Activists prepare to ‘Weather the Storm’ at Non-State Education Conference
Following the unfavorable Supreme Court decision on Janus v. AFSCME, Council 13 members took to Erie, Pa., to prepare to “Weather the Storm” at the 33rd Non-State Education Conference.
Attendees got the opportunity to become stronger advocates, activists and lobbyists, through a series of engaging educational sessions. In addition to treasurer training and a social media panel, there were classes on grievance procedure, organizing and political lobbying.
“Whether you’re a county, borough, township or school district employee, you bring it to the local level, and we can’t win this fight without you,” Executive Director David Fillman said in his remarks during the general session.
“We need to see to it that the Janus decision is yet another challenge that the labor movement overcomes.”
While this conference is geared toward non-state employees, state employees were invited as well, as we are all in this fight together.
“The Non-State conference is always beneficial to attend because we learn about the issues that are affecting our locals directly and we can provide that information to our members,” AFSCME Local 2902 (Lawrence County) member Charl Cox said.
With the 2018 election rapidly approaching, there was a heavy focus on the importance of volunteering and voting.
“As we head into election season, we need to put our volunteer hats on,” Derrick Sampson of AFSCME Local 543 (Lehigh County Prison) said as he introduced Legislative Director Bill Dando.
“We need you to help. We cannot sit by and let them decimate our union. We need you to get out there and talk to non-members about their union.”
Josh Minich of AFSCME Local 2112 (Clarion County Trades and Labor) closed out the conference with a message for his union sisters and brothers.
“You must vote wisely. We must rule out social issues and only vote on labor issues. In reality, nobody is coming to take your guns, however, they are coming to take your pensions and your right to collective bargaining. You must vote your job and lobby your hobby,” Minich said.
Conference attendees left with all of the resources, supplies and energy they need to weather this storm, as we march ahead and take this fight to our communities, our local unions and the voting booth.