Established in April 1950, AFSCME Local 34 represents over 2000 Social Service employees of Hennepin County

Voters statewide in Minnesota will be allowed to cast early ballots beginning 9/23/2016. Anyone who is eligible to vote is able to vote in our Minnesota elections. No Excuse Voting is for everyone! For nine election cycles in a row, Minnesota voters turned out to the polls more than any other state in the nation. In fact, the state actually holds the all-time record for turnout, when 78 percent of registered voters showed up to cast a ballot in the 2004 election.  

Millions of dollars have already been spent on the campaign for control of the Minnesota Legislature, and millions more are coming. Reports released showed the legislative caucuses and outside groups are spending and stockpiling lots of money, and aiming a lot of it at key races that are likely to determine which party has the majority in both the House and Senate.  

Election Day is Tuesday, Novemebr 8. You are entitled to time off to vote. Arrange the time now with your supervisor.

In Minnesota you can register to vote at your polling place on election day.

Click here to find your county of residence’s election office where you can cast your vote early this election season for any reason.

AFSCME endorsed worker-friendly candidates

Constitutional Amendment on Ballot!

Did you know there’s a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year? A lot of people don’t because there aren’t campaigns for and against like there were on the same-sex marriage and voter ID questions a few years back. This year the amendment involves how pay increases should be set for legislators. If voters approve the amendment a panel appointed by the governor and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court would decide how much lawmakers should be paid. By law, the members of the council would need to equally represent Republicans and Democrats. None of the members could be current or former lawmakers, state elected officials, lobbyists or state or judicial employees. Right now legislators vote on proposed pay increases for the next Legislature. 


Labor Lunch at Century Plaza

AFSCME Happy Hour 

First Friday of every month. 5 p.m. Mac’s Industrial Bar. 

Are You Up to Date?

Can your union reach you when you’re not at work? To make sure we can, we need your personal – not work – email and phone. Simply fill out the form on Council 5's website.

Labor Movie Night

NOTE: ““Labor Movie Night” is sponsored by AFSCME Local 3800, AFSCME Council 5, AFSCME Council 5 Next Wave, AFSCME Locals 34, 552, 607, 1164 and 2822, IBEW Local 292, Teamsters Local 638, UNITE HERE Local 17, East Side Freedom Library and Minneapolis Labor Review.

AFSCME Strong on the Rise

86% of Local 34 are now full members of our union. AFSCME Strong is our program to determine our own destiny by building a stronger union with members who are more engaged. Sign a membership card to protect your job, defend our rights and preserve the quality of services we provide our communities. Our goal is to reach 94% membership. Contact any of the officers or stewards to sign a card or plan to attend one of the AFSCME Strong trainings.

Scholarship Application

The AFSCME Family Scholarship for 2017 is now taking applications. Children of full dues-paying members can apply for one of 10 scholarships, worth $2,000 a year for up to four years. The postmark deadline is December 31. Download the form and learn more here.



  AFSCME Local 34                       Updated 10/27/2016


We miss you Paul!

"In the last analysis, politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine." ~ Paul Wellstone


Local 34 News In Brief

Heads Up! 

Be sure to complete your health assessment and health incentives to lower your co-pays no later than October 31. Look for more information in the upcoming issue regarding open enrollment for benefits and more information on the health care coverage available through the Employer! Open enrollment is November 7th—21st. 

AFSCME Votes - Special Election Edition

Look for it in the next few weeks in your inbox! It will include a guide to union endorsed candidates that will be on the ballot this election. ~ Alexandra (Ali) Marzolf, Newsletter Editor

Child Protection Meet and Confer

AFSCME Council 5 is organizing Field Representatives for these meetings. The Local 34 Executive Board has authorized to send up to 5 members to the meeting.

HSR Onboarding 

Concerns over HSR Onboarding process exist. We will continue discussions with Employer regarding this process. Contact the Local 34 Vice Presidents for more information.


Current Local 34 membership has increased to 85%!

Membership Meeting

The next general membership meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 2nd, 5:30 PM at HSB in Room 110. Any and all Local 34 members are encouraged to attend!

Tuition Reimbursement Through the Employer

Did you know that benefit-earning employees are eligible for up to $5,250 in reimbursed tuition annually through the employer? Keep in mind this is an annual limit, not per school calendar year. 

The following is required to maintain eligibility for reimbursement: 

  • Course must be approved by employee's department before the class begins to ensure reimbursement

  • Employee must provide a receipt of fee payment

  • Employee must provide a transcript indicating successful completion of the course with a grade of C or better or a "Satisfactory" or "Pass" is acceptable for ungraded courses

Click here for more information on the tuition reimbursement policy. There is also a tuition reimbursement manual on HCconnect.

Other Union News!

During Break from Negotiations, UFCW Members Provide Lifesaving First Aid

Four Prescott Nursing and Rehabilitation Community workers got more than they bargained for during a break from contract negotiations Tuesday in South St. Paul. As Gayla Morrison, Kim Nelson, Jody Pederson and Karen Peterson walked into Angelo’s Italian Restaurant for lunch with their union representative, they noticed a woman hunched over, struggling to breathe. “It was apparent she was choking,” Peterson said. “She was unresponsive. So we got her into a position where we could do the Heimlich maneuver.” A charge nurse on the night shift at the Wisconsin nursing home, Peterson naturally took the lead in working to stabilize the woman. “It wasn’t out of the ordinary to look for her to tell us what to do, and she did,” Morrison said. “Karen kept us going.” The co-workers were able to get the choking patron to start breathing again, and they provided constant updates to a 911 operator while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. That wait was no more than five minutes, but “it felt like it was about 20,” Morrison said. Executing the Heimlich is part of mandatory CPR re-certification nursing home workers must complete every two years, and the four co-workers, members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189, said their quick response at the restaurant was instinctual. Witnesses, though, called it heroic. “It’s a very good thing they got there when they did,” Local 1189’s Mike Dreyer said. Peterson, Morrison, Nelson and Pederson make up the bargaining team for workers at the Prescott nursing home. The union has been in negotiations with the company on a new contract for about a month. ~ Union Advocate

All Tricks, No Treat in Peeps Candy Strike  

After three weeks on strike, the 400 workers who make Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, and that Easter basket staple, marshmallow Peeps, were driven back to work September 28—still without a contract. Their employer, the privately held Just Born, forced them back through a combination of permanent replacements, younger workers crossing the line, and a looming cut-off of health care benefits. Bakery Workers (BCTGM) Local 6 launched its strike just as the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, plant was entering the height of “marshmallow season,” when Peeps production ramps up for major customers like Target and Walmart. Read more

U.S. Workers Restricted in Exercising Basic Union Rights

A new report finds that the United States fails to uphold the most basic rights of workers, particularly in the South, where some states "support or collude with employers to infringe upon workers’ rights to peaceful assembly and association." The report cited examples such as Tennessee officials’ opposition to unionization at a Volkswagen plant and the "government of Mississippi [which] touts the lack of unionization as a great benefit when courting potential employers." Maina Kiai, the U.N. special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and author of the report, stated that while governments are "obligated under international law to respect, protect and fulfill workers’ rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association," many fail to enable, protect or enforce these fundamental rights, “disenfranchising millions of workers."  

Kiai, a Kenyan lawyer and human rights activist, spent more than two weeks in several U.S. cities researching workers’ rights. He met with Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi; United Steelworkers (USW) members at Novelis in New York, and Asarco in Arizona; Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)-member carwash workers in New York City; UNITE HERE hotel workers in New York and Arizona; and AFT-member teachers in Louisiana. Kiai experienced firsthand the many obstacles our nation’s workers need to overcome to organize and bargain for a better life. He made clear that the United States needs to do more, both domestically and in the global supply chains of our companies, "where some of the worst abuses of freedoms of association and peaceful assembly are found—and where migrant workers are often concentrated."  

As the report found: "The rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are…key to the realization of both democracy and dignity, since they enable people to voice and represent their interests, to hold governments accountable and to empower human agency." Unfortunately, the United States is a long way from meeting this standard. Read more on the Solidarity Center blog.

MCAD Faculty Say Yes to Union; Augsburg up Next  

Faculty at Minneapolis College of Art and Design have voted overwhelmingly to unionize after an organizing drive sponsored by Local 284 of the Service Employees International Union(link is external).  

The election results were announced this afternoon, just days after adjunct faculty at Augsburg College filed for a union election of their own.  

MCAD’s part- and full-time instructors voted separately to form distinct bargaining units, with 64 percent of faculty members voting “yes.”  

Negotiations on first contracts for MCAD faculty could begin before year’s end. Faculty members said they looked forward to using their collective voice to advocate for themselves and their students. 

“I am thrilled to see such a resounding vote for forming our union amongst both part-time and full-time faculty,” adjunct media instructor Daniel Dean said. “Now, we can work together towards changes that will improve our working conditions as well as our students’ experience. Read more






America’s Communities Never Rest

Streets need cleaning. Families need care. Students deserve well-run schools, and our neighborhoods demand safety. That’s why people who work in public service never stop. This isn’t just a job. It’s a calling. Nobody does this work to get rich. It’s hard work, and it’s largely unsung. The work matters because it means something to make a community better. In fact, it means everything.

AFSCME believes that every person working to sustain their community better deserves respect.

We show ours through action - fighting to secure opportunity for AFSCME members wherever, and whoever, they are. We negotiate better pay and benefits because fighting for every member’s future is a form of respect. We educate about the issues that keep working families up at night because informed advocates command respect. And we organize because respect is offered to individuals who build power together.

When people in public service connect, big things happen. Fairness. Equality. Democracy.

AFSCME is the union that honors solidarity without conformity—drawing each member’s story into a force of experience and commitment that can’t be ignored. That’s how we win better lives for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country. For people proudly committed to the public service that makes America happen, we never quit. 




AFSCME Council 5 advocates for excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all workers.

AFSCME Local 34 Facebook is a closed group - Email Amanda Abell for an invite. 

AFSCME women make up close to 60% of the union’s membership.

Workday Minnesota is a project of the Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota. 

We All Benefit From Unions 

Links for Working Families

Labor Resources on Facebook

Action Update

Local 34 Archives

Local 34 Election Results

Photo Gallery  



AFSCME Congressional Reports

Labor History in 2:00

Union Songs


John Herzog - WEB Developer

AFSCME Local 34, P.O. Box 15222, Commerce Station, Mpls., Mn. 55415

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