AFSCME Council 13 urges funding of public workforce following budget address

Harrisburg, PA (February 8, 2022) – AFSCME Council 13 is calling on Pennsylvania’s state legislature to enact the many pro-worker initiatives outlined in Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal and utilize what is projected to be a multibillion-dollar budget surplus to adequately fund public services and the unionized employees who deliver those services.

“We are encouraged by Governor Wolf’s words, but we all know the real work begins now, and our union urges elected officials to prioritize the public service workers who have powered us through a pandemic in this budget,” Executive Director David Henderson said.

The federal American Rescue Plan funds intended for front-line workers and pandemic recovery account for a large part of the commonwealth’s surplus, and as the world continues reeling from the pandemic while working people keep society afloat, public employees of Pennsylvania are counting on their leaders to invest accordingly.

Excess state revenues, many of which are gathered and processed through the hard work of AFSCME members, account for the rest of the surplus. Not only should funding go to Pennsylvania’s state and local public services, but the public sector workforce must get its fair share of the work rather than jobs being outsourced for private profiteering.

With thousands of members working in hospitals and nursing homes, from nurses to aides to custodial employees, Council 13 supports the significant funding that Governor Wolf has proposed for the increasingly difficult field of healthcare.

Council 13 commends Governor Wolf for his continued calls for higher wages as well as his steadfast commitment to education, including the AFSCME members working for local school districts all the way up to the State System of Higher Education. Council 13 also applauds environmental initiatives that increase the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ budget and proposals to expand childcare for state employees.

AFSCME Council 13 encourages its members and all Pennsylvanians to make their voices heard by their representatives and senators as the state budget process moves forward.

AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) is the largest affiliate in the AFL-CIO. AFSCME Council 13 represents more than 65,000 public employees in Pennsylvania.