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News


07/28/2020
 
Posted By: Council 93

Dear AFSCME Local Union President:

We are writing to inform you of some important action taken by the Council 93 Executive Board at the board's last meeting, which was held online or "virtually" on Saturday, July 11th.

Based on the recommendation of the board's Finance Committee, the full executive board voted unanimously to cancel the upcoming Council 93 Legislative Conference scheduled for September 11th – 13th in Danvers, MA.

As stated in the Finance Committee report, the recommendation was based on "COVID-19 related dangers; restrictions imposed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker that severely limit crowd sizes at events and conferences; and most importantly - out of concern for the health and safety of Council 93 members and union staff."

Fortunately, we have already received confirmation from the Doubletree by Hilton North Shore/Boston that we will not incur any charges related to this cancellation.

For those who may be concerned about the political endorsements that we make at our legislative conferences, it's important to remember that the executive board has the power to handle endorsements. In fact, at the virtual meeting on Saturday, July 11th, the board voted to endorse David Zuckerman for Governor of Vermont; Dan Feltes for Governor of New Hampshire; and Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. The endorsement votes taken by delegates on the floor of our legislative conferences are votes to support our eboard resolutions making those endorsements. These floor votes simply represent an extra level of support for our endorsements. So rest assured, we will still be very active in the upcoming November elections.

As you know, these legislative conferences also serve to help guide the union on legislative priorities. However, they are not the only method of providing guidance or suggestions to the union, when it comes to legislative issues. In fact, given that many legislative issues (both positive and harmful) surface throughout the year and often well after legislative conferences are held, our union is constantly shifting and adapting to address these issues. One such example is the so-called police reform bill that was filed just last week in Massachusetts, where we have been working with other public-sector unions to amend the bill in a manner that would remove or change sections of the bill that would be harmful to all public-sector workers. This includes removing provisions that eliminate so-called "qualified immunity" sections of the bill that would make all public-sector workers vulnerable to personal lawsuits.

With that in mind, we encourage anyone who wishes to discuss or advance a legislative priority to contact Jim Durkin, Council 93's Legislative and Political Action Director. You can either email Jim at jdurkin@afscme93.org or call him at any time day or night at 978-866-2283. Jim is also available to assist your local in any local or regional political endorsements you may wish to make, as endorsements in these races are not handled by the Council 93 Executive Board.

In closing, we thank you for your understanding and for all you have done and continue to do to ensure continued delivery of essential public services during the pandemic. We look forward to re-uniting our AFSCME Family in 2021 at the Council 93 Biennial Convention in Danvers.

In Solidarity,

Mark Bernard Charles C. Owen Jr.
Executive Director President

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AFSCME Council 93

AFSCME Council 93 represents more than 45,000 state, county and municipal employees in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

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