What Does AFSCME Offer?

One of the main reasons your union has been so successful is the solid structure that has been built over the last 50 years.
AFSCME Council 13 contains eight District Councils that span the entire state, each fully staffed with highly trained, professional Staff Representatives assigned to each and every local union.
In Harrisburg, the Council 13 headquarters is home to the following departments and representatives that provide constant service to members:
Grievance & Arbitration Department:

  • Handles statewide grievances and oversees the Accelerated Grievance Procedure.
  • Manages and often successfully fights back the many subcontracting attempts that come in on an almost daily basis.
  • Addresses all worker classification issues.

Education Department:

  • Offers a variety of training, both in-person and virtual, and can train any local union/officer by request.
  • Plans a variety of educational conferences and training sessions every year.
  • Distributes a variety of officer/steward resources and trained more than 200 new stewards in 2022 alone.

Member Resource Center:

  • Takes calls Monday-Friday 9 AM-5 PM to address any and all questions and concerns that represented employees may have at 1-800-5-AFSCME or [email protected].
  • Provides immediate answers and/or puts members in contact with Staff Representatives/local officers who can provide answers.
  • Includes Communications staff to share important information and promote the work of Council 13 members.

Legislative Department:

  • Fights for all AFSCME Council 13 members at the Capitol.
  • Lobbies on your behalf for better working conditions and safer workplaces.
  • Advocates for pro-worker, pro-union candidates, regardless of their political party.

Organizing Department:

  • Conducts organizing drives that bring in new workers, improving those workers’ lives and growing our union’s collective strength.
  • Organizes internally so workers already represented by AFSCME have strong local unions.
  • Launches campaigns in response to the needs of the membership.

Business Office:

  • Manages dues processing.
  • Assists local unions with financial matters.
  • Offers treasurer training.

Assistants to the Executive Director assigned to each state agency:

  • Deal directly with agency management to address issues that arise and secure side agreements to benefit members.
  • Form member committees to discuss specifics of the jobs performed and what employees need to succeed and prosper.
  • Conduct statewide labor/management meetings to address broader concerns that are unable to be resolved at the local level.

Council 13 offers all of this and more, and that doesn’t even touch on the abundant resources offered by our 1.4 million-member-strong international union.
AFSCME as an organization provides the structure and resources, but let’s remember that it is truly the members who run this union from the top down. A union is only as strong as its membership, and all the resources in the world do not amount to much if there are not activists that stand up and get involved in the process.
With that in mind, I urge you to get involved in your Union. There are important things happening that will impact you directly, including the upcoming negotiations for the next Master Agreement.
Imagine what we can do by bringing the full power of AFSCME on behalf of your job. A few months from now, we have that opportunity to do just that. Join me, join us, and let’s fight like hell for what all AFSCME members deserve.
In Solidarity,
Dave Henderson
Executive Director, AFSCME Council 13