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For Immediate Release

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

New Report: Strong Unions Mean Stronger Communities

Report shows how strong unions help unrig the rules for all families, communities

WASHINGTON — 

Today, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the National Education Association (NEA), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) released a new report, Strong Unions, Stronger Communities.

The report looks at numerous case studies where members of labor unions have used their freedom to join strong unions and collective voice to fight for improvements that benefit all working families in communities throughout America.

From helping hospitals and airports prepare to respond to the Ebola virus to helping high school students pursue careers in nursing, labor unions and their members are helping communities, families and students across the country to prosper.

“My work as a Child Protection Investigator for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is vital to the safety of our state’s most vulnerable children and families. Together, as a strong union, my colleagues and I are free to speak up to ensure that we can safely and adequately manage our caseloads, which reflects our commitment to safety and public service to our communities.” – Stephen Mittons, Child Protection Investigator for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and member of AFSCME Council 31

"My union just went through a lengthy contract fight in Philadelphia. We had to fight hard to protect our students’ basic needs, such as having at least one nurse and counselor in each school and ensuring that kids had necessary textbooks and materials. And we had to fight back against the district's desire to eliminate class sizes and get lead testing for the school's water fountains. Most people assume that the union only fights for teachers' rights, when in reality, most of our contract is there to protect the basic rights and needs of our students." – Jeff Price, AFT Local 3 member, Teacher at Central High School, School District of Philadelphia.

“As a high school special education teacher, I know how important our public schools are to our communities and our students. Educators are deeply committed to the success of every student. Our union gives us the freedom to join together to advocate for improved pay and working conditions, professional development, rights on the job and improved education for our students.” – Korrie Brown, special education teacher in Chester County, PA, and member of PSEA/NEA

“Because public services workers are united in SEIU and other unions, we had a way to make sure our voices were heard. We fought for proposals to fix Los Angeles through street repairs, tree trimming, beach cleanups and the overall job creation needed to keep our city clean, healthy and functioning. Those are the kinds of improvements that we fought for and through our unions we helped make that happen." – SEIU Local 721 member Stacee Karnya, a Senior Chemist for the City of Los Angeles who helps keep the city’s air and water supplies safe through testing and analysis

Corporate special interests have launched unprecedented attacks against the freedom of working people to form strong unions over the past several years, most recently urging the U.S. Supreme Court to consider Janus v. AFSCME, which would further benefit the corporations, wealthy special interests and politicians that have rigged the economy against working people.

Read Strong Unions, Stronger Communities.

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