News

Parking Victory Nears

U of A parking map December 2018The Local 965 is pleased to announce that University of Arkansas Transit and Parking will now consider a salary-based fee structure to park on campus, a mark of progress for the UA Living Wage campaign. If approved, the innovative salary-based fee structure would charge each faculty and staff member a small percentage of his/her salary to park on campus.

Charging a percentage of a salary will make parking more affordable for workers at the university, where the median annual salary for classified employees is just $31,000. Nearly 400 full-time employees make less than $25,000 per year — data gathered by a state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request issued by the Local 965.

Since April, the Local has waged a Living Wage campaign to persuade the university to increase wages for its lowest level workers. We believe that making parking more affordable for employees would be an important demonstration of the university’s commitment to fairness, innovation and workers rights.

The consideration of a new parking structure comes after a presentation and proposal in November to the Transit and Parking Committee by Local 965 President Bret Schulte after consultation with the Local 965.

A handful of universities have already deployed similar fee structures. The University of Illinois charges employees 0.7 percent of salaries for parking, while Rutgers charges 0.001 percent. LeHigh and Towson have adopted tier systems for multiple levels of salaries. The University of Vermont has adopted a hybrid zone and salary system that charges employees a higher percentage of their salaries to park in premium zones.

The Local encourages members, faculty and staff to send their expressions of support for a salary-based fee structure to U of A Transit and Parking director Gary Smith, garys@uark.edu.

The January meeting of Local 965 will include discussion of the parking issue. That’s at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at Columbus House Brewery & Tap Room, 701 W. North St. in Fayetteville.

Local Aids Campus Food Pantry

Local 965 helped the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry on the University of Arkansas campus the week after Thanksgiving, preparing food baskets.

Logo Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food PantryThey’re actually boxes, which can hold more. Some might think of such volunteer work on holidays themselves, but eating is a 7-day/52-week necessity.

Members of the Local worked with Full Circle staff at the facility on Nov. 27, 2018. Some brought family members to participate.

The pantry by the way is WAHR C204, i.e. Bud Walton Hall, 324 Stadium Drive.

That a significant percentage of pantry patrons are U of A employees and students has been a major argument for the Living Wage Campaign of the 965.

Arkansas AFL-CIO Endorses Candidates, Issues

Logo of AFL-CIOThe Arkansas federation of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has announced after research and deliberation its endorsements in races of the November 2018 general election.

As one of the state AFL-CIO’s 190-plus local unions, labor councils and subordinate bodies, AFSCME Local 965 concurs. Arkansas workers should consider these recommendations as well as conduct their own study of candidates and policies before heading to the polls. We want all to vote!

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, early voting begins Oct. 22 and registration for new voters ends Oct. 9. Arkansas citizens should review those details.

As Arkansas 965 covers nine northwest and north central counties plus some employees of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, all the recommended candidates and issues are listed.

U.S. House

  • Chintan Desai — 1st Congressional District
  • Clarke Tucker — 2nd Congressional District
  • Joshua Mahony — 3rd Congressional District
  • Hayden Shamel — 4th Congressional District

State Constitutional Offices

  • Jared Henderson — Governor
  • Anthony Bland — Lieutenant Governor
  • Mike Lee — Attorney General
  • Susan Inman — Secretary of State

Legislatively Referred Constitutional Amendments

  • Issue 1 — Tort Law — AFL-CIO position — Oppose
  • Issue 2: Voter ID — No Position

Citizen Initiated Constitutional Amendments

  1. State Legislative Term Limits — AFL-CIO position — Oppose
  2. Casino Initiative Amendment — Support

Citizen Initiated State Statute

  • Minimum Wage Increase Initiative — AFL-CIO position — Support

State Senate

  • Jon Comstock — 3rd Senate District
  • Rep. Greg Leding — 4th District
  • Jim Wallace — 5th District
  • Sen. Bill Sample — 14th District
  • Melissa Fults — 33rd District
  • Maureen Skinner — 35th District

State House

  • Rep. Vivian Flowers — 17th House District
  • Alan Hughes — 26th District
  • Dustin Parsons — 28th District
  • Rep. Fred Allen — 30th District
  • Randy Haun — 31st District
  • Jess Mallett — 32nd District
  • Andrew Collins — 35th District
  • Chase Mangiapane — 38th District
  • Monica Ball — 39th District
  • Jonathan Crossley — 41st District
  • Rep. Michael John Gray — 47th Distict
  • Michael Roetzel — 65th District
  • Luke Pruitt — 77th District
  • Jay Richardson — 78th District
  • Lou Reed Sharp — 80th District
  • Donald McKinney — 81st District
  • Denise Garner — 84th District
  • Nicole Clowney — 86th District
  • Kelly Scott Unger — 87th District
  • Megan Godfrey — 89th District
  • Kati McFarlane — 90th District
  • Chris Birch — 92nd District
  • Gayatri Agnew — 93rd District
  • Jene Huffman Gilreath — 94th District
  • Celeste Williams — 95th District
  • Christie Craig — 96th District
  • Gary Morris — 97th District

The Arkansas AFL-CIO was chartered in 1956. It was the first in the nation to merge the AFL and CIO into one state central body, according to its website. The state federation represents more than 30,000 working people in diverse occupations. The national AFL-CIO’s member unions total more than 11 million working women and men.

Not Too Early to Check Voter Registration

Graphic of calendarAs summer starts to course through August. …

  • Political campaigns, with all those ads, traditionally begin in one month, Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-3.
  • Now’s a good time for Arkansawyers to check if they’re registered to vote, Type your name and birth date in Voter View to see if you’re already registered. You’ll also learn in which precinct, districts etc. you live.
  • The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6, 2018, general election is Tuesday, Oct. 9.
  • Overall Voter Registration Information can be found with the state secretary of state’s office.
  • And early voting begins Oct. 22. If you might not make it in person to your polling place on Tuesday, Nov. 6, early voting is convenient.

Martin Law Firm Hosts Labor Council BBQ

The Northwest Arkansas Joint Labor Council hosted its annual Memorial Day barbecue May 31, 2018, at Martin Law Firm in Fayetteville. Members of several union locals as well as political candidates endorsed by the council picnicked and politicked.

Candidates attending included Donald McKinney, Democratic nominee for District 81 of the Arkansas House of Representatives, Denise Garner, Democratic nominee for state House District 84 and Democrat Nicole Clowney, presumptive representative (no opposition in November) for District 86.

Walter Hinojosa, president/secretary-treasurer of the area council, served as host.

Clowney, who teaches at the University of Arkansas, is a member of Local 965, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

More photos of the picnic can be found on Garner’s Facebook page.