From President Susan M. Littlefield
Brothers and Sisters,
I hope everyone reading this enjoyed a safe a happy holiday season that created many memories filled with laughter and love. I'd like to start out with a quote by John F. Kennedy:
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”
-Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961
We were faced with a lot of challenges this past decade, a lot of attacks on Unions we didn’t choose. We had a governor who wanted nothing more than our rights to be organized to go away. He had a war chest of resources he used to fight against us, and you know what we did? We chose to stand together, stand up and fight back. We stood up to the challenge, persevered thru the Rauner attacks and didn’t break. We didn’t postpone, we organized and stayed the course and proved we won’t be denied our rights, to be organized and have a voice. Nonetheless Brothers and Sisters, do not be fooled; it is not a complete victory. They still want our rights to be organized and have a voice at the table to go away. This will be an ongoing obstacle that we will have to stay organized to overcome. This is a fight we MUST win, for all of us and for generations to come.
October 24, 1934 the first minimum wage law went into effect in the United States. The minimum wage was twenty-five cents an hour. Since 1968 the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. However, the top 1% of the wealthiest people in the United States have seen their share of the nation’s income double. The 1938 minimum wage law was passed at the height of the Great Depression. Here we are in 2020 still fighting for a fair minimum wage. If you are reading this, you are blessed to have a City of Chicago Union job. Our salaries and benefits are hard fought for and are what they are because of the Union. With our current contract we will receive 2 percent increase in January. (I am still waiting on a new contract book as well. Hopefully soon.) This was possible by having the right to negotiate with the city. We had a seat at the table, which would not have been possible without a Union. The higher paying salaries will see a small increase in their medical benefits, this is to keep those making the lower salaries insurance affordable for them. Local 2912 leadership has not passed on the dues increases the past couple of years to the membership due to being successful with educating the membership on the importance of being a full member with the union. When the Janus case hit, many members reached out to us to become a full member and we continue to work hard on educating and representing the membership. We are at 94% full membership.
2019 was a year of many adversities and many successes. We made sure Rauner was not reelected. We united to make sure the Janus case didn’t break our union. We won a couple arbitration cases, getting members their jobs back, and we have seen some problematic managers leave the city. We have worked with the city to allow a Personal Support Program speaker to come out and speak with members in a group setting.
In closing I would like to say this has been a very grueling year for me both personally and professionally and without the support and encouragement of friends, family, friendly faces throughout City Hall and the entire Executive Board of Local 2912 I am not sure it would have been so successful. So, if it was just a warm friendly smile, words of encouragement and/or a hug, know you made a difference in my life. For that I thank you. I know the Local is only as strong as its united membership.
In 2020 I would like to organize a family Labor History Walk. Please email afscmelocal2912.org if you are interested. (warm weather event)
Here’s to hoping everyone takes time to make the memories that count and have a safe and prosperous New Year.
Susan M Littlefield
President, Local 2912
Did you know:
AFSCME Retiree Chapter is very active in fighting for our pensions and most recently the attacks on the cost of living increases the retirees receive. Information available at www.afscme31.org
PSP - Union's very own Personal Support Program - first visit is on city time Contact 800-647-8776
Free College Tuition for you and family members 888-590-9009
Legal Shield - legal costs at a discounted rate contact information on afscmelocal2912.org
For other union benefits, go to www.unionplus.org
"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given, it must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those that prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor - who have carried us up the long rugged path toward prosperity and freedom." Barack Obama
All Executive Board Officers attended AFSCME Secretary Treasurer training
All Executive Board Officers attend AFSCME Executive Board Training
All Stewards completed certified Steward training
In compliance with AFSCME Financial Standards implemented Financial Bi-Laws
In compliance with AFSCME Financial Standards regarding semi-annual audits
Implemented Payroll Servicing Codes ADP services
Implemented Standard Financial Forms due processing
Updated office with new computers and furniture
Launched Local 2912 website (www.afscmelocal2912.org)
Launched mobile version of website
Launched Local 2912 Facebook page
Instituted General Membership meetings during lunchtime and alternate locations
Annual membership "Meet & Greet" party
Initiated retirement plaques to honor our Brothers and Sisters who have retired from City employment