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For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thousands to Rally Today to Protect Vital Public Services

Nation’s largest public service union to rally today on Boston Common to promote jobs, stop devastating cuts to key services

Boston — 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, is rallying on Boston Common on Wednesday, June 30 to oppose dangerous cuts in services across the nation. They will fight for the jobs that America needs to boost the economy and build a future of prosperity for all.

They are rallying in Boston to stop the closure of the state’s facilities for people with developmental disabilities and devastating cuts to the city’s public libraries. The rally will also call for fair contracts for Massachusetts’ higher education workers represented by AFSCME.

WHO: Thousands of AFSCME activists from across the United States attending the national Convention at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center will rally with members of AFSCME Council 93 Massachusetts. AFSCME is the nation’s largest public service union with 1.6 million members.

WHAT: Rally with strong visuals and powerful speakers, including:

  • AFSCME International President Gerald W. McEntee
  • Anthony Caso, Executive Director, AFSCME Council 93
  • Elissa Cadillic, President, AFSCME Local 1526, Boston Public Library
  • Michael Thomas, President, Local 65, SUMMUP (Massachusetts Human Services locals)
  • Kevin Hanley, Local 1067, Massachusetts State and Community Colleges
  • Francis Martin, President, Local 1776, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

WHEN: 3:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 30

WHERE: Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common

WHY: With the nation continuing to suffer through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the public services that AFSCME members provide are more vital than ever.  But elected leaders are making mis­guided decisions that threaten the health and safety of the people and communities that depend on public employees.  They are mak­ing harmful budget cuts to education and local governments, undermining AFSCME members’ ability to provide vital public services that make Boston and our nation strong and proud.  AFSCME members are fighting to preserve essential public services.

The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center documents more than $300 million in cuts to vital social services in Massachusetts, resulting from Congressional Republicans blocking the jobs bill with help for state and local budgets, including:

  • $65.5 million from education, including:
    • $8.65 million from child care/early education
    • $23.5 million from K-12
    • $32.9 million from higher education
  • $81.3 from MassHealth, including cuts in dental health benefits that will affect nearly 700,000 adults
  • $1.9 million from early intervention public health programs
  • $2.2 million from local aid
  • $4.2 million from the state police
  • $5 million from summer jobs for youth