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Statement: Missouri AFSCME opposes lack of Nixon action on state worker pay

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jeff Mazur, (573) 635-9145, mazur@afscmecouncil72.org
 
 
Statement: Missouri AFSCME opposes lack of Nixon action on state worker pay
 
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Michelle Mason, a Developmental Aide at Bellefontaine Habilitation Center in north St. Louis County and member of AFSCME Council 72, today released the following statement in response to Gov. Jay Nixon’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal:
 
“Missouri state workers care for our veterans, nurture developmentally disabled children, put themselves at risk in our prisons and receive lower pay than the workers in any other state.  The budget proposed tonight by Gov. Jay Nixon promises to keep
Missouri workers stuck at the bottom of the pile.
 
By not proposing a wage increase for state workers, the governor suggests that thousands of Missouri families should fall even farther behind.  Those of us in public service understand tight budgets.  But we reject the notion that tough times are a reason to give up on making life better for hard-working people.
 
I and my fellow AFSCME member state workers believe that true leaders among Missouri’s policy makers must create a long-term, multi-year plan for making Missouri state pay competitive with our neighbor states and reflective of the vital work we do.”
 
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AFSCME Council 72 represents thousands of public sector workers in the states of Missouri and Kansas, including state, county, municipal, school board and home care workers.  It is an affiliate of AFSCME, which represents more than 1.6 million workers, and of the AFL-CIO. 
 


Missouri AFSCME calls for justice, structural solutions in Ferguson

Executive Director Jeff Mazur of AFSCME Council 72, a union which represents public workers across Missouri and Kansas, including employees of the County and City of St. Louis, today released the following statement:

“For nine days, the people of Ferguson have tried to make sense of the senseless: the killing of an unarmed teen, an inappropriate law enforcement response to peaceful demonstrations, and the criminalization of a search for answers by citizens and media. Public workers join the chorus of voices calling for justice for those who cannot now speak for themselves.

We ask for justice for Mike Brown and his family, but we also know that justice in one instance is not enough. AFSCME Council 72 calls on national, state and local leaders to deal comprehensively with the structural problems that have led to segregation, hopelessness and violence in communities like Ferguson.

Too often, our economy has been closed to participation by people who already face a history of hardship. With jobs, we give people dignity and a stake in the system. Sadly, we so often see leaders trying to deal with the effects of despair in impoverished communities, rather than rooting out its underlying cause. AFSCME urges Missouri’s leaders, and America’s, to focus on building a country that works for all its citizens, rather than silencing those who dare point out its flaws.”



Corrections Officers, Not Security Guards

In 2012 a decision was made by the 16th Judicial Circuit of Missouri (Jackson County) to close the McCune Residential Center, a secure residential treatment facility for Juveniles, by the end of the year. This was necessitated by three main factors. First was a declining need for such a confined secure facility, second was declining revenue to operate it and finally the age of the over a century old facility.
 
Unfortunately, no immediate plans were made to secure the abandoned facility after its closing. As a result it did not take long before vandals and thieves began to take advantage of the vacancy and the facility became a magnet for anyone wanting to engage in illegal activity.


Next Steps to Fight Against Bad Tax Policy

by Alexandra Townsend, Political Coordinator

During this year’s veto session, the legislature attempted and failed to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of House Bill 253, the dangerous and unfair tax experiment which would have benefited the corporations and the rich, while leaving Missouri’s middle class with an average tax cut of $6 while gutting funding for education, infrastructure, and mental health, and increasing taxes on seniors’ prescriptions drugs and college students’ textbooks. We applaud the courageous legislators who stood with Missouri’s working families, seniors and for education instead of voting for an extreme tax bill pushed by wealthy special interests.