Green Wave rolls through Hershey for 51st Council 13 Convention
Hundreds of AFSCME Council 13 members gathered to form a Green Wave in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on the weekend of April 28-30, 2023.
“You hear a lot of talk about red waves and blues waves. We don’t care about that. We’re all about the Green Wave and AFSCME members winning!” Council 13 Executive Director David Henderson said during his remarks to delegates as he highlighted the recent victories of AFSCME members in the workplace, at the bargaining table, and at the ballot box.
*SEE BELOW FOR MORE PHOTOS*
Delegates arrived at the Hershey Lodge on Friday, gathered information from union staff, perused vendors, and enjoyed the “Green Wave Luau” at the Delegate Reception to get things started.
On Saturday morning, Council 13 President Howard Thompson banged the gavel to call the convention to order, which was followed by recognition of military veterans in attendance and a presentation of colors by the Junior ROTC of the West Shore School District, which employs members of AFSCME Local 2865.
Jamar Johnson, President of AFSCME Local 1224 (PHEAA), performed a powerful rendition of the national anthem before Rev. Dr. Linda Green, representing AFSCME Local 2456 (State Professionals – District 8), delivered an uplifting invocation.
Delegates heard remarks from State Representative Tom Mehaffie, Council 13 President Howard Thompson, AFSCME International Secretary-Treasurer Elissa McBride, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, and State Senator Vincent Hughes.
Four Council 13 members spoke throughout the general session in “Spotlight Moments,” which shined a light on the passion and dedication of AFSCME members throughout Pennsylvania. Special thanks go to Kimberly Taylor of Local 1224 (PHEAA), Keith Segraves of Local 2674 (City of Williamsport), Mary Dea Johnston of Local 2622 (Allegheny County Professionals), and Tomeka Taliah Jones-Waters of Local 2587 (Philadelphia County Clericals), for sharing their stories.
During the convention, delegates formally resolved to further commit to the AFSCME Strong initiative, to observe Workers’ Memorial Day, to remember our fallen sisters and brothers, to implement more New Employee Orientation programs, to grow the retiree chapter, to fight for a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for retirees, and to commit to the Staff The Front Lines initative. A constitutional amendment that will maintain current per capita payments to local unions was also passed.
On Saturday night, Organizing Awards were presented, with District Council 83 being recognized for Highest Membership Percentage and District Council 84 being recognized for Most New Members. On Sunday morning, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Angela Ferritto presented the 2022 Council 13 Local of the Year Award to Local 2622 (Allegheny County Professionals) for their extraordinary efforts in a recent contract campaign that resulted in major wage increases and other significant gains for workers. Congratulations to all!
The 51st Convention is in the books, but as always, the hard work continues. Let’s keep winning, keep flexing, and keep that Green Wave rolling across the commonwealth!
Check out photos from the event below!