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.
“Jack has always been there for the working men and women of Iowa and now we are here for him. Terry Branstad has been in office for too long and he is coasting. Jack is the change we need in Terrace Hill,” said Teamsters Local 238 Secretary-Treasurer Gary Dunham.
“I am honored to have the endorsements of AFSCME and the Teamsters. AFSCME members are working every day in our communities to keep us safe, protect the most vulnerable, and make our communities run on a day to day basis. Teamsters are a powerful force in Iowa and represent a wide array of Iowa workers. Iowans know we can do better than Terry Branstad’s status quo. Together, we are united in our goal to build a better Iowa,” said gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch.
AFSCME is known for its political action program which is financed with voluntary contributions. The program supplies grassroots volunteers for AFSCME-endorsed candidates.
In Iowa, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents 40,000 public employees and private sector employees.
Teamsters Locals 90, 120, 238, and 554 represent over 15,000 current members and retirees throughout the state of Iowa.
Last month’s employment figures are in, and things don’t look good. Read more >>>
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
As you know, our Legislative Conference, scheduled for Monday, March 3rd, is approaching fast. As part of that conference, we will be kicking off our new “AFSCME In Our Communities” initiative. The purpose of this initiative is to highlight all the contributions AFSCME members make in their communities outside of work.
As part of this initiative, we are asking you to tell us about how you are involved in your community outside of work. Are you a volunteer firefighter? Are active in the PTA? Do you coach a high school or youth sport? Do you volunteer for charitable organizations in your community? Are you a reserve law enforcement officer? Are you a volunteer for your church or place of worship? Do you mentor youth? Do you take part in neighborhood beautification projects? Are you a local elected official? I am sure there are hundreds of more examples than I could list here.
If you are active in your community, please let us know by e-mailing us at COMMUNITY@AFSCMEIOWA.ORG – tell us your name, your local, your personal phone number, and how you are active in your community. While you should feel free to just send us a couple sentences or a list, it is even better if you tell us your story of how you became involved in your activities and any moving experiences you have had while taking part in community activities.
Thank you for everything you do for your communities.
February 5, 2014
DES MOINES – Today, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement regarding Polk County District Court Judge Scott D. Rosenberg’s ruling and order on the plaintiffs’ application for preliminary injunction and defendants’ motion to dismiss in Homan et al. v. Branstad et al.:
“We are pleased that the court has sided with the plaintiffs by opening the Iowa Juvenile Home. Iowa’s young girls are the real winners in this decision.
“For the sake of the safety of Iowa’s children, the governor should immediately comply with this court order and reopen the Iowa Juvenile Home as instructed by the District Court.”
Click "Read More" to reach a page where you can download a copy of the ruling.Read more >>>
February 5, 2014
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Tell them that you oppose the proposed unsafe contract with Pro-Tec and you support finding a way for the Airport Authority to hire the existing airport firefighters/medics as Authority employees or having the Authority contract with another government entity to hire them. Remind them that Board members are nominated by the mayor, appointed by the city council, and “serve at the pleasure of the council.” [Source: Des Moines City Government Website]
Danny Homan, President
by Olivia Sandbothe
Low-wage workers in certain federally funded jobs will see a much-needed pay increase, thanks to President Obama.Read more >>>
February 3, 2014
DES MOINES – Today, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement regarding the Des Moines Airport Authority’s decision to schedule a Board vote for tomorrow on the pending contract with Pro-Tec Fire Services:
“The Des Moines Airport Authority Board is showing a callous disregard for the safety of airport passengers by plowing ahead with this risky, unsafe outsourcing plan. As we detailed in our previous news release, Pro-Tec Fire Services has a troubled history and the Airport Authority’s Request for Proposal included staffing requirements that are insufficient to meet OSHA requirements and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) staffing and interior firefighting safety standards. The staffing level is so minimal that in a crash, Pro-Tec employees will only be able to focus on putting the fire out—not assisting injured passengers.
“At a January 29th meeting with Airport Authority managers some current Airport Firefighters/Medics made a sensible proposal to have the Airport Authority hire the current firefighters/medics as Airport Authority employees. The Airport’s Assistant Executive Director and General Manager, Kevin Foley, stated that the airport is ‘a business and is making a business decision.’ He further claimed that the airport does not have to follow OSHA and NFPA standards.
“The Airport Authority is not a business. It is a public entity with board members nominated by the Mayor of Des Moines and appointed by the Des Moines City Council. Its priority should be safety, period.
“We ask all members of the public who support a safe airport to show their opposition to this dangerous proposed contract with Pro-Tec. We encourage them to attend the Authority Board meeting on Tuesday at 9 am in the second floor boardroom at the airport terminal.”
RIP Pete Seeger. Thank you for giving voice to solidarity, for your strong support of unions, and for all your great music. You will be greatly missed.
January 24, 2014
DES MOINES – AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan issued the following statement regarding information that was reported in today’s Dubuque Telegraph-Herald regarding Health Dimensions Group, which has a contract pending before the Dubuque County Board of Supervisors:
“It is shocking that the Dubuque County Supervisors would even consider hiring a company with the record of Health Dimensions Group (HDG) to analyze Sunnycrest Manor, especially at a cost of $170,000. As managers of numerous health care facilities, HDG has a financial interest in recommending outsourcing. Their own website, which contains a pro-outsourcing position paper, demonstrates a clear bias towards outsourcing the operation of public facilities like Sunnycrest Manor.
“Furthermore, the facilities they currently manage have an appalling record on average according to information from Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website. In contrast, Sunnycrest has excellent ratings from the same website. The only thing HDG should be analyzing at Sunnycrest is how they could copy Sunnycrest and improve the quality of their own facilities.
“The residents of Sunnycrest and the taxpayers of Dubuque County deserve better.”
What: Iowa Energy Basketball
Tickets Must Be Ordered by 2/27/2014
To Order Tickets, Please Contact Kyle Davy at: 515.564.8563 or KDavy@IowaNBA.com
Please contact Kyle using a personal phone/email/computer from a non-work location during non-work hours.
Click "Read More" to download a flier.Read more >>>
January 20, 2014
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Today is the holiday where our state and our nation honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King is a key figure in the history of AFSCME. When he was assassinated in 1968, he was in Memphis to support the striking workers of AFSCME Local 1733 who were striking for union recognition and an end to the discrimination faced by African-American sanitation workers. As a result of the efforts of the strikers and Dr. King, the sanitation workers won recognition for their Union. You can learn more about Dr. King and the Memphis Sanitation Strike by visiting http://www.afscme.org/union/history/mlk on our International Union’s website.
Last year, I had the honor of attending two events to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy. The first was an event held in Memphis on the 45th anniversary of the “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop Speech,” which Dr. King gave the day before he died. Attendees at the event included International President Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer Laura Reyes, Martin Luther King III, and strikers from the Memphis Sanitation Strike. As we joined together to sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” it truly brought home the sacrifice of those who participated in the Civil Rights Movement.
The second event was a march in Washington, DC to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The vision in that speech is a vision that continues to inspire.
I hope that you will take a few moments to reflect today on our nation’s incomplete path towards social justice and fairness for all and what we can all do to carry on Dr. King’s legacy of advocating for equality for all people.
January 17, 2014
DES MOINES – Today, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan released the following statement regarding a recent audit showing mismanagement and inappropriate spending by the former director of the 6th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services and some members of his management team:
“I want to make clear that these inappropriate expenditures and mismanagement were made by the former district director and some of his management employees. This inappropriate spending was not made by, nor did it benefit, the district’s front line staff (bargaining unit members). In spite of mismanagement and understaffing, the community-based corrections non-management staff work tirelessly and with dedication to help prepare offenders to fully rejoin society.
“Director Baldwin needs to own up to his failures in oversight. The only thing rogue about this agency was the actions of the former district director and some of his management. Director Baldwin knew about mismanagement by the district director long before he asked for the State Auditor to step in and investigate. He even publicly admitted that this latest issue was not the first time problems had arisen. Director Baldwin and Governor Branstad must make clear that it was the managers who failed to uphold the public trust, not the front-line employees (bargaining unit staff) who are actually doing the work to make this state a safer place to live.”
January 14, 2014
DES MOINES – Today, the Des Moines Airport Authority Board delayed making a decision on a contract with Pro-Tec Fire Services for firefighting services at Des Moines International Airport.
Currently, the Iowa Air National Guard provides firefighting and EMS services at Des Moines International Airport through highly trained state employees who are part of the Iowa Department of Public Defense. On September 30, 2014, these services will end due to a change in the mission tasking of the Air National Guard airbase at the airport. As a result, the Des Moines Airport Authority Board must find another way to provide firefighting services at the airport.
“The Airport Authority Board is considering hiring a for-profit company that will provide only minimal emergency services. The Airport Authority’s Request for Proposal included staffing requirements that are insufficient to meet OSHA requirements and National Fire Protection Association staffing and interior firefighting safety standards,” said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.
“The company that the Airport Authority Board is considering, Pro-Tec Fire Services, has a troubled history. According to reports in The Times (Trenton, New Jersey), Pro-Tec did not issue notifications when equipment was out of service, fell behind on training, paid low wages, and had high employee turnover at Trenton Mercer Airport in New Jersey. Pro-Tec also paid low wages at the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Illinois, according to the Belleville News-Democrat,” added Homan.
“The firefighters/medics currently at Des Moines International Airport have saved lives by responding to medical emergencies at the airport. The airport has a huge footprint of over 2,600 acres. The Des Moines Fire Department cannot guarantee that they will be able to respond to fire and medical emergencies at the airport in an adequate time frame. Outsourcing fire and EMS services at the airport would put lives at risk,” added Homan.
“The current firefighters/medics at the Airport have extensive training in crash fire and rescue and in emergency medical response. The Des Moines Airport Authority Board should recognize that these firefighters/medics’ training and experience are an asset that should be utilized,” added Homan.
“Des Moines International Airport has recently experienced great growth in the number of passengers it serves. As the airport grows, it should not lose its commitment to safety. We call on the Airport Authority Board to reject the proposed contract with Pro-Tec Fire Services at their next meeting. The Airport Authority should instead pursue a course that maintains current services using the current well-trained firefighters/medics as public employees,” added Homan.
For background information on Pro-Tec Fire Services from newspaper reports, click "Read More."Read more >>>
January 3, 2014
The Regional Office of the US Department of Health and Human Services has released some informational handouts for individuals purchasing health insurance through the online marketplace. Click “Read More” to view the full list of handouts. Please feel free to share this information with anyone you may know who is purchasing health insurance through the online marketplace.Read more >>>
AFSCME IOWA COUNCIL 61 PRESIDENT DANNY HOMAN AND FOUR LEGISLATORS FILE SUIT TO STOP GOVERNOR’S CLOSURE OF IOWA JUVENILE HOME
January 2, 2014
DES MOINES – Today, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan, Senator Jack Hatch, Senator Steve Sodders, Representative Mark Smith, and Representative Pat Murphy filed suit in the Iowa District Court for Polk County to stop Governor Branstad’s closure of the Iowa Juvenile Home.
The lawsuit, which was filed against Governor Terry Branstad and DHS Director Charles Palmer, seeks an injunction to prevent the closing of the Iowa Juvenile Home.
“The legislature passed and the governor signed into law legislation that provides funding for the operation of the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo in both Fiscal Year 2014 and Fiscal Year 2015. We believe it is unconstitutional and unlawful for the governor to close the Juvenile Home and disregard legislation that was passed by the Iowa House and Iowa Senate and signed into law by him,” said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.
“Throughout Governor Branstad’s time in office, he has demonstrated a pattern of blaming others for his decisions. He has refused to accept responsibility for the mismanagement of the Iowa Juvenile Home by his managers. He has tried to claim that the decision to close the home was a result of the Iowa Juvenile Home Protection Task Force’s recommendations. However, the task force’s report contains no such recommendation to close the Juvenile Home,” added Homan.
“Over the past few weeks, the public has heard many testimonials from girls who resided at the Iowa Juvenile Home. These testimonials show how the staff of the Juvenile Home has made a positive difference in the lives of countless troubled Iowa youth. This lawsuit will hopefully allow the staff to be able to continue to carry on this important mission,” added Homan.
AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents many of the employees at the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo. Across the state, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 represents 40,000 public and private sector employees.
December 17, 2013
By a vote of 233 to 103, employees in the State of Iowa’s education bargaining unit voted to be represented by AFSCME Iowa Council 61. The results of the mail ballot election were announced by the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board today. It is the largest bargaining unit election won by AFSCME Iowa Council 61 since the 1990s.
Education unit employees include teachers in state institutions, librarians, workers who assist disabled Iowans in obtaining services and benefits, workers who assist school districts in designing curricula and improving special education and school lunch services, and many other employees.
The State of Iowa’s education bargaining unit dates back to the beginning of Iowa’s public employee collective bargaining law in the 1970s. However, until now, the unit had remained without union representation.
Education unit employees saw the benefits of having a seat at the bargaining table and having a voice in determining their pay, benefits, and working conditions. Several education unit employees contacted AFSCME Iowa Council 61 about organizing. Council 61 organizers and International organizers worked closely with these volunteer leaders to reach out to hundreds of state employees in person. These efforts made a difference vote by vote and signed green card by signed green card.
Today, the results of all that hard work are apparent. Please welcome our new sisters and brothers in the State of Iowa education unit!
Iowa City is considering outsourcing public employee jobs!
We need to pack the house at the next city council meeting!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
We need to stand together in solidarity with our AFSCME brothers and sisters.
Iowa City refuse/recycling workers were rated very highly in the last customer satisfaction survey.
The city is considering outsourcing many of their jobs to a for-profit corporation with very little track record and an experimental trash to fuel process.
So far this proposal has been moving along quickly and without extensive public input.
Please make your voice heard on December 17th!
GOVERNOR BRANSTAD’S DECISION TO CLOSE THE IOWA JUVENILE HOME THE RESULT OF SECRETIVE, CLOSED GOVERNMENT
December 9, 2013
DES MOINES –Today, the Branstad Administration announced its secretive decision to close the Iowa Juvenile Home and outsource the services the Juvenile Home provides to some of Iowa’s most troubled youth.
“We are shocked to hear the Governor’s office has taken this course of action. Many groups have been working together to solve the issues at the Iowa Juvenile Home. Not only is this a sad day for the workers, but it is a sad day for the Iowa’s troubled youth displaced because of the Governor's actions,” said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.
“The troubled youth at the Juvenile Home deserved a truly open decision making process that sought a dialogue with all Iowans, including legislators. The students at the Juvenile Home deserved an honest and public discussion about how the students will receive assistance in the future. Governor Branstad’s closed door decision making process failed to live up to these principles and the Governor’s pledge for transparency in state government,” added Homan.
Juvenile Home employees have and continue to be willing partners in addressing the failures of management policies at the Juvenile Home.
“Our members and our union will continue to advocate for troubled youth and for the state’s responsibility to see them through their difficult times,” said Homan.
By Danny Homan, President of AFSCME Iowa Council 61
August 29, 2013
Over the past several weeks, a powerful bipartisan alliance of Home Care Providers represented by AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and home care consumers showed the true power of grassroots efforts. Iowa’s individual consumer-directed attendant care (CDAC) providers faced elimination, but worked together to turn the tide. In Iowa, individual CDAC, which lets consumers control their own care, is the most popular choice of home care consumers by far: over 4,500 Iowa consumers have chosen it.
The Iowa Department of Human Services proposed an administrative rule that would have eliminated the individual CDAC option. Consumers would have been forced to use an agency or partner with a financial institution. Individual CDAC providers would have lost their jobs.
N. Jean Hayes of Waterloo, Iowa, an AFSCME Local 1100 member and an individual CDAC provider from Waterloo, Iowa, told AFSCME how essential her work is to her client:
"My client, who is legally blind, depends on me to take her to her appointments, to keep her home clean and in order, to cook, to fill her syringes with medication, and to take her to church. I enjoy making a difference for her by making it possible for her to live in her home."
In order for the rule to go into effect, it had to go before the Administrative Rules Review Committee of the Iowa General Assembly, a committee consisting of five Republicans and five Democrats from the Iowa House and Iowa Senate.
AFSCME Iowa Council 61 immediately began to mobilize home care providers and consumers. Town Hall meetings were held across the state. Thousands of calls were made and doors knocked to organize a grassroots campaign. Home Care Providers and their clients made waves and waves of calls to the legislators on the committee, winning support from both Democratic and Republican legislators.
With bipartisan support for the individual CDAC providers and their consumers growing by the day, the Iowa Department of Human Services terminated the rule making process for this rule on August 28th.
This decision represents a major victory for individual CDAC providers, their consumers, and the bipartisan coalition we built that stood up for some of the most vulnerable Iowans. We will continue our efforts to be strong voice that protects providers and their consumers.
AFSCME IOWA COUNCIL 61 PEOPLE COMMITTEE ENDORSES PAT MURPHY, DAVE LOEBASCK, STACI APPEL, AND JIM MOWRER FOR CONGRESS
July 22, 2013
Brad Anderson Endorsed for Iowa Secretary of State
DES MOINES – AFSCME Iowa Council 61 (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) PEOPLE Committee is proud to announce that it has endorsed Pat Murphy for Congress in the 1st Congressional District, Congressman Dave Loebsack for Congress in the 2nd Congressional District, Staci Appel for Congress in the 3rd Congressional District, Jim Mowrer for Congress in the 4th Congressional District, and Brad Anderson for Iowa Secretary of State.
March 13, 2013
Today, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) PEOPLE Committee endorsed Bruce Braley for US Senate.
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