From the Blog
Maryland Members in Tough Budget Fight
AFSCME Maryland Council 3 members were able to restore step raises in this year’s budget, but they will face fights over proposed job cuts and outsourcing of state services.
Fight Against Outsourcing Starts Early
Too often the dangers of outsourcing hit us when the proverbial train has already left the station, making the pushback efforts that much harder. But AFSCME members at the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department got ahead of the curve.
Communities Deserve Services, Not Schemes
Government deals with big banks to fund social services are bad news: They lack transparency, assign risk to the public and show no evidence of making services better and more efficient.
Battery Park Community Rallies Against Patrol Privatization
Community protests block, at least temporarily, a plan to replace law enforcement officers in New York’s Battery Park with private security guards.
‘Lunch Ladies Rock’ and Win Big at the Polls
School cafeteria workers sent a clear message that there are consequences to putting corporate profit ahead of children’s nutrition, voting out a majority on the Bristol (Connecticut) Board of Education that tried to outsource school lunch service.
Newark Residents Demand Tax Increase over Outsourcing Trash Collection
Residents of Newark, Delaware, said they’d rather pay a higher tax than see local trash collection go to a for-profit company.
UC Contractor Faces Overtime Probe
A longtime custodial contractor at the University of California is under federal investigation after former and current employees alleged the company is denying overtime pay to employees who provide services at the California Memorial Stadium.
Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Members Take a Stand Against Chicago Mayor’s Airport Plan
Protesting Chicago Mayor Emanuel’s proposal to let Uber and Lyft access to the city’s airports, members of Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500 refused to pick up airport passengers for two hours on Sept. 23.
Chicago, New Orleans Cabbies Join Global Uber Protest
Hundreds of AFSCME-represented cab drivers in Chicago and New Orleans joined cab drivers from around the world Sept. 16 in a “Global Day of Action Against Uber” and other unlicensed rideshare taxi operations.
AFSCME Members Help “Bring Our Babies Home”
When Columbus school employees discovered that a charter school had abruptly closed and left 300 students stranded, they sprang into action. They pulled out all the stops to bring those students back to Columbus City Schools.
Reyes: Criminal Justice Should Not Be Profit Center
Our criminal justice system should not be powered by companies with a profit incentive. Upholding the law is inherently a function of government. It was never meant to be profitable. The top priority in any prison should be community safety.
Mass Rally Defends Sanitation Jobs, Services
More than 200 union members stood united with small business owners and community activists in front of City Hall here Aug. 4, protesting the Council’s recent decision to move forward with consideration of outsourcing the city’s sanitation services.
Tucson Fair Wages Push Is AFSCME Strong
AFSCME Local 449 members are utilizing the tools they learned during their AFSCME Strong training to gain support to improve the lives of City of Tucson employees.
New York ‘Insource Pool’ Will Save Millions
The City of New York and DC 37/AFSCME reached a breakthrough agreement that calls for insourcing computer work. The agreement will help the city save millions of dollars by reining in the use of excessively paid information technology consultants.
Cost of Outsourcing Keeps Going Up
The push to outsource vital government services has resulted in failed experiments that lower the quality of services at a higher cost - and communities are forced to shoulder a higher cost to insource the services after the profiteers pull out.
Maryland Law Would Regulate Outsourcing
Maryland public employees will play a greater role in ensuring the state does not outsource public services in a reckless manner under a measure signed into law last week by Gov. Larry Hogan.
Insourcing Wins Continue for N.J. Local 2262
When students go on vacation this summer, AFSCME members who are tradesmen for Jersey City Public Schools will renovate two more school cafeterias, adding to an ever-expanding list of repair and maintenance jobs that have been insourced.
Private Prisons Get Profit Guarantee with ‘Immigrant Detention Quotas’
Thanks to a new report from Grassroots Leadership, we know the extent to which the federal government is guilty of offering “immigrant detention quotas” to private prison companies.
Atlanta AFSCME Members Beat Back Aramark
Faced with the loss of their AFSCME-negotiated wages and benefits, and even their jobs, cafeteria workers in Atlanta, members of Local 1644, persuaded school board officials this week to reject a bid by outsourcer Aramark to take over operations.
Cab Drivers Decry Rideshare Abuses
Frustrated by the city’s failure to properly address serious issues surrounding the so-called “rideshare” industry, more than 300 members of Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 braved sub-zero wind chills to protest outside City Hall.
Eyes Wide Shut: When Governments Outsource with No Accountability
Imagine that you hire a home improvement company to remodel your home. Would you sign on the dotted line and take out your checkbook unless it was absolutely clear to both you and the contractor what the work entailed and how much it would cost?
For-Profit Companies Born to Fail at Rehabilitating Inmates
“Across the country, evidence has surfaced that these companies cut corners on staff pay and training and services to prisoners in order to make a profit.”
Baltimore City Residents Rally to Protect Water Services
Interfaith Group Salutes New York City Municipal Workers for Ebola Case Response
When Dr. Craig Spencer had to be transported to Bellevue Hospital because of Ebola symptoms, it was an AFSCME EMT crew that swiftly swung into action and, employing the training that they had received, safely transported Dr. Spencer to the hospital.
Insourcing Proves Better, Faster – And Less Expensive
After a yearlong campaign, AFSCME Local 2262 was able to convince the Jersey City School District that insourcing services is not just cheaper but that AFSCME members do the work better.
Ohio Pickets Target Prison Staffing, Safety
OCSEA/AFSCME Local 11 members took to the streets to shed light on the dangers of understaffing and outsourcing, including security breaches, maggots found in food preparation areas operated by a contractor, and even prison escapes.
Private Prison Operator Sued by Texas Inmate for Allowing Sexual Abuse
Last week, a civil rights lawsuit was filed in a Texas federal court against Corrections Corporation of America and two of its employees for allegedly allowing sexual assault at a facility in Bartlett, Texas.
Michigan Lets Aramark Off the Hook
Ignoring a pattern of inappropriate and unsafe handling of prison food, the director of the Michigan Department of Corrections withdrew a $98,000 fine against Aramark.
Don’t Want to be Evil? Drop ALEC
If Google wants to adhere to its “Don’t Be Evil” motto, AFSCME and other organizations are urging the Internet giant to stop funding evil and cut ties with ALEC, which pushes bills that advance corporations at the expense of working families.
Community Rallies to Support Sanitation Workers
Residents joined city workers and Local 3294 in a march on City Hall, convincing the South Miami city commissioners to unanimously reject efforts to outsource residential garbage pickups.
Politicians, Private Prison Companies Capitalize on Immigration Crisis
As our nation struggles for a solution to an influx of child refugees from Central America, politicians and private prison companies have stepped forward to capitalize on the crisis.
Minnesota to End Outsourcing of Prison Food Service
AFSCME locals documented privateer’s mistakes.
Our Election Work Starts Now!
Critical races put AFSCME on the frontlines – register, vote, volunteer.
Mo’ Maggots, Mo’ Fines
Strike three! Shouldn’t Aramark be out?
Is Detroit About to Repeat Chicago’s Parking Meter Debacle?
Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr announced he plans to ignore the lessons of Chicago’s parking meter debacle and seek bids to outsource the city’s parking department.
Wisconsin Community Rallies Against Outsourcing
Earlier this summer, UW-Superior administrators sent “at risk” notices to the frontline employees. Since then, the workers and the greater Superior community have come together to say “not in our town.”
Outsourcing Fight Involves Community
When AFSCME members at the University of Wisconsin-Superior received “at risk notices” alerting them their jobs would be outsourced to a private company, AFSCME Local 42 (Council 24) and the greater Superior community decided to fight back.
The Rev. Dr. Barber: Get Together and Win!
In an electrifying address that had Convention delegates on their feet and cheering repeatedly, the Rev. Dr. William Barber on Thursday underscored a message of coalition building and solidarity.
Maggots on the Menu?
Prison food privateer endangers public safety in Michigan and Ohio.
Boycott Staples! AFSCME Supports Postal Workers
AFSCME has endorsed the American Postal Workers Union’s boycott of Staples, which was given a no-bid contract by the U.S. Postal Service that would allow Staples to staff in-store Postal Service counters with its own low-paid employees.
Prison Industry Funds Study; Profs Face Probe
Temple University professors Simon Hakim and Erwin Blackstone failed to disclose that their research was funded by the private prison industry.
WFSE Members on Guard Against Outsourcing
When a private contractor attempted to take over maintenance and custodial duties at Husky S1adium, members of the University of Washington skilled trades bargaining unit noticed and blew the whistle.
Outsourcing Public Services Hurts Working Class, Communities
In the Public Interest study shows disproportionate impact of outsourcing on women and African Americans.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for Sale?
Taking right-wing thinking to its logical conclusion, why not outsource the governor’s office, too?
One Hundred-Hour Days: When Private Contractors Overbill Taxpayers
A Defense Department inspector general’s report found more than $100 million overbilled by Northrup Grumman.
AFSCME Iowa Cleans Up Custodial Outsourcing Mess
Members of Local 2023 (AFSCME Iowa Council 61) mobilized the local community.
Protecting Students from a Privateer in Indiana
Parents and students of Mishawaka Public Schools joined AFSCME Local 3060 in opposing an outsourcing scheme.
NYC Payroll Fraud a Reminder of Outsourcing Dangers
Three were sentenced to 20 years in prison for their role in the CityTime corruption scandal.
Cities and States Are Rethinking Outsourcing Deals
At least 18 states introduced initiatives to curb the reckless outsourcing of public services.
Private Food Vendor Gets Wrist Slap for Serious Violations
OCSEA/AFSCME Local 11 is calling for outsourced prison services to be returned to state hands.
Investigative Reporter Wins Prestigious Prize for Coverage of Private Prison Abuses
This year’s award for newspaper journalism highlights abuse and wrongdoing in the private prison industry.
BOLD Action in Minnesota Preserves High-Quality Public Service
An attempt to outsource custodial jobs in Olivia schools was defeated by the local community.
Outsourcing Lowers Wages, Harms Communities
A new report by a University of Colorado professor expands on the negative effects of outsourcing for entire communities.
Where’s the Beef? Prisoners, Corrections Officers Turn Against Outsourced Food Services
Corrections officers of AFSCME Council 5 in Minnesota document privateer’s mistakes.
Making a Splash with Insourcing
City lifeguards take over a New York pool after a private contractor’s hazardous practices and shady finances violated the public’s trust
Insourcing: A New Trend for the Country?
15 states introduced new initiatives to curb the reckless outsourcing of public services.
Meet America's Highest Paid Government Workers
Contrary to their promises to run public services "better, faster and cheaper" than the government, "Exposed: America's Highest Paid Government Workers" documents how these CEOs use public dollars to cut corners.
Profiteers Can’t Take Shelter Here
Minneapolis ends outsourcing of bus shelter management after receiving too many complaints.
Idaho to Private Prison Operators: We Can Do Better
State takes back control of CCA prison plagued by problems under the privateer.
Outsourcing Defeated: Costly Contract Ending in Illinois
Illinois will save $18 million annually by returning work to state employees
AFSCME Member Wins Personal Victory Over Outsourcing
Seattle electrician wins unfair labor practice settlement.
Report Details How Outsourcing Leaves Services “Out of Control”
Companies operate with little accountability to taxpayers.
AFSCME Helps Save Chicago Breast Cancer Screenings
A plan to outsource the service would have eliminated a program that benefits thousands of women every year.
Tough Florida AFSCME Local Beats Back Outsourcing Scheme
Plan to study outsourcing of the Miami-Dade School District’s transportation department rejected.
Secretive Koch Networks Fined $1 Million for Illegal Campaign Contributions
“Dark money” spent to undermine unions’ political strength and block revenue hike in California.
Lawmakers ‘Loot’ Public Pension Funds, Then Blame Retirees for Underfunding
Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi writes searing indictment: ‘Looting the Pension Funds.’
AFSCME Members Fighting to Maintain Pension and Protect Public Against Tea Party Ballot Measure
Retirement security at risk for 7,500 Cincinnati workers if tea party has its way
Exposed: Privatizers and Profiteers Selling Out Our Democracy
Center for Media and Democracy launches website revealing the hidden side of outsourcing.
For-Profit Prison ‘Lockup Quotas’ Put Taxpayers on the Hook for Company Profits
Report by In the Public Interest shows how companies profit through occupancy guarantees.
AFSCME Helps Prevent Outsourcing of Pennsylvania Liquor Sales Jobs
More than 5,000 jobs saved, and health and safety of communities strengthened
We’re Crashing ALEC’s party – Come Join Us!
Corporate-backed American Exchange Council opens Virginia HQ
Your Story Can Make a Difference
The work you do every day makes a difference. So do your stories. Share your story at www.afscme.org/story.
CSEA Demands Investigation into Hiring of Former New York Lottery Director
Gordon Medenica negotiated a $25-million contract with GTECH to privatize state jobs.
So Long, “Owlcatraz”
GEO Group cancels plan to purchase naming rights to Florida Atlantic University’s football stadium.
Mother Jones’ Hit Job on Unions: With Friends Like These...
Magazine inaccurately attacks public service employees who work every day to help our communities.
Private Prison Company Buys Florida Atlantic University Stadium Name
GEO Group has long history of unsafe and inhumane conditions at facilities
Illegal sale of Pennsylvania lotto blocked by state attorney general
Pennsylvania attorney general rules lotto privatization effort unconstitutional.
AFSCME Members Take their Message to the Hill
Workers from across the country went to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to lobby their legislators.
In Private Hands, Safety Issues Quickly Arise in Ohio Prison
The Lake Erie Correctional Institution was sold in 2011 under Gov. John Kasich’s administration.
Register Now for Dynamic Legislative Conference
Want to raise your voice for workers? Come to Washington, DC, and do just that.
Florida Privatization Scheme Illegal, Judge Rules
Decision: State illegally bypassed Legislature to implement Gov. Rick Scott’s scheme.
America’s Workers Fed Up With Romney’s Say Anything Strategy
You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool AFSCME members any time.
Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan Picks Seniors’ Pockets
Changing Medicare to a “voucher” system means higher premiums for 6 out of 10 seniors.
In Ohio, the Next Chapter in a Fight for Workers
AFSCME campaign volunteers speak up for Obama and fair Congressional representation.
Governor Kasich’s Crusade to Privatize Ohio’s Transportation Department
Attacks on public employees in the Buckeye State despite the important work they do.
Rising Inequality the Direct Result of Policy Choices
New EPI report highlights role of Congress in lives of working families and the poor.
Jindal’s Job Hypocrisy Hurts Louisiana
Governor cares about his deep-pocketed campaign donors, not jobs.
What’s Stirring the Waters in Kenova?
AFSCME Local 598 in West Virginia fights efforts to privatize water and sanitation services.
Paul Ryan Acceptance Speech Light on Reality
Wisconsin retirees: Paul Ryan would “tear seniors’ safety net to shreds.”
They Said What?!
Remarks from anti-worker governors at the Republican National Convention had us scratching our heads.
Oklahoma Workers Regain AFSCME Union Membership
Aquatics technician Dustin Williams of Muskogee, Okla., shares his story
Romney-Ryan Ticket Raises Question: Do We Still Believe In Community?
Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan confirms contempt for working people and public services.
Paul Ryan’s Real Motivation: Cutting, Privatizing Public Services, Programs
Ezra Klein says Rep. Paul Ryan would radically change the way government provides public services.
Florida AFSCME Members Organize, Defeat Privatization Scheme
North Miami Beach city council overwhelmingly voted down a plan to privatize sanitation services.
Win-win for Residents and Public Service Workers in California
In a recent open competition over operation of a San Diego landfill, city workers won.
New York Members Speak Out Against Parking Meter Privatization
Call for city workers to continue their effective job of raising more than $150 million/year in revenue.
Indiana Judge Condemns Privatization
Taxpayers lose out when a plan to privatize the state’s welfare system ends in failure.
Cities in Default, a Mouthpiece in Denial
Municipal bankruptcies give The Wall Street Journal another excuse to lie about public employees.
AFSCME Member Action Saves Florida’s Jackson Hospital
Rapid mobilization spiked a hasty attempt to privatize the entire Miami-Dade Jackson Health System.
Muskogee City Employees Win Back Collective Bargaining Rights
City council restores rights that were stripped away last spring.
North Miami Beach AFSCME Members Fight Sanitation Privatization
Member mobilization, community outreach put the brakes on city manager's push to privatize sanitation services.
AFSCME Social Worker Rescues Infant
23-year social services veteran subdued mother to save wounded infant in Baltimore.
Jindal Bows to Public Pressure, Halts State Prison Sale
Louisiana governor’s plan to sell a prison called off due to public outcry.
Florida AFSCME Members Fight Privatization
Members of AFSCME Council 79 participated in the Push Back Summit to Save South Florida.
Library Workers Will Not Be Shushed
On National Library Workers Day, AFSCME is fighting to protect our nation’s public libraries.
University of California Irvine Ends Outsourcing of Custodial Services
After a four-year battle, 94 custodial workers were officially classified as University employees.
Florida Local Stops Privatization Scheme
Community sides with workers, against attempt to privatize the Hallandale Beach Building Services Department.
Maryland Workers Beat Back Privateers
Prince George’s County Public Schools will not contract out Before- and After-Care services.
Prison Privateer Offers to Buy Prisons from Starving States
Corrections Corporation of America will give cash in exchange for own-and-operate services.
Prison Privatization Fails in Florida Senate
Plan is rejected by a 21-19 vote, handing Gov. Rick Scott a major defeat.
Volunteer Member Organizers Head Out in Tulsa, Okla.
City employees organize against privatization and anti-worker threats.
Florida Public Safety for Sale
Republican state Sen. Mike Fasano speaks out against a bill to privatize Florida's prisons.
‘Our Democracy is Not for Sale’
Arizona retirees, public service workers and community activists protest undue influence of corporate special interests.
Prison Privatization in Florida Puts Public at Risk
State moves closer to putting prisons in the hands of lobbyists and for-profit corporations.
State Pushing Cuts on Backs of ‘Grateful’ Workers
New York Times takes a critical look at the pitfalls of outsourcing public services.
CNBC Puts a Spotlight on For-Profit Prison Firm
Report cites assaults at privately run Idaho Correctional Center.
Judge Blocks Michigan Veterans Home Privatization Scheme
Veterans’ health and safety comes first, judge rules in outsourcing dispute.
Florida Court Rebukes Governor’s Prison Sale
Ruling blocks Gov. Scott’s plan to turn 29 state facilities over to private contractors.
Privatization Doesn’t Pay, POGO Study Proves
New report details why contracting out is a bad idea for taxpayers.
Prison Privatization as Political Payback
Taxpayers wind up paying more when private contractors cut corners on safety, health and services.
NYC Privatization Scandal Grows With New Arrest
City’s over-reliance on outside contractors results in yet another example of waste, fraud and corruption.
Private Prison Savings Are a Hoax
New York Times report shows prisons run by private corporations cost taxpayers more, not less.
AFSCME Members Beat Privatization in Pennsylvania
Northampton County voters overwhelmingly reject a ballot measure to privatize Gracedale nursing home.
School Privatization Conference Draws Hundreds of Protesters
Attendees gathered in DC to discuss replacing the public education system with a voucher program.
Prison Corporations are ‘Making a Killing’
New report details corruption, increased cases of violence and death at for-profit facilities.
USDA Tells Walker: Don’t Privatize Food Assistance Program!
The federal government notifies Wisconsin that privatizing the FoodShare program would violate the law.
Just Say No to SB 5
Today, the Ohio state House is set to vote on Senate Bill 5 (SB 5), a bill that would strip collective bargaining rights from 350,000 public service workers in the state.
SB 5 is one of the cornerstones in Gov. John Kasich’s plan.
Maine Gov. Attacks Workers, Erases History
Maine Tea Party Gov. Paul LePage (R) has ordered the removal of a 36-foot mural depicting Maine’s labor history from the lobby of the state’s Department of Labor offices, claiming they received “some complaints”
Guide to Talking Unions This Holiday Season
It's easy to tune out misinformation about unions and the workers who make them strong when you hear it on the news, but what should you do this holiday season when the same misinformation comes from your friends and family?
The GOP’s Bizarre and Cynical “Pledge to America”
One can only marvel at the extreme cynicism evident in the Republican Party's bizarre 21-page "Pledge to America." The document is only the tip of the iceberg and masks the real agenda of Republican leaders.
Privatization is a Dirty Word
Privatization has become a dirty word. And for good reason. Imagine where we would be today if George W. Bush had gotten his way and gambled away our Social Security on the stock market.
Obama Takes on Contracting Abuses
Last week, President Obama ordered new guidelines for contracting in federal agencies. In a memorandum sent to the heads of all executive departments and agencies, he ordered a government-wide review of federal contracting procedures.
Audit Reveals Abuse in Highway Contracting
Some contractors who design and build the nation’s highways wrongly charged taxpayers $73 million for ballooning executive compensation, lavish perks and other unallowable expenses, according to an article by Robert O’Harrow Jr. in the Washington Post.
Social Security Gets Clean Bill of Health from CBO
An Enormous Victory
McCain’s Ignorance About Social Security Is the Real “Disgrace”
McCain Puts Retirement at Risk
Don’t Mess With Our Roads
Indiana State Hospitals: No to Privatization
Highwaymen & Privateers
Rhode Island AFSCME Members Win Privatization Fight
Univ. of California Custodians Win Major Victory
Council 94 Takes the Fight to TV
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