ALL workers deserve a voice on the job and the right to belong to a strong union like WFSE.

The following statement was released by WFSE President Mike Yestramski and Executive Director Leanne Kunze:

Dear WFSE siblings,

Last week, Sean Smoot from 21CP Solutions facilitated a follow-up conversation between WFSE leadership and DOC members regarding unintended impacts from statements released by our executive committee. These statements called for racial justice for all of our siblings while denouncing systems of oppression.

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss, listen, and seek common ground, recognizing that unions are among the last remaining institutions capable of pulling together diverse voices and experiences in the pursuit of creating a better society.

We heard concerns from some of our member leaders in law enforcement, and we reiterated our union’s commitment to representing all members. 

One of the issues raised was related to non-WFSE sanctioned social media posts calling for the removal of law enforcement members from our union. Although we cannot control what every member puts on Facebook, we believe that members have a right to raise policy concerns in appropriate venues. When member opinions are purposefully taken out of context, it creates unnecessary division and runs contrary to our union values. We will continue to denounce toxic rhetoric that is intended to divide.

AFSCME and AFSCME Council 28/WFSE believe that ALL workers deserve a voice on the job and the right to belong to a strong union like WFSE. All of us have a right to procedural justice in our unions, in our workplaces and in our communities.

It is our position that this organization can and must advocate for racial and social justice while also supporting our members in public safety positions.

We look forward to continuing discussions and identifying common ground.

In solidarity,

Mike Yestramski, Jr                                    Leanne Kunze
Council 28 President                                 Council 28 Executive Director