AFSCME picket set at Dwight prison


DWIGHT — Keeping Dwight Correctional Center open will be the focus of an informational picket from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday at the prison.

The event is organized by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents many of the prison’s workers. The union plans the picket as part of a larger effort to oppose various budget cuts proposed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

via Daily Digest 03/12/12.

‘Save Dwight Correctional’ Rally Set for Monday :: Illinois House Republicans

State Representative Jason Barickman (R-Champaign) has announced that a public rally will be held in Dwight on Monday, March 5th to discuss plans and lay out a community strategy aimed at saving Dwight Correctional Center.

“We want to provide the public, the community and all those involved with the necessary information to get our message out about how important Dwight prison is to the local area,” said Rep. Barickman. “We are going to build a public outcry of just how bad of decision the Governor is making with this proposed closure. The people of Dwight, Livingston County and all the surrounding areas are going to be vocal and outspoken in their support of the facility, and the 350 employees and their families who count on these jobs.”

The rally to save Dwight Correctional Center is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, March 5th at the Dwight Township High School gymnasium located at 801 South Franklin St. in Dwight. Anyone who may have questions regarding Governor Quinn’s proposed closure or anyone who wants to join the effort to keep Dwight Correctional Center open is encouraged to attend.

Representative Barickman and Senator Cultra will be in attendance to provide an update of the closure process, the Department of Corrections budgeting procedures, and answer any questions the public may have in relation to the proposed closure. Dwight Mayor Bill Wilkey will open the rally with the potential effects on the local community. Larry Vaupel of the Greater Livingston County Economic Development Council and Nancy Ammer of the Grundy County Economic Development Council will discuss economic impacts of such a closure, and Dan Dunlap (president of AFSCME Local 1133) and Joe Pluger will speak to the effects on prison employees. There will be time allocated after the speakers’ remarks for public comments and questions.

‘Save Dwight Correctional Center’ petitions are available through Rep. Barickman’s website,, or at this district office located at 224 North Main St. in Pontiac. Petitions will also be handed out at the rally.

Anyone who has questions about the rally or the closure is encouraged to contact Rep. Barickman’s office by phone at (815) 844-4642 or email at Regular updates on outreach opportunities, ‘Save Dwight’ events, and other ‘Save Dwight’ activities can be found at the ‘Save Dwight Correctional Center’ facebook page or by signing up to receive Representative Barickman’s email newsletter at his website.

For those who may not be able to attend, the public rally will be streamed live and video of the gathering can be watched at

via ‘Save Dwight Correctional’ Rally Set for Monday :: Illinois House Republicans.

Rally to defend collective bargaining rights and retirement security – AFSCME Council 31

Get ready to rock the Capitol Rotunda at noon on Oct. 26!

Gov. Pat Quinn is refusing to pay negotiated raises to more than 30,000 state employees and he’s planning to lay off almost 2000 employees despite a “no-layoff” provision in the AFSCME contract.

The Governor’s actions don’t just threaten the state employees who could lose their jobs or their raises. They threaten every AFSCME member — every public employee! — in Illinois. The rally will demonstrate that union members won’t just sit by and allow their rights to be taken away.

We are demanding that our legislators stand up to the governor and honor the union contract by enacting a supplemental appropriation that fully funds state operations — to prevent closures and layoffs and pay negotiated raises.

And we want to stop the move against retirement security dead in its tracks. We beat back pension-slashing legislation in the spring legislative session, but big business interests have vowed to try again to pass this legislation in the veto session.

AFSCME members from all across Illinois will be coming to Springfield for the rally. We’ll be joined by other unions who share our concern with protecting bargaining rights in Illinois.

The rally will be from approximately 12 noon to 1 p.m. Try to arrive by 11:30 a.m. in order to have time to go through Capitol security (and remember to bring a photo ID). If possible, plan to spend some time after the rally meeting with your legislators.

via Rally to defend collective bargaining rights and retirement security – AFSCME Council 31.

Union rights, pensions at risk in Veto Session

State employees have rarely faced bigger threats than those before us today.

And most of them will be staring us right in the face as the upcoming legislative veto session gets underway on October 25.

Governor Quinn is trying to wipe out our collective bargaining rights by blatantly violating our contract, refusing to abide by an arbitrator’s rulings, and seeking to establish legal precedent that will allow union contracts to be voided whenever the state has fiscal problems.

And he’s planning to lay off nearly 2,000 employees and close seven state facilities—despite having signed an agreement committing to no layoffs or closures through June, 2012.

Quinn is blaming his actions on the General Assembly’s failure to fully fund state operations in the FY 12 budget. But key legislators say they never intended to nullify union contracts.

So our first task is to insist that all legislators stand up to Governor Quinn and stand up for collective bargaining rights by enacting a supplemental appropriation..

Call your legislator today toll-free at 888-912-5959. Tell him/her to support a supplemental appropriation in the veto session to preserve jobs and honor union contracts.

But we can’t stop there. It’s very likely that SB 512, legislation to drastically reduce pension benefits for all current state employees, could be called for a vote in the veto session.

You may have already seen the billboards and ads that the millionaires in the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club have up claiming that “Illinois Is Broke” because of public employee pensions. They’re pushing hard for legislators to pass SB 512 and force employees out of the pension plan and into risky 401(k) retirement plans.

We also expect to see legislation in the veto session to drastically increase retiree health care costs for state employees and to strip bargaining rights from thousands of former merit compensation employees who are now union members.

In other words, it’s going to be one very tough couple of weeks.

If we’re going to win on all these fronts, it will take unified, concerted action—sometimes on very short notice. I hope we can count on you to be part of that effort.

Henry Bayer
Executive Director

Informational Picket

On Tuesday, July 12th there will be an informational picket at the Fox Developmental Center in Dwight from 1:30 pm to 5 pm to protest the violation of the contract between the State and its workers. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

Kankakee We Are One Video – Part 3

Kankakee alderman Steven Hunter introduces pastor Vincent Clark at the We Are One event held in Kankakee on April 4, 2011. Mr. Clark reads Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop” speech.

Dr. King originally gave the speech on April 3, 1968. He was assassinated the next day.

AFSCME Council 31 Summer School

AFSCME Council 31 Summer School

Date Jul 31, 2011 – Aug 5, 2011

Location Scool of Labor and Employment Relations, Wagner Education Center, 504 E. Armory Ave. Champaign

Sponsor Labor Education Program

Contact Labor Education Program Office

Phone 217-333-0980

Only open to AFSCME.

via LER Calendar: AFSCME Council 31 Summer School.

Local WE ARE ONE Rallies

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, where he had gone to stand with sanitation workers demanding their dream: The right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a better life. The workers were trying to form a union with AFSCME.

Beginning with worship services over the April 1 weekend, and continuing through the week of April 4, unions, people of faith, civil and human rights activists, students and other progressive allies will host a range of community- and workplace-focused actions.

Join us in solidarity with working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and dozens of other states where well-funded, right-wing corporate politicians are trying to take away the rights Dr. King gave his life for: the freedom to bargain, to vote, to afford a college education and justice for all workers, immigrant and native-born. It’s a day to show movement. Teach-ins. Vigils. Faith events. A day to be creative, but clear: We are one.

If you live in Dwight, there are four rallies fairly close:

If you live in the Pontiac area:

If you live in the Kankakee area:

I’ll be at the Kankakee event from 5’ish to about 6’ish. Hope to see you there.

‘We Are One’ rallies set for April 4-9 across Illinois – AFSCME Council 31

A nationwide week of action is scheduled for April 4-9, to speak out against the assault on workers’ rights across the country. “We Are One” rallies will be held across the state during the week, building to Saturday’s all-Illinois rally in Chicago.

The AFL-CIO’s call for a nation-wide outpouring of resistance to the assault on collective bargaining during the week of April 4 echoes an historic struggle in the battle for basic human rights.

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, where he had gone to stand with sanitation workers demanding their dream: The right to bargain collectively for a voice at work and a better life.

Today, that same demand is electrifying people across America. It’s the demand of all people: the right to join together for our common dreams. The battles to defend collective bargaining in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, Florida and other states have galvanized the labor movement and brought hundreds of thousands to our cause.

Working together with the state AFL-CIO and the Chicago Federation of Labor, AFSCME has helped develop a plan of action for the week of April 4 that can unify all of labor and also build broad participation from supporters in our communities.

The plan calls for a massive all-Illinois rally in Chicago on Saturday, April 9–with “building block” rallies in key cities throughout the state every night that week. That will give everyone the opportunity to participate near home if they can’t travel to Chicago, while building energy to bring more folks to Chicago for the big event.

“Those of us in the labor movement, especially in the public sector, are in the fight of our lives right now,” Council 31 Executive Director Henry Bayer said. “Our opponents are highly-organized and relentless. We’ve got to make very clear that we’re even more organized and determined than they are. The week of April 4 will present a key opportunity for us to do just that.”

via ‘We Are One’ rallies set for April 4-9 across Illinois – AFSCME Council 31.

2,000 Attend Chicago Rally to Support Wisconsin workers « Talking Union

by Bob Roman

Twenty minutes before the Saturday Noon beginning of the rally in solidarity with Wisconsin workers, a few hundred people had already gathered in the plaza in front of the Thompson Center within the Loop in downtown Chicago. I had just arrived in a clot of a dozen or so off a CTA Blue Line train. For some of them, downtown Chicago was unfamiliar territory, slightly intimidating, and they navigated uncertainly. We emerged from the subway station to find a rally already in progress. To fill the time before the official start, the organizers opened the microphone to everyone wishing to speak.

By the time the rally began, the plaza was nearly full, and organizers announced about 2,000 people were present.

Citizen Action/Illinois Co-Director William McNary served as the rally’s master of ceremonies, and he was one of the more spectacular speakers at the event. AFSCME Council 31 Deputy Director and International Vice President Roberta Lynch was also one of the better speakers, providing details about the ongoing confrontation in Madison, Wisconsin.  The crowd cheered her assertion that “Whether you are a member of a labor union or not, we are all members of the labor movement now.”

Read the full article here: 2,000 Attend Chicago Rally to Support Wisconsin workers « Talking Union.