National union urges COVID-19 relief backed by DeWine, Dayton and Kettering mayors

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Kettering Mayor Don Patterson, last month said local and state funding is needed to protect the jobs of municipal public safety workers. Photo by Marshall Gorby

The largest trade union of public employees in the country today launched two ads urging Congress and President Donald Trump to approve state and local aid to keep front-line workers on the job to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees is urging that help after a letter by a group of governors – including Ohio’s Mike DeWine - called for “direct assistance from Congress” for “Injecting states with resources would give governors the ability to respond to the unique needs of each state with the speed and flexibility that is required to respond to this monumental challenge.”

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The Ohio Mayors Alliance, including Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Kettering Mayor Don Patterson, last month said federal funding is needed to protect the jobs of municipal public safety workers.

“Front-line health care workers, corrections officers, home and child care providers, sanitation workers and other public service workers put their lives on the line every day to save ours. America refuses to thank them with pink slips,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders in a statement released today. “Public service workers and the services they provide are essential to beating this pandemic and opening the economy.”

Whaley earlier said Dayton has furloughed 479 workers, but that move did not impact first responders. She and Patterson have said without coronavirus relief from the federal government, public safety workers jobs will be at risk.

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