Keep Politics and Politicians out of our Nonpartisan Courts
More than 70 years ago Missouri voters approved a plan that has become a national model for selecting judges. This system, often referred to as The Missouri Plan, is now used by more than half of the states in the nation after Missouri pioneered this innovative way of selecting judges based on merit and not politics or partisanship.
Amendment 3, which will appear on the November ballot, removes the nonpartisan and nonpolitical elements of the current plan by giving Missouri governors the power to handpick a majority of the commission that selects appellate nominees.
We strongly believe that Amendment 3 would make judges beholden to partisan politicians, as opposed to the current Nonpartisan Court Plan, which allows the constitution and rule of law to guide the administration of justice in Missouri.
Today, in a victory for state workers across Missouri, the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan Board voted not to increase state workers' premiums or cut their benefits.
When the legislature approved the 2013 budget, it included a cut to funding for MCHCP, though it was not the legislature’s intent to see state workers’ premiums rise. Because of your continued work and dedication, the MCHCP trustees listened to you and Missouri’s budget authorities and have voted to not increase premiums or reduce benefits. With this win, Missouri’s state workers will see their 2% raise go directly into their pockets, and not to an increase in workers’ health care costs.
I speak for state employees across Missouri when I say thank you.
Jefferson City, Mo. – The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 72 today endorses Gina Walsh for State Senate District 13. As a life long resident of St. Louis, Rep. Walsh has a record of strong support in the legislature for North County workers and their families.
“With her demonstrated commitment to protecting critical public services, creating jobs, and protecting Missouri’s veterans, seniors, and our most vulnerable citizens, AFSCME members are confident in Rep. Walsh’s leadership and look forward to working with her in the Missouri Senate,” said Michelle Mason, President of Local 2730 which includes Bellefontaine Habilitation Center. “Rep. Walsh clearly knows the hard work and dedication public workers put into their jobs and is prepared to be our advocate in Jefferson City."
As an active member of Asbestos Workers Local #1, Rep. Walsh also understands that the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain are essential, and that workers need strong voices both on the job and in the halls of government in order to secure safe workplaces. As a state representative, Walsh fought to protect workers’ constitutional rights to collectively bargain, and Missouri AFSCME members know Rep. Walsh will continue to fight for workers’ rights and stand against attacks such as Right-to-Work and Paycheck Deception as the 13th District’s next senator.
Members of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) joined CWA-MSWU (Communication Workers of America-Missouri State Workers Union), and SEIU (Service Employees International Union) to meet with and lobby legislators regarding wages as well as harmful anti-worker legislation such as Right to Work and Paycheck Deception. More than 250 workers gathered at the Capitol in Jefferson City to deliver their message.
One of the priorities for the activists was to encourage legislators to support the negotiated 2% wage increase. Missouri’s state workers are paid the lowest in the nation, 34% below the national average according to census data.
“In order to recruit and retain the highest quality workforce to care for Missouri’s veterans, children and our most vulnerable citizens, we must be able to pay them accordingly,” said Jeff Mazur, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 72.
Also on the activists’ radar was legislation such as Right to Work and Paycheck Deception. Activists made clear to legislators that these attacks on workers’ rights should be soundly defeated if they come up for a vote.
“Right to Work for Less and Paycheck Deception are strictly an attack on our rights to collectively bargain and have our voices heard on the job,” said Roy Hutchison, President of AFSCME Local 3509at the Higginsville Habilitation Center. “Our legislators should know that we need them to focus on creating jobs, not attacking workers.”
The public employees look forward to working with elected officials and will monitor legislation and continue to advocate for fair wages and a right to voice on the job for all workers.