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American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

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American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the second- or third-largest labor union in the United States. It is also one of the fastest-growing, representing over 1.4 million employees, primarily in local and state government and in the health care industry. AFSCME is part of the AFL-CIO, one of the two main labor federations in the United States.[1]

According to their website, AFSCME organizes for social and economic justice in the workplace and through political action and legislative advocacy. It is divided into more than 3,500 local unions in 46 U.S. states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each local union writes its own constitution, holds membership meetings, and elects its own officers. Councils are also a part of AFSCME's administrative structure, usually grouping together various locals in a geographic area.

AFSCME endorsed Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.[2]


AFSCME was founded in 1932 as the Wisconsin State Administrative, Clerical, Fiscal and Technical Employees Association (quickly becoming the Wisconsin State Employees Association) amid fears of the possible elimination of the civil service and a return to patronage jobs. Its driving force and first president was Arnold Zander.

It grew slowly over the next several decades, gradually changing from an association formed to protect civil service systems to a union interested in collective bargaining. It started growing particularly quickly in the 1960s under the presidency of Jerome Wurf. In 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while in Memphis, Tennessee to support a strike by the black sanitation workers' union, AFSCME Local 1733. In 1993 a documentary movie was produced, titled At the River I Stand, about the Memphis sanitation workers' strike that brought Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis.[3]


The leadership of AFSCME consists of a president, secretary-treasurer, and an executive board. The President of AFSCME International is Gerald McEntee. McEntee was first elected AFSCME President in 1981 and was re-elected in July 2008 to another four-year term. McEntee is a vice-president of the AFL-CIO and is the chair of the AFL-CIO Political Education Committee. McEntee is an influential political player in the Democratic Party.[4], [5],[6],[7]

The Secretary-Treasurer is Lee Saunders. Saunders was first elected AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer in July 2010 replacing William Lucy. Saunders was a former Assistant to President Gerald McEntee and served as President of AFSCME Council 37. Council 37 represents over 125,000 members in New York City[8].

Political donations

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, AFSCME is the United States' largest single contributor to political campaigns, having donated more than $38 million since 1990.[9] The organization contributes almost exclusively to Democratic Party campaigns; since 1990 the ratio of Democratic to Republican contributions by the AFSCME has exceeded 98:1. In addition to combating the privatization mentioned above, key political objectives for the group include raising the minimum wage and opposing the substitution of vacation time for overtime pay due workers.[10]


See also: Donations to California's 2010 ballot propositions

According to MapLight, AFSCME was the 11th largest donor to the ballot proposition campaigns for the November 2, 2010 ballot.[11]

Ballot measure Description AFSCME position AFSCME donation
Proposition 14 Elections Opposed $50,000
Proposition 22 Gov't finance Supported $3,000
Proposition 23 Environment Opposed $75,000
Proposition 24 Taxes Supported $100,000
Proposition 25 Gov't finance Supported $1,275,543
Proposition 26 Taxes Opposed $135,000
Proposition 27 Redistricting Supported $1,250,000

Other Measures

External links


Portions of this article have been taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Copyright Notice can be found here.