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Megha Desai is a public defender in Multnomah County, Oregon. In a given week, she might work upwards of 60 hours. Right now, she has about 145 open cases.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — On Wednesday, community and family gathered to honor fallen and injured Washington State Department of Transportation workers.

All-knowing sources of information. Tour guides to the highways and byways of history. The friendly voice of a morning story time.

WFSE members from the Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) held a summit over the weekend to identify workplace issues and strategize on how they can address them as a union.

Members brought up everything from outdated equipment to the need for biohazard training, issues they plan to take to management next Monday.

Joy Draper, a maintenance lead tech from Tacoma, said that taking on issues starts with becoming a union member.

Fifty-one years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. traveled to Memphis to help rally the community around 1,300 AFSCME sanitation workers who had gone on strike.

In the 1980s, I was living and going to school in Minnesota when women who worked for state government won a big victory. They got the state to increase the pay of women in “female dominated jobs” by passing a pay equity bill. In other words, they put a dent in the gender pay gap. As a student, I researched and wrote about the process of crafting, passing and implementing that legislation. And I learned something that I have never forgotten: the union made it happen. And not just any union. Our union: AFSCME. 

Our union gained more than 9,000 dues-paying members and nearly 19,000 dues-paying retirees in the last year, suggesting that billionaires and corporations are failing in their effort to “defund and defang” public service unions.

Workers in Missouri and New Mexico have chalked important victories against anti-worker laws that would have robbed them of their voices and the right to bargain collectively.

In Missouri, two separate anti-worker measures, HB 1413 and SB 1007, were halted by state courts last week.

Assistant attorneys general in Washington state have formed a union through AFSCME to gain a voice in their workplace.

The Association of Washington Assistant Attorneys General (AWAAG) joined with the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE)/AFSCME Council 28 in late January to secure the right to collectively bargain.

All Washington state agencies rely on the dependable and essential services provided by the Attorney General’s Office.

Our union has provided information to help guide IT employees as the state transitions to a new IT structure. The new structure will be implemented in July of this year (subject to funding by the legislature).

This restructuring will result in changes to IT job classifications. All IT employees should understand the new structure, the documents necessary for appealing reallocation decisions, and the key dates involved in this transition.

LAS VEGAS — More than 160 AFSCME members gathered in Las Vegas last week to lift up the voice of public service workers and move our union forward.  

At the AFSCME Volunteer Member Organizer Rise Up conference, VMOs from around the country attended skill-building training sessions and visited Nevada state employees to share the vision of improving the quality of public services and the lives of those who provide those services.