AFT's Weingarten: "The election of Lee Saunders and Laura Reyes continues the AFSCME tradition of strong leadership to champion high-quality public services for our communities and fairness for working people."
WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the election of AFSCME's new leaders—Lee Saunders as president and Laura Reyes as secretary-treasurer:
"The election of Lee Saunders and Laura Reyes continues the AFSCME tradition of strong leadership to champion high-quality public services for our communities and fairness for working people. This is critical at a time when public employees continue to face scapegoating and attacks, and budget cuts continue to jeopardize services for our families. Saunders and Reyes are committed to making sure that workers who care for the sick, ensure the safety of our water supply, keep our communities clean, and guard prisoners are treated with respect and dignity and are able to stand up for the high-quality services our communities rely on.
"The AFT and AFSCME have long been partners in the fight to rebuild the middle class and ensure that all workers have the right to join a union. Our unions have worked closely in places like Colorado, Kansas, Maryland and New York, and as a result, thousands of workers now enjoy collective bargaining rights and the rights of a union contract. I look forward to continuing this critical work.
"On a personal level, I have worked closely with Lee Saunders from our days representing unions in New York City. He is an advocate for the members we represent and the services they provide. His long-standing commitment to the members of AFSCME and the communities they serve will help not only the union movement but America's ability to have well-run towns, cities and states."