|Michael Arken Honored at Council 75 Convention|
April 29, 2017 Today at the Council 75 Convention, Oregon AFSCME Retiree Michael Arken, was honored with a plaque, for his many years of dedicated participation in Council 75 and for founding of Oregon AFSCME Retirees. The presentation was made by Jeff Klatke, President of Council 75, shown here with Michael.
Even before he retired, Michael Arken knew that union brotherhood couldn’t stop just because he was no longer a working member of Local 189. Michael recognized the need to continue the fight to support Social Security, Medicare and pension benefits.
He started visiting other locals with his plan of action, and in September 2002, Michael founded Oregon AFSCME Retiree Association. Thanks to his 15 years of hard work and dedicated nurturing, we became Oregon AFSCME Chapter 75, covering the whole state.
Under Michael’s stewardship, two more sub-chapters were formed; Sub-Chapter 41 includes members in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine and Lane counties; Sub-Chapter 46 includes members in Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Multnomah, Tillamook, Washington and Yamhill counties. We meet monthly working to unite and organize retired public employees, fight attacks on our PERS benefits, fight cuts to Social Security, protect Medicare, and support the drive to secure national health care coverage such as a single payer plan.
Michael was one of the retiree plaintiffs represented by AFSCME and the PERS Coalition , who successfully sued the State of Oregon over unconstitutional “PERS reforms”, resulting in $200 million being returned to Oregon PERS retirees. Although Michael retired as president of Chapter 75, he has vowed to stay active.
Oregon AFSCME Retirees invites all retirees from AFSCME-represented agencies to join us — as well as retirees from other public sector unions. Classified and management retirees are eligible to join as well. We believe a career in public service is something to be proud of.
To honor Michael’s contribution to our retirees, and to promote the education of AFSCME members and their dependents,we are creating a scholarship in his name. As we are working with Council 75 to establish this scholarship, we are inviting donations from current working members, and retirees. To donate, click on the link below and print out the form.
Council 75 convention had inspiring speeches by our new Executive Director, Stacy Chamberlain and by our AFSCME International President Lee Saunders.
Arken donation form.pdf