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President

Susan M. Littlefield:


2023 Presidents Letter

March 2023

 

Brothers and Sisters,

As we get back to the new normal after the pandemic, I hope this letter finds everyone healthy and in a safe place. After more than nine months at the bargaining table, we have successfully settled our contract! This could not have been done without everyone's active participation in the job actions by wearing buttons, stickers, the color green, and putting up your union signs. The city took notice and settled the day before our scheduled citywide picketing. This is a perfect example of the strength of standing in solidarity. The strength of union is ALL of us, and it requires ALL of our support. With that being said, we have not had an increase in union dues for more than ten years. We are required to be fiscally responsible for our local, so there will be a small increase of $1.28 per paycheck.

 

The Illinois Policy Institute has stepped up their tactics to convince you unions aren‟t necessary. Companies across the country that have never been unionized are trying to organize and become Union strong, from Starbucks and Amazon to the Art Institute, to name a few. They are angry the Workers‟ Rights Amendment to the Illinois Constitution passed this past November.

 

“The Workers Rights Amendment guarantees every Illinois citizen their fundamental right to organize their workplace and bargain collectively for better pay and safe workplaces. It permanently outlaws any attempt to pass as so called „right to work (for less).‟ Illinois will be the fourth state to enshrine the right to collective bargaining in its constitution.” -Ed Finkelstein, Labor

Tribune The struggles we deal with on a day-to-day basis are challenging enough without the worries of not having a union to fight for us. Local 2912 is only as strong as its membership. In a city-wide meeting regarding contract updates, the membership suggested we should start a “Wear Green Wednesday” movement. Moving forward, we are asking all AFSCME members to wear green EVERY WEDNESDAY. We should all be proud knowing that despite the strong attacks thrown at us, we have proven we want our union intact. We deserve a voice at the table, and we continue to challenge the billionaires that doubt our intelligence and try to convince us we would be better off without our Union.

 

I recently returned from a spiritual trip to India. It was rejuvenating and a well needed break from my regular day-to-day. I took all the eyeglasses that everyone donated over the years of the pandemic and gave them to an eye camp in Vrindavan, a small village in India. The eye camp is for those who cannot afford basic eye care. The man that took the box of glasses found a pair that worked for him, and he exclaimed, “I can see again!” He said a monkey took his glasses (they will steal things like glasses, hats, bags, etc.) and he could not afford a new pair. The trip was an emotional experience that made me appreciate my life that much more. I am still collecting glasses; if you have any you would like to donate, please drop them in the box by my desk.

I am grateful to you for allowing me another year to represent you, and for our union standing in solidarity. Please stay safe and healthy!

 

Susan M. Littlefield, President AFSCME Local 2912

From President Susan M. Littlefield

                            

          President's Letter 2021

Happy New Year to you and your family! I hope this letter finds everyone in good physical and emotional health.

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” One of my favorite quotes by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.” One of my favorite quotes by John Lewis. 

As we were racing around stressing out with not enough time to meet all our deadlines, run all the

errands and keep up with family and friends, suddenly a pandemic hit. How quickly we were forced, for health and safety reasons, to eliminate so many activities we took for granted and separate from our friends and families. No longer worried about picking up the children from school on time, CTA getting us to work on time, or traffic, everything came to a stop. Our stresses shifted from these to worries about having enough toilet paper, cleaning supplies, food, face masks and making sure our children get an education. 

One worry we should all be grateful we DID NOT have was losing our pay and health

insurance. We should all be thankful to be part of our AFSCME UNION, since we were one of a few who did not get sent home without pay.   To the many Union office workers who started to telework and the essential workers who kept reporting to work and standing AFSCME STRONG, THANK YOU!

 

Some of the essential workers’ titles that the public are not aware of are: Payment Service Representatives, Administrative Assistants, Animal Care workers, Business Compliance Investigators, Finance Investigators, Fire Department civilian personal, DPD Investigators, and Rehab Construction Specialists. Unions have been under attack the last couple of years from billionaires who do not want us to have a seat at the table to have a voice. They think we make too much money while they are drinking their $30,000 bottles of champagne (yes, not a typing error). We should be proud of each other for standing strong in SOLIDARITY AND UNITY in the face of these attacks. If you have not signed a card to be a paying union member now is the time to stand in solidarity with all your other brothers and sisters and do so. 

 

Feel free to reach out to myself or anyone on the board or use this site:

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/were-standing-together-2/ 

Good news to report, once again Local 2912 was able to absorb the cost of the increase in Union dues and has waived passing on the increase to the membership again this year as we have done in previous years.

Union jobs are becoming a rare privilege. It is important that everyone who has a union position

understands that those who came before us fought and lost lives to give us what we have. It is

imperative that everyone, especially younger members, become active to carry this fight for generations to come.

2020 was a year of economic uncertainty and social unrest. The year that added pressure to change the adage “business as usual.” As a Union leader, I and the entire Executive Board will continue to fight for city workers to be treated with dignity and respect. 

This year many coworkers have retired without getting their farewells and blessings on their new journey and next chapter. If I am still President when things open back up and we can have gatherings, you will certainly be invited to get the accolades you deserve. 

This year we have also lost family members, coworkers, and friends, without having the support we are used to. Stay strong in the love and memories you shared with them. After all, the most priceless thing we possess on this earth is memories. I cannot write this without acknowledging the loss of two of the greatest most powerful voices for civil rights; John Lewis and the notorious RBG – Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

As we enter 2021 with a new normal, we all must prepare for the day when teleworking is no longer the norm. We cannot tell you when this will be, the city has the power to make that call. I hope everyone used this time to reflect on the things that are important to you and took time to embrace your loved ones, fully present and not rushing to the next chore, errand, event, or place. The rush to open everything back up will change our daily lives again. As challenging as change may be for some, please take the time to reflect on why the changes are needed. Do not allow change to give you health problems. If you need to talk to someone (besides me), please use the Unions very own Personal Support Program. They can be easily reached by calling 1-800-647-8776.

In closing, I would like to welcome anyone who would like to get more involved with the local by

becoming a steward, helping with updating website or being a new member mentor please contact

myself or anyone on the board.

Thank you for allowing me to represent you and be your President.

One more quote: “You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted.” Ruth E. Renkl

Sincerely,

Susan M Littlefield

President

Accomplishments

 

  • 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

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