Our Union, AFSCME Local 685, was founded in 1945 by a group of World War II veterans who sought to create an outstanding Probation Department for Los Angeles County. The new Union was granted a charter by AFSCME. In 1969, under the strong leadership of John Seferian and Henry Fiering, the union won an election that made Local 685 the recognized certified majority representative of all employees in the County Probation Series and, later on, in the Detention Series.
Local 685 has been charged with, and has always maintained, the responsibility of protecting the rights of its employees within the County Probation Department. The union negotiates, on behalf of its membership, all matters concerning wages, hours, benefits, and working conditions with the Department. Since 1969, Local 685 has successfully negotiated every new contract with Los Angeles County political and bureaucratic leaders. It has effectively represented its members in every aspect of dealing with the Department.
American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is the country’s largest public employees’ union. AFSCME is the largest affiliate of the national AFL-CIO, with more than 1.2 million active members and an overall representation of more than 1.8 million public employees in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and the Republic of Panama.
AFSCME is the fastest growing union in the United States, and is committed to achieving employee dignity and improving the working conditions for public jurisdiction working men and women throughout this country.
In addition to representing State, County, and Municipal workers, AFSCME also includes Federal employees, publicly supported university staff members, and people who work for some non-profit agencies. AFSCME’s working men and women are employed in virtually every field of governmental occupation.
AFSCME began as a series of separate local unions organized by Wisconsin state employees in the early 1930’s. By 1935, there were 30 locals and they had become an independent part of the American Federation of Government Employees Union. Within a year, AFSCME was officially charted as an independent union by the AFL.
By the time of the AFL-CIO merger in 1955, AFSCME had 100,000 members, and the following year, the Union added the 30,000-member Government and Civic Employees Organizing Committee out of the old CIO. With the affiliation of the 260,000-member New York Civil Service Employees Association in 1978, AFSCME’s national membership swelled to over 1,000,000 hard working men and women.