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Many AFSCME members work in high-stress fields such as public safety, health care, emergency medical services and firefighting. Their jobs have become even more stressful since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many of these workers to put their and their families’ well-being at risk while serving their communities.

But when these everyday heroes face mental health issues as a result of the high-stress environment and duties that expose them to trauma, they are often expected to deal with such challenges on their own.

It’s time to change that.

In this issue of the 93 Beacon:

The last two years have been full of challenges.

But under the leadership of the Biden administration and this Congress, we are turning a corner. There have been unprecedented investments in public services and public service jobs. Millions will see the price of life-saving prescription drugs come down. Millions more will receive relief from unfair student debt. And the wealthy are finally starting to pay their fair share.

To be sure, there is more work to be done. But if we continue this progress, we will have many more reasons to be optimistic about the future.

For nearly forty years, the harmful and unjust Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) have robbed millions of retirees of tens of thousands of dollars in hard-earned Social Security benefits. These harmful policies disproportionately impact women- more than 84% of surviving spouses impacted by the GPO are women, and many are harmed by both the WEP and GPO.

Faced with the management’s refusal to remedy unfair labor practices and address workers’ major priorities during contract negotiations, AFSCME Local 397 (District Council 47) – the Philadelphia Museum of Art Union (PMAU) – began a museum-wide strike Monday.

AFSCME is committed to helping you get the student debt relief you deserve.

Thanks to the Biden administration, millions of public service workers, including AFSCME members, are eligible for student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program or (PSLF). And even more public service workers are eligible under a temporary waiver that expires Oct. 31, 2022. 

The 2022 AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship winners were recently announced. Each year, the AFSCME Council 93 Memorial Scholarship Fund provides five individual one-thousand dollar ($1,000) scholarships to students enrolled in a two-year or four-year accredited college, recognized technical, or trade school. Awarded in memory of all of our departed members, the scholarship is renewed for each year of attendance.

For nearly forty years, the harmful and unjust Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) have robbed millions of retirees of tens of thousands of dollars in hard-earned Social Security benefits. These harmful policies disproportionately impact women- more than 84% of surviving spouses impacted by the GPO are women, and many are harmed by both the WEP and GPO.