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Representing over four million highly skilled professional and technical workers in more than 200 occupations, union members work in such fields as health care and education; science, engineering and technology; journalism, entertainment and the arts; public administration and law enforcement. NewsLine is a regular publication of the DPE. Back issues of NewsLine are available. Feedback is welcome. Please send it to Eric Geist.
In This Issue:
- In Memoriam: Theodore Bikel, 4As President; member of AEA, AFM, AGVA, and SAG-AFTRA
- DPE General Board Meets
- DPE Affiliates Convene; Welcome to Jim Reid IAM’s New DPE Vice President
- American Library Association Convenes, DPE Contributes
- DPE Attends 5th Annual LRAN Conference
- AFL-CIO Convenes Scholars Conference
- DPE Attends AFT’s Teach 15 Conference
- AFL-CIO Right To Work Webinar
- WGAE Organizes Editorial Staff at Digital Media Publisher Gawker
- Library Workers Fact Sheet Update
- DPE Signs On
- News and Notes
IN MEMORIAM: THEODORE BIKEL, 4As PRESIDENT; MEMBER OF AEA, AFM, AGVA, SAG-AFTRA – Paul Almeida, DPE President and Associated Actors and Artistes of America (4As) Executive Director, mourns the passing of Theodore Bikel. Bickel had been the 4As President since 1988. Bikel passed away on July 21, 2015, at the age of 91. Bikel also served as President of Actors’ Equity Association from 1973 – 1982. Bikel was a member of many DPE affiliates – the American Federation of Musicians, the American Guild of Variety Artists, and the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which merged to become SAG-AFTRA. “Theo’s activism in the labor community and for social justice causes was as accomplished as his talents on stage and screen,” said Almeida. “Theo’s activities on behalf of union members spanned his entire working career and he will be greatly missed.”
DPE GENERAL BOARD MEETS – On June 18, 2014, the General Board of DPE held its annual meeting. The meeting opened with comments by Board Chair J. David Cox, AFGE National President, followed by the Financial Report by Paul Almeida, DPE President in the absence of DPE Treasurer Mary Cathryn Ricker. The Board approved the DPE budget for FY 15-16 beginning July 1, 2015. A motion was unanimously passed to adopt a dues increase of .02¢ beginning January 1, 2016.
Affiliates represented at the meeting – AEA, AFGE, AFM, IATSE, IBEW, IFPTE, RWDSU-UFCW, SAG-AFTRA, SIU, USW, UWUA, and WGAE – reported on developments within their unions.
Almeida delivered the 2014 – 2015 President’s report.
Shaun O’Brien, Assistant Director for Health and Retirement Policy at the AFL-CIO, updated the DPE General Board on the implementation and impact of the Affordable Care Act’s Cadillac Tax.
DPE Research Director Jennifer Dorning made a presentation on where growth has been among professional occupations and why those occupations had grown. She also presented data on declining occupations and why those occupations had declined. Finally, she explored future employment prospects for professionals and talked about how unions could best position themselves in a changing work environment.
DPE has published a new guide for organizing professionals. The organizing guide is designed for organizers looking for an evidence-based approach to organizing professionals. The organizing guide is based on surveys of professionals and examines what motivates professionals to seek union representation and successful strategies for organizing professionals, including effective messaging and why union membership appeals to professionals.
The Guide has been sent out to all Board members and affiliate organizing directors.
The printed guide is available for distribution to DPE affiliates.
On May 21, 2015, DPE hosted Part I of the series, the Changing Working Environment for Professional and Technical Workers that is bringing together DPE affiliates and experts to look at how work is changing for professionals and how unions can best represent new and existing members in a changing work environment. The next session will be held in the fall and will analyze how technology and employment structure changes will affect the work currently represented by affiliates.
DPE AFFILIATES CONVENE; WELCOME TO JIM REID IAM’S NEW DPE VICE PRESIDENT – The American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) recently concluded its 14th Triennial Convention. Congratulations to DPE Vice President Diann Woodard on her re-election as AFSA President. The Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) recently concluded its 30th Constitutional Convention. Congratulations to DPE General Vice President Mike Langford on his re-election as UWUA President. The International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) recently concluded its 58th Convention. Congratulations to DPE General Vice President Greg Junemann on his re-election as IFPTE International President.
DPE welcomes Jim Reid, Director, Occupational Safety and Health and Apprenticeship Department, as the DPE Vice President for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION CONVENES, DPE CONTRIBUTES – Over 20,000 library professionals met in San Francisco, CA from June 25 – 30, 2015 for the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition. DPE made several contributions.
DPE works directly with ALA and its companion organization, the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA). Since 2005, DPE has also co-chaired the AFL-CIO/ALA Labor Committee. Labor members of the committee include Jannie Cobb; Justin Crossfox, AFT; Julius Jefferson, Jr., IFPTE; Lisa Lum Jorgensen, RWDSU, and Jessica Storrs, AFSCME.
Each year, the Labor Committee develops and organizes a program for the annual conference. The program this year, “Advocating for a Library Future,” featured speakers from AFT and IFPTE. Speakers included Miki Goral, Secretary Treasurer at University Council-AFT; Axel Borg, Vice President for Legislation at University Council-AFT; Andrea Prebys-Williams, Coordinator for Special Projects and Administration at IFPTE Local 21; and Alex Tonisson, Field Services Director at IFPTE Local 21. The program drew 168 conference attendees.
The Labor Committee’s booth in the Exposition Hall featured labor materials, including DPE fact sheets, pro-labor badge ribbons, resource guides, and pens provided by RWDSU.
The 2015 John Sessions Memorial Award, named in honor of a former AFL-CIO Education Director and co-chair of the AFL-CIO/ALA Labor Committee, was presented to the Calcasieu Parish Library System. This honor, presented annually by the Reference and User Services Association and supported by a donation from DPE, recognizes a library or library system that made a significant effort to work with the labor community and brought recognition to the contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States.
DPE also helped to organize a labor and African American history tour in San Francisco during the ALA annual conference. The tour explored labor sites as well as sites along San Francisco’s African American Freedom Trail. The roots of labor and African American history run deep in San Francisco. A. Philip Randolph touched off the modern civil rights movement from San Francisco’s Hotel Whitcomb in 1935 when he convinced the AFL-CIO to certify the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and ban segregation in the labor movement. The insightful tour was led by the curator of the African American Freedom Trail, John William Templeton. The tour drew 30 attendees.
Library workers are represented by several DPE affiliates, including AFGE, AFT, IFPTE, OPEIU, RWDSU, and USW.
For information about ALA and the Annual Meeting, see www.ala.org. For more about library workers, read the DPE Fact Sheet on library workers. For information about the meetings of the AFL-CIO/ALA Labor Committee or the ALA-APA Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers, or to learn more about the involvement of DPE, contact DPE Research Director Jennifer Dorning, 202-638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
DPE ATTENDS 5TH ANNUAL LABOR RESEARCH ACTION NETWORK (LRAN) CONFERENCE – On June 15th and 16th, DPE Assistant to the President Eric Geist attended the LRAN conference in Washington, DC. Geist attended sessions on the track, Developing New Membership Models and Sustainability. Geist was also a member of the conference planning committee.
For more information, contact DPE Assistant to the President Eric Geist, (202) 638-0320 extension 119.
AFL-CIO CONVENES SCHOLARS CONFERENCE – On June 23rd, the AFL-CIO brought together invited scholars and union staff to facilitate and exchange of ideas to guide strategic planning for the labor movement. The necessity of organizing professional and technical workers was noted during the meeting. DPE President Almeida and Research Director Jennifer Dorning attended the conference.
DPE ATTENDS AFT’S TEACH 15 CONFERENCE – The American Federation of Teachers held its biennial conference, TEACH 15, for members who work in preK – 12 public education. The conference workshops included career training and empowering members in shaping education in their school districts. DPE Assistant to the President Eric Geist attended the conference.
AFL-CIO RIGHT TO WORK WEBINAR – On June 6th, the AFL-CIO held a webinar on Right to Work (RTW) efforts through state and local legislation and efforts in the courts. The webinar addressed how to frame the issue and what language can be used to counteract the misleading statements used by the RTW organizations.
For more information, contact DPE Assistant to the President Eric Geist, (202) 638-0320 extension 119.
WGAE ORGANIZES EDITORIAL STAFF AT DIGITAL MEDIA PUBLISHER GAWKER – The Writers Guild of America, East received 75% of ballots cast to represent about 118 editorial staff at Gawker digital media websites, including Gawker, Jezebel, Deadspin, Jalopnik, Kotaku, io9, Gizmodo and Lifehacker.
LIBRARY WORKERS FACT SHEET UPDATE – The Library Workers: Facts and Figures fact sheet has been updated. The fact sheet includes updated information on library employment, wages, diversity, and union membership. You can read the update, here.
For more information, contact DPE Research Director Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, email@example.com.
DPE SIGNS ON – On June 8, DPE signed onto a joint letter to House members opposing the “Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act” (HR 235). The bill would permanently ban state and local government authority to impose taxes on internet access. Other signers included AFT, IAFF, IFPTE, and the AFL-CIO.
Marcie Lawrence, DPE Staff Assistant, has retired. Marcie was hired by Jack Golodner, DPE President Emeritus, in August 1992. She was an invaluable member of the staff and will be greatly missed. On behalf of the past and present officers and the staff, DPE President Paul Almeida would like to wish her the best in retirement.