The purpose of this newsletter is to inform you of recent activities by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) as well as emerging issues affecting the professional and technical workforce. NewsLine is published every month. Issues of NewsLine are accessible on the DPE web page, www.dpeaflcio.org. Feedback is welcome; send it to email@example.com.
In This Issue:
- Trumka Addresses Professional Integrity
- DPE Attends White House Meeting on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
- AFL-CIO Convention: Professionals Build Unions
- DPE Facilitates at the 2009 Campus Progress National Conference
- DPE Contributes to IFPTE’s Women’s Forum
- DPE Signs On
TRUMKA ADDRESSES PROFESSIONAL INTEGRITY – Speaking on August 8, 2009 to more than 250 delegates to the AFTRA national convention in Chicago, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard L. Trumka (right) won repeated applause as he addressed issues crucial to professionals and the labor movement.
Among Trumka’s themes: the shift from traditional employment to contingent and project work; the increasing presence of professionals in the U.S. workforce and in unions; and the need for unions to reach out to allies. Trumka commended the coalition with professional associations that DPE and its affiliated unions developed over the last Photo: www.aflcio.org two-and-a-half years, Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI), and credited the DPE work.
To see on YouTube the 10-minute segment concluding Trumka’s speech in which he focused on professionals, in his words “the fastest growing segment of the labor movement,” click here. For more about PftPI, click here.
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DPE ATTENDS WHITE HOUSE MEETING ON COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM – On August 20, 2009, DPE President Paul E. Almeida attended a White House meeting on comprehensive immigration reform. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano invited him and other leaders to “hear from stakeholders.”
Secretary Napolitano stated that she wanted to “build on the significant time I’ve spent on the Hill meeting with members of Congress on this critical subject. I look forward to working with President Obama, my colleagues in Congress and representatives from law enforcement, business, labor organizations, the interfaith community, advocacy groups and others as we work on this important issue.”
The two-hour meeting opened with remarks by the Secretary, followed by five breakout sessions on a variety of questions, from how to address the population of undocumented workers to future flow. The AFL-CIO delegation all urged the Secretary to adopt what has become known as the Ray Marshall plan, a result of the former Secretary of Labor’s work over the last two years with the AFL-CIO and the Economic Policy Institute. The roughly 100 participants had returned for a recap of the breakout sessions by Secretary Napolitano when President Obama joined the meeting to thank the participants for their efforts.
Members of the AFL-CIO delegation included Arlene Holt Baker, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President; Ana Avendano, AFL-CIO; T.J. Bonner, American Federation of Government Employees; Paul Booth, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Terry Yellig, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Paul Shearon, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers; and former Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall.
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The four-year AFL-CIO Convention convenes in Pittsburgh, PA on September 13 through 17, 2009. A new feature: breakout sessions to engage delegates, alternates, and guests in sharing experiences and ideas around key developments.
On Monday, September 14, from 3 to 5 pm in Room 328-Riverside on the third floor of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the Convention site, DPE will host Professionals and Unions: Organizing, Bargaining and Advocacy.
The list of advance registrants promises a rich discussion drawing on exceptional experience and expertise. That’s in addition to the panelists: Phil Kugler, Assistant to the President for Organization and Field Services, American Federation of Teachers; Kim Roberts Hedgpeth, National Executive Director, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; and DPE President Paul E. Almeida. DPE Executive Director David Cohen will moderate.
The program for the breakout sessions sets the stage:
- In 2008, more than half of union members were professionals. As they organize, bargain, and lobby, what are their primary objectives? What are the best practices that our unions bring to bear? A panel of unionists with experience at the local, regional and national levels will reflect on what has worked for them and invite participants to do the same.
For a Convention schedule, click here. For a quick overview of the many leaders who will address the Convention, including President Obama, click here. To read the four-year report from DPE to the Convention, in the Trade and Industrial Department Reports at the pages numbered 65 to 69, click here.
For more information about the DPE breakout session, please contact DPE President Paul E. Almeida, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320 extension 112, or Executive Director David Cohen, email@example.com, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
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DPE FACILITATES AT THE 2009 CAMPUS PROGRESS NATIONAL CONFERENCE – On July 8, 2009, DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo took part in the 2009 Campus Progress National Conference in Washington, DC.
As part of the morning session, “Labor Rights: How can we secure fair working conditions for everyone?” conference participants heard from a panel of speakers including Arlene Holt Baker, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO, and Harold Meyerson, Editor-at-Large of the American Prospect, on how young activists can work to make the economy work for everyone. Each panel was followed by a facilitated discussion among conference participants about ways to engage these progressive issues. As a discussion facilitator, Spencer Notabartolo worked with several groups of participants to plan how they can affect change on labor issues in their communities.
Campus Progress, part of the Center for American Progress, works to help young people — advocates, activists, journalists, artists — make their voices heard on issues that matter. Through an online magazine and student publications, public events, multimedia projects, and grassroots issue campaigns, Campus Progress acts to empower new progressive leaders nationwide as they develop fresh ideas, communicate in new ways, push policy outcomes in a progressive direction, and build a strong progressive movement.
The 2009 National Conference included as speakers former President Bill Clinton, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and John Oliver, Correspondent for the Daily Show. For more information on the 2009 Campus Progress National Conference, click here.
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DPE CONTRIBUTES TO IFPTE WOMEN’S FORUM – On August 10, 2009 in Las Vegas, NV, DPE Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo took part in the panel discussion of the 56th IFPTE Constitutional Convention’s Women’s Forum.
The Women’s Forum, co-chaired by Debbie Logsdon (Local 2001) and Canadian Area Vice-President Misty Hughes-Newman (Local 161), featured panelists speaking to the issues women face in the workplace today and how several IFPTE locals have responded. Panelists were drawn from active women’s committees at the local level, including Tracy Miller from Local 160, Jean Ray from Local 2001 and Talaona Woodridge from Local 195. Spencer Notabartolo’s portion of the panel examined why women need a voice in their union, what issues research shows women face in the workplace today, and how to include a multi-generational perspective on issues that affect women today.
IFPTE, which represents over 90,000 workers in the United States and Canada, will hold its next convention in 2012.
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DPE SIGNS ON – On July 22, 2009, DPE joined a letter to Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) supporting his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1390) correcting problems with the privatization process. Unions affiliated with DPE that also signed the letter include AFGE, AFSCME, AFT, IAFF, IBEW, and IFPTE. See the letter by clicking here.
On July 27, 2009, DPE joined a letter to members of the Democratic Blue Dog Coalition in the House of Representatives urging that they pass the America’s Health Choices Act (HR 3200) before the House adjourned. The unions affiliated with DPE also on the letter were AFGE, AFSCME, AFT, IBEW, and USW. To read the letter, click here.
On July 31, DPE joined a statement with AFSCME and advocacy groups decrying an amendment to health care reform legislation by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce that impedes the sale of generic biologics in favor of continued profits for brand-name pharmaceutical companies. To see the statement, click here.
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