Across the country, AFSCME members are encouraging their members of Congress to support President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, a transformational plan to invest $3.5 trillion in America’s physical and human infrastructure – everything from roads and bridges to child care and home care to lowering the costs of prescription drugs and improving Medicare – all by asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. 

For years, because of budget cuts and austerity, public service workers have had to do more with less. And when the pandemic hit, short staffing levels and decades of underfunding left brave public service workers without the proper resources to keep themselves safe and public services running smoothly. Still, public service workers rose to the challenge and continue to battle the pandemic while delivering essential services. AFSCME members were instrumental in passing the American Rescue Plan, which sent $350 billion in aid to states, cities and towns to fund vital public services and jobs and delivered working families the relief they needed from the brutal economic toll of the pandemic. 

But now, there is a real chance for Congress to pass an ambitious agenda that will make long-term investments in our communities, making them stronger than ever. The Build Back Better agenda will bolster public services, create good union jobs, cut middle-class taxes, expand health care coverage, lower the price of prescription drugs for millions of Americans and do so much more. And all this will be accomplished by asking the very wealthy and profitable corporations to finally pay their fair share. 

Some in Congress oppose leveling the playing field for working people by asking those at the top to chip in. They want to severely cut back on this blueprint to help working people. But public service workers know more than anyone that it is not enough to go back to pre-pandemic levels of investment in public services. Now, it is time to ensure that our communities and families are safe, healthy and strong for decades to come. 

Now is not the time for half measures. It is time to pass the full Build Back Better Agenda. 

Read more about the Build Back Better Agenda.

To Build Back Better, we must invest in our children, our families, our caregivers

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“One of the biggest problems with running a family day care is that child care costs are so high and the market rate is so low. We’re essential workers and this industry is made up mostly of women and people of color. I have a staff of five, and I’m required to pay them $14 an hour. They deserve that and a lot more. But as for me, I make $6 an hour. Day cares are closing in our communities.”

Darcey Leone

Child care provider

Long Island, NY

CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000

Child care workers’ crucial role spotlighted in roundtable talk

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“I would wake up at 3 a.m. and work till 8 a.m., then switch with my husband, who is a farmer, so he could go to work. I would be with the children online. When my husband came back home, I’d go back to the correctional institution and finish the rest of my day. The bottom line is workers like myself need child care options that go beyond the 9 to 5.”

Marissa Wilson
Transition coordinator
Deer Ridge Correctional Facility in Oregon
AFSCME Local 2376 (Oregon AFSCME)