There were differences galore among the 19 presidential candidates who took part in the AFSCME Public Service Forum in Las Vegas on Saturday. But on one issue––whether to expand collective bargaining rights for public service workers nationwide––they were all united in saying yes.
At the one-of-a-kind forum, held at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the candidates answered questions from AFSCME members and the two moderators, Amanda Terkel of HuffPost and Jon Ralston of The Nevada Independent. The topics ranged from health care to gun control, climate change to infrastructure, student debt to immigration reform.
While they presented divergent and sometimes conflicting perspectives on more than one issue, all of them pledged to support federal legislation expanding collective bargaining for public service workers throughout our country.
Thanks to a surge of activism from AFSCME members, Nevada recently passed a law granting collective bargaining rights to 20,000 state employees, the largest expansion of such rights anywhere in the U.S. in 16 years. The question of whether there should be a federal law that guarantees such rights to all public service workers arose in the context of this victory.
Collective bargaining was the first question asked of each presidential candidate and the only question posed to them all. Every candidate answered it strongly in the affirmative. Read more.