Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
Art Pulaski is the chief officer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. The Federation represents 2.1 million members of 1,200 manufacturing, transportation, construction, service and public sector unions.
Pulaski’s career in organized labor began at 16, when, as a supermarket clerk, he joined the Amalgamated Meat Cutters Union.
As leader of the Labor Federation, Pulaski has built more political activism for the grassroots and new political technologies to help unions win important elections. Under his leadership, the Federation has helped to elect worker-friendly candidates to the California Legislature and other statewide offices.
The Federation’s achievements have included restoring daily overtime pay, raising the minimum wage and passing the nation’s first Paid Family Leave law. In 2010, the Federation led the successful campaign to ensure that every California democrat in Congress voted in favor of the landmark federal health care reform legislation.
Early in his career, Pulaski built coalitions with union and community groups to reform energy policies and protect retirees. He has helped build stronger alliances between unions, community groups and faith-based organizations for numerous reform campaigns. Pulaski also played a leadership role in the Apollo Alliance, a national coalition for cleaner energy and better jobs.
Pulaski has served on numerous gubernatorial panels and commissions on economic progress and workforce development. He was a founder of one of California’s model childcare centers, called PalCare, and served as president of nationally televised PBS series “We Do the Work”, the Labor Project for Working Families and the California Works Foundation.
President Kathryn Lybarger
Kathryn Lybarger was elected to the Executive Council of the California Labor Federation AFL-CIO in July of 2012, and elected President of the Federation in February of 2015.
A professional gardener by trade, she took her first union job at San Francisco State University in 1999, and has been a gardener at UC Berkeley since 2001.
In 2011, Lybarger was elected President of the University of California system’s largest employee union—AFSCME Local 3299—representing more than 22,000 workers at UC Campuses, Medical Centers and Research laboratories across the state.
Under Lybarger’s leadership, Local 3299 has become one of California’s most dynamic and effective fighting unions—growing its membership by 45%, waging the first ever statewide UC Hospital strike, and delivering historic new contracts that dramatically increased wage, benefit, and staffing standards for UC service and patient care workers.
As Local 3299 President, Lybarger helped lead the effort to enact Proposition 30 in 2012, and remains one of California’s staunchest advocates for renewed state investment in Higher Education and greater accountability from public university administrators.
She also serves as an International Vice President of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), where she helped America’s third largest union organize nearly 100,000 new union members in the face of growing attacks against public sector workers.
The daughter of a unionized civil servant and a unionized public health nurse, Lybarger learned the importance of leading by example in the fight for working families at an early age. And from leading picket lines and organizing campaigns to walking precincts for pro-labor candidates, she has stayed true to those values—earning the California Labor Federation’s Annual “Shoe Leather” award in 2014.
Lybarger earned her BA from Earlham College and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She is a married mother of two children and resides in Berkeley.