(HARRISBURG, PA) The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO applauds this commitment to our future prosperity. Budgets are a statement of priorities, and our priority has always been the working people who make up our Commonwealth. In response to Governor Wolf’s address today, the officers of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, President Rick Bloomingdale, and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder, made the following statements in response:
“The pandemic has made it clearer than ever that Pennsylvanians need a budget that invests in our communities and our future. Our Commonwealth is in a position that requires a reckoning of decades of disinvestment, neglect, and apathy. The most vulnerable have had to bear the brunt of the devastation. We fully support raising the minimum wage and building financial security for working families.”
“Rebuilding our workforce is more important than ever, and we are excited to be part of re-envisioning workforce and economic development. We were part of the multi-stakeholder Workforce Development Command Center, and now the problems and solutions we identified will be addressed. We need to raise wages for workers, and that starts with the most vulnerable workers,” stated President Rick Bloomingdale.
“Reinvesting in education and educators is a commonsense approach to addressing long-standing inequality and building a better future for Pennsylvania. Our schools were already some of the most segregated in our country. This systemic discrimination, compounded with income inequality, especially affects people of color, leaving them further behind. The worst consequence of this is the overall impact inequality has had on children, whose future will have an impact on us all.”
“Brick and mortar schools face unprecedented challenges without the full support and adequate funding they need, while cyber and charter schools continue to exploit an unregulated system. Many of these for-profit institutions take full advantage of a global health pandemic to their economic advantage. There is no reason we can’t have a good public school in every community. The inequity of COVID-19’s impact on children in poverty must be a wake-up call for everyone. Furthermore, Pennsylvanians need good jobs that sustain families and raise the quality of life for working families in our communities,” remarked Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder.