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Protest at United Nations fights the separation of immigrant families

Public sector unions have weighed in against Trump’s brutal treatment and policies on migrants, such as separating families, which are filling the coffers of private contractors, for-profit prison companies, military contractors, and NGOs. AFT President Randi Weingarten delivered a formal complaint to the United Nations on June 20, framing the inhumane immigration policy as abusive and trauma-inducing. AFSCME co-signed the complaint to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, with President Lee Saunders saying “this inhumane policy is a cruel choice that does not make us safer, and it does not make us great. There is no law that mandates traumatizing children, only the prerogative of this president.”

Source: American Federation of Teachers

University of California staff staged a three-day strike

University of California staff staged a three-day strike against austerity and privatization to support service workers. “One of the main battles AFSCME workers face is the constant threat of seeing their jobs outsourced to nonunion workers employed by for-profit companies. As the university increasingly privatizes aspects of its operations, workers employed by the institution are always looking over their shoulder, fearful that their jobs will evaporate overnight and they’ll be replaced by workers who answer to a different boss. ‘Every day we’re paying attention to when we see new faces on board,’ said Maricruz Manzanares, a custodian at the University of California at Berkeley. ‘Suddenly we see a new group of workers and we don’t even know who they are, until we talk to each other and the union and we find out they belong to a company. Lately the university has developed shady techniques. They used to do it openly, but now they’re finding ways to do it in the dark.’ Either way, she said, ‘the university does not behave as a public institution.’” Kathryn Lybarger, president of UC AFSCME 3299 and California AFL-CIO reported on the history of the local, on the effort to privatize and outsource university services, and on systemic racism.


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Fact Sheet: Prisons for Profit.

Private prison companies claim to provide safe facilities that save taxpayers money. In reality, private prisons are more dangerous for inmates and staff, and often fail to deliver the savings they promise. Yet despite their track record of failure, private prison companies continue to secure contracts, spending millions on lobbyists and campaign donations to influence elected officials.


What’s Your Bid?

Managed competition is sweeping the country as an alleged “quick fix” to the budget crises facing many cities, counties and states. It’s always best to stop privatization rather than get involved in the bidding process, by inoculating elected officials, building community coalitions and getting contractual or legal protections. Building your local’s capacity to fight privatization before it begins is the most useful tool in the box.


Stop Bad Contracts – Protect Public Services: Sample Provisions from State Statutes

States and local governments spend a substantial portion of their budgets on contracted services, often with no assurance that quality of service will be maintained, costs will be controlled or the public interest will be protected. There ought to be a law! And in many states there are laws that help to protect the public interest. Following are some examples.

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