by Jon Melegrito | September 16, 2011
Members arrive at the Hilton Americans Houston Hotel for the Third Public Safety Congress. (Photo by Luis Gomez)
More than 400 AFSCME-represented corrections and sworn, law enforcement employees from across the nation are expected to gather today in Houston for the opening of the biannual Public Safety Congress. This is the third time corrections and law enforcement officers are meeting jointly for the conference and it comes at a pivotal time for public safety workers.
“This may be the most important Public Safety Congress we have ever held,” declared AFSCME Pres. Gerald W. McEntee and AFSCME Sec.-Treas. Lee Saunders in their invitation call issued three months ago. “We are facing the most severe attacks on public employees and their unions in our history. But we will arm participants with the tools and information public safety officers need to defend themselves on the job and to defend and build their union.”
In the next three days, participants will hear directly from those who have fought on the frontlines about anti-worker attacks in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and other states; hear speeches from Pres. McEntee, Sec.-Treas. Saunders and other guest speakers; engage each other and share experiences during roundtable discussions; and learn more about pensions, health benefits, collective bargaining laws and a variety of other workshop topics.
A highlight of the Congress is a special ceremony on Sunday honoring public safety officers who have been killed in the line of duty. Two members – one corrections officer and one law enforcement officer – will also be honored for their outstanding service.