Just as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood up for economic and racial justice, so do AFSCME members today. With strength and solidarity, we honor his legacy through action.
Let’s stand together to reaffirm our commitment to justice. We will Never Quit.
Thank you for honoring our union history
This month, tens of thousands of workers and their allies joined together in Memphis, Tennessee, for I AM 2018, a nationwide campaign to advance social and economic justice by drawing on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike.
Please join us. Even if you couldn’t travel to Memphis, you can take part in this historic moment.
Such a short but powerful statement says that you're not going to let powerful interests rob working families of their freedom to join strong unions. Your recording will be a part of a chorus of workers who know that the fight for freedom has only just begun.
Sisters and brothers: We need to speak up together to secure our future.
Thanks in part to the hard work of Houston Organization of Public Employees (HOPE) members, pension benefits for municipal employees are secure. That’s because the community overwhelmingly – by a margin of 77 percent – voted for Proposition A, Houston’s pension obligation bond.
The Nov. 7 vote means the city can “follow through on its plan to infuse $750 million into the police pension and $250 million into the municipal workers' pension,” says the Houston Chronicle, helping resolve a lingering 16-year fiscal crisis.
Since October 2016, Mayor Sylvester Turner, HOPE AFSCME Local 123 and others had been negotiating a pension-reform plan to protect pension benefits for hardworking city employees and protect Houston’s financial future.
“We were proud to partner with the mayor in negotiating this plan,” said HOPE President Melvin Hughes. “He told us from the very beginning we were going to protect our pension benefits. He never brought up other ideas like raising taxes or moving to 401(K)s.”
In the spring of 2017, HOPE members lobbied the Texas Legislature to pass the pension-reform plan. The final step was putting the $1 billion pension bond before the voters of Houston to approve. HOPE members understood this was going to be a difficult fight, but with the added devastation Hurricane Harvey inflicted on the city, it seemed an almost insurmountable goal. That’s when members got to work.
“We know that Proposition A makes sense,” said Dwight Bradley, HOPE AFSCME Local 123 executive board member. “It wasn’t going to raise taxes; it was going to create almost $2 billion in savings for the city and make sure that municipal employees are still able to retire with dignity. That was what we had to share with our neighbors and co-workers.”
HOPE members met with their co-workers to talk with them about Proposition A and its importance. They did phone banking, partnered with other unions to block-walk the city of Houston, and asked their co-workers to sign commit-to-vote cards, making sure everyone had a plan to vote on Nov. 7 for Proposition A.
“It was overwhelming to see (by) how wide of a margin Houston residents supported Proposition A,” Bradley said. “HOPE members were ready to stand together and protect our pension benefits and the financial future of our city.”