July 01, 2010
AFSCME activists rallied Wednesday on Boston Common, in solidarity with Council 93, to prevent the loss of critical public services and to pass the jobs bill now stalled in Congress.
Today’s Boston Globe features a front page article on Massachusetts’ budget challenges and AFSCME members’ powerful demonstration.
Hundreds of members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, dressed in matching green T-shirts, rallied on Boston Common yesterday as Patrick was signing the budget. They chanted: “Show some guts! No more cuts!’’
“Some of the most vulnerable citizens in Massachusetts will be in danger if these budget cuts go through,’’ said Gerald W. McEntee, the union’s national president, who is in Boston for the union’s national convention. “But we won’t let the politicians balance the budget on our backs, not anymore.’’
Anthony Caso, Executive Director of Council 93 and an International Vice-President, said the union’s members “are fed up with politicians like Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) who abandoned workers last week” by opposing the jobs bill. “Today, AFSCME makes its mark on Boston Common, and we are ready to fight and ready to lead!”
Locally, Council 93 members are fighting to prevent the planned closure of four of the state’s six long-term residential hospitals for the developmentally disabled, to keep all branches of the city’s public libraries open and prevent layoffs of library employees. The council also wants fair, equitable contracts for thousands of higher education workers represented by the union.
Four members of Council 93 also addressed the rally: Elissa Cadillic, president of Boston Public library Local 1526; Michael Thomas, president of an organization of Council 93’s human services locals; Kevin Hanley, Massachusetts State and Community Colleges Local 1067; and Francis Martin, president of University of Massachusetts – Amherst Local 1776.
After the rally, hundreds of AFSCME activists marched to City Hall to support the library workers. The Boston Globe also reported that as the city council was deciding the municipal budget for the new fiscal year, “The sea of protesters made such a ruckus that their chants — “Stop the cuts!’’ — echoed in the fifth-floor council chamber.”