Dear members and supporters of the Mighty 965,
As many of you know, Arkansas state Sen. Bob Ballinger, R-Berryville, and his House counterpart Rep. Frances Cavenaugh, R-Walnut Ridge, have submitted a bill that would largely dismantle the minimum-wage increase just passed by more than two-thirds of Arkansas voters.
Greg Leding says legislators in Little Rocks are hearing a lot of support for Ballinger’s bill from business interests but nothing but crickets from people who voted for the minimum wage act. We need to send emails or make phone calls — and encourage others to do the same. If there was ever a day to call for social justice, MLK Day is it.
Ballinger’s Senate Bill 115 erases the minimum-wage increase that two-thirds of Arkansans voted for in the November 2018 General Election for anyone under 18, as well as anyone employed at a school, preschool, college, nonprofit or business with fewer than 50 employees. Attorney David Couch, who wrote the minimum wage ballot initiative, estimates that the bill could steal increases in pay for as many as half of the state’s minimum-wage employees.
Please contact your representatives, Democratic or Republican, as well as Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren to let them you know support the minimum wage increase and oppose Republican efforts to undermine Arkansas voters and keep Arkansas workers in poverty.
Here’s contact information for Republicans and local Democrats who are defending the minimum wage. The Dems need to be able to say they’re hearing from supporters.
— Bret Schulte, president, AFSCME Local 965
The 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 965 helped the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry on the University of Arkansas campus the week after Thanksgiving, preparing food baskets.
They’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.
The 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.
- 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
- State Legislative Term Limits — AFL-CIO position — Oppose
- Casino Initiative Amendment — Support
Citizen Initiated State Statute
- Minimum Wage Increase Initiative — AFL-CIO position — Support
- 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
- 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.