Gerald (Jerry) W. McEntee - AFSCME International President
Gerald W. McEntee is the International President of the 1.3 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the second largest union in the AFL-CIO and one of the fastest growing. McEntee was first elected AFSCME President in 1981 and was re-elected in June 2000 for a sixth consecutive four-year term.
As a Vice President of the AFL-CIO, a member of its Executive Council, and chair of the federation's Political Education Committee, and a member of its Organizing and Public Relations Committees, McEntee plays a key role in the leadership of the labor movement. As Political Education Committee chair, McEntee devised the highly successful voter education campaigns from 1996 forward that thrust issues important to working families to the top of America's political agenda. In addition, he convened the group of union leaders who launched the "New Voice For American Workers" campaign that elected John Sweeney, Richard Trumka and AFSCME's own Linda Chavez-Thompson to head the AFL-CIO in 1995.
McEntee has long been a leader in the fight to reform the nation's health care system. President Clinton named McEntee to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Quality and Consumer Protection in the Health Care Industry in 1997. He also supports the Alliance for Health Care Reform, an effort by Senators John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to educate policymakers on health issues.
McEntee is a co-founder and chairman of the board of the Washington-based Economic Policy Institute, the preeminent voice for working Americans on the Economy. He has led efforts to strengthen and improve such workplace standards as the minimum wage, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
McEntee began his distinguished career as a labor leader in Pennsylvania before assuming the presidency of the nation's largest public employee and health care workers' union. Beginning in 1958 as an AFSCME organizer in Philadelphia, he became the successful architect of the major public sector drive to unionize more than 75,000 Pennsylvania state employees. He was elected Executive Director at the founding convention of AFSCME Council 13 in Pennsylvania in 1973, and an International Vice President of AFSCME in 1974.
McEntee holds a bachelor's degree in economics from LaSalle University in Philadelphia. A native of Philadelphia, McEntee and his wife, Barbara, live in Washington, D.C.