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Some of the nation’s largest cultural institutions accepted more than $1.6 billion in federal help to weather the coronavirus pandemic, but continued to let go of workers – even though the assistan

Take a moment to sign the petition calling on Governor Baker to provide reasonable accommodations to our state employees who cannot or do not want to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Reasonable alternatives to the mandate include mandatory masks and weekly COVID testing.

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When Fran Krugen’s late husband was first diagnosed with diabetes, his insulin cost about $35 a bottle.

But Krugen, an AFSCME retiree from Arizona, will never forget the day when she and her husband went to the drug store to pick up his insulin and the pharmacist told them it now cost $900 a bottle.

“This was medication he needed to live, and we had insurance,” she said at a press briefing earlier this month. “We looked at each other and had to ask ourselves: Do we make the house payment? Do we buy food? Or do we pay for his medication?”

As previously posted, Governor Baker filed the necessary legislation to fund our agreements with the commonwealth on August 19th.  The contract funding is part of a $568 million supplemental budget included in HB 4078, which is currently before the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The pandemic has led many of us to take stock of our lives and our goals. For AFSCME New Jersey member LaTrenda Ross, the pandemic ignited a long-held dream—starting her own life coaching business.

“I was thinking about revamping my whole entire life,” recalls Ross, a member of Local 2306. “I was looking out for things I want to do, things I haven’t been going after.”

More Americans approve of labor unions today than at any time since 1965, according to annual Gallup poll results released around each Labor Day.

More than two-thirds of poll respondents – 68% – approved of labor unions. That means a clear majority of voters views labor unions favorably. Among adults 18-34 years of age, 77% approve of unions. Support is also high among those with annual household incomes under $40,000.

Last month, as wild fires raged across the Western United States, burning millions of acres from California to the Dakotas, a crew of twenty specially trained Massachusetts public employees set out from Hopkinton for a four-day cross-country drive loaded with gear, equipment, transportation, and expertise to provide assistance in fighting the fires affecting the region.

“AFSCME Council 93 believes that vaccinations are the safest and most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and variants of the virus. However, we also firmly believe that any policy on vaccinations must be established through discussions and negotiations with the union. While a majority of our members may have already received a vaccination, many others have understandable concerns that we believe should be addressed in advance of any policy implementation.

We have good news to report. Earlier today, Governor Baker filed the required legislation to fund the Massachusetts Unit 2 contract and our separate agreement on hazard pay bonuses. Since this legislation is not limited to simply funding our contract, there are a number of factors that can impact how quickly the bill moves through the process, including but not limited to what other cost items and/or policy initiatives are included in the budget bill.