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Public Employee Press


Help wanted: members to lead

“I convinced myself I didn’t have time to add a new responsibility to what’s already a pretty long ‘to do’ list. But there are too many troubling things going on in the country right now and I believe that playing an active role in my union is a meaningful way to take a stand for my family, my community, my colleagues — and myself.”

That is how Local 1549’s Teddy Jarrett describes becoming a DC 37 Volunteer Member Organizer (VMO).

Despite their busy schedules, DC 37 members like Jarrett are getting involved in their union to help organize workplaces, strengthen alliances with community groups and back candidates who support working families.

Their participation comes as public service workers are under fire around the country. Unless they get involved now, members risk losing rights that the union has built up over decades.

Anti-labor politicians are passing legislation that restricts collective bargaining rights and places limits on the right of public employee unions to defend their members. A looming Supreme Court case, Janus v. AFSCME, could lead to the defunding of public employee unions, in effect making the entire country a so-called “right-to-work” state.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said in the early 1960s: “We must guard against being fooled by false slogans such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights…”

Member volunteers are critical to our efforts to make DC 37 a stronger and more vibrant union.

DC 37’s Volunteer Member Organizer program teaches activists how best to defend their coworkers and get involved in their communities. Experienced organizers help volunteers build communication and organizing skills that will help gain respect and a voice in the workplace.

To get involved, please call Erica Vargas of the Political Action and Legislative Dept. at 212-815-1550.