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These remarks were delivered on February 16, 2022, before the Health and Safety Codes Committee that 

When Arlington Public Libraries (APL) management decided to resume Sunday hours at some branches, members of AFSCME Virginia swung into action.

On an early Saturday in November library professionals from across DC and northern Virginia came together to hold a virtual roundtable to discuss the challenges they face as essential public service professionals during this global pandemic.

In a victory for public service workers in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam has signed a bill authorizing collective bargaining for some public employees across the commonwealth.

AFSCME members are on the front lines, keeping our communities running. Public service workers are hard at work providing emergency services, health care, child care, transportation, sanitation and public safety. Many workers will come in contact with those infected by the virus, endangering themselves and their families. It is important for workers to have accurate information on how to best do their jobs and how to protect themselves.

AFSCME is committed to helping you get the student debt relief you deserve.

Thanks to the Biden administration, millions of public service workers, including AFSCME members, are eligible for student loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program or (PSLF). And even more public service workers are eligible under a temporary waiver that expires Oct. 31, 2022. 

The COVID-19 pandemic arrived at a time when our nation’s health care workers were already experiencing burnout. The National Academy of Medicine, in a report from 2019, said that 35% to 54% of nurses and physicians in the United States had “substantial symptoms of burnout.”

Then things got worse.

CJ Alicandro (left) is pictured with a few of their colleagues. Photo credit: AFSCME Council 75.

CJ Alicandro (left) is pictured with a few of their colleagues. Photo credit: AFSCME Council 75.