Big things happened this past weekend, in case you missed it:
ln a historic decision to combine strengths and resources, and focus on rebuilding union membership, AFSCME Councils 24, 40 and 48 officially unified to become AFSCME Wisconsin Council 32, in honor of the year AFSCME was born in the state in 1932.
With intense and determined attitudes, delegates to the founding convention quickly got down to serious business at the outset of the three-day event, April 17-19. They adopted a constitution, elected new officers and a new executive board.
“We have come together as unified activists and both the newly elected officers and board members know that job one is rebuilding our union,” said Paul Spink, newly elected president of Council 32. “This new council and its members will be bold, determined and action-driven to improve the lives of our members and all working people. The real work starts now.”
Members, local union leaders and council leadership from each of the three former councils worked for more than a year on a plan to form the new council. They were careful to draft a constitution that ensures representation and a voice for members in all work sectors and geographic sections of the state. The new unified Wisconsin council membership includes state, county and municipal employees, as well as school employees and private-sector workers.
“Everything you’ve done is a model of dedication, and you show all of AFSCME what it means to be committed to our fight. And this moment marks a new start,” AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders told delegates. “It is both a point of liberation from the past and a catalyst for the future.”