Solidarity Tuesdays - Wear Green to Work!

Be Proud, Be Bold, Be Brave, Be Determined!  

From August 26th through September 11th, the AFSCME EE&O Committee will be holding a series of “Take a Break” site visits around the County to give Contract Negotiation updates.

Negotiation Update (8/25/2015)

The county has given us their first contract proposal and have made it clear they would like to separate us. They are again making an attempt to divide long term employees from newer employees. The county has offered a 1% increase for employees at the top of their pay scale and just step increases for employees that have not yet reached the top of their pay scale. We’ve said no to this type of proposal in the last two contracts and we are all going to have to stick together and say no to it again!  

To hear more about the County's opening proposal come to our Labor Lunch - join us for lunch and get information on management's contract proposal, what the next steps are and how to be involved! Pizza will be provided.  ~ AFSCME EE&O Committee

Table Talk (8/25) - side by side comparison of initial contract proposals.

Click here to read a copy of AFSCME's Opening Proposal

Get the latest updates on our AFSCME Contract Negotiations!

Our September Newsletter is now posted on the Local 34 Website.

A "Labor Lunch" will meet in the Government Center Auditorium, 12:00 - 1:00, September 2nd to provide a contract negotiation update.

 Come join us for lunch and information on management's contract proposal, what the next steps are and how to be involved! Pizza will be provided.  

Labor Movie Night

Labor Movie Night, “A Day Without a Mexican”: September 18

A Day Without a Mexican (2004) Trailer

United Labor Center, 

 312 Central Ave. SE

Third Friday of the month, 6:00 pm 

Room 356 or 467

Snacks, beer and soda will be available during the films. Donations appreciated!

President's Blog September

Newsletter  September

  Local 34 Member News 

 Established in April 1950, AFSCME Local 34 represents over 2000 Social Service employees of Hennepin County. As a member, you become a supporter in our efforts to maintain and improve working conditions for everyone.

Newsletter Editor


We All Benefit From Unions





Next Wave


2014-15 Contract

AFSCME Council 5

"We advocate for excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all workers."

Action Update

AFSCME Congressional Reports

Labor Resources on Facebook

Links for Working Families

Workday Minnesota is a project of the Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota. Workday began publishing in the summer of 2000 with support from Minnesota's labor community. It was the first on-line labor news publication in the United States.


AFSCME History





Douglas Graham serves as the Local 34 Dental Trustee

John Herzog - WEB Developer

AFSCME - Promoting excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace with opportunity and prosperity for all!

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

AFSCME Local 34           Updated 9/1/2015

Contract Negotiations Update!

A "Labor Lunch" will meet in the Government Center Auditorium, 12:00 - 1:00, Wednesday, September 2nd to provide a contract negotiation update. Come join us for lunch and review information on management's contract proposal, what the next steps are and how to be involved! Bring a coworker - hope to see you there! Pizza will be provided.  

AFSCME Local 34 Membership Meeting - Wednesday, September 2, 5:30, HSB 110

Women’s Equality 

August marks 95 years since the certification of the 19th amendment, which granted women access to vote. In recognition of the historic achievement, President Obama declared August 26 Women’s Equality Day. Women’s Equality Day recognizes all the ways that persisting gender inequality affects women today, from the gender wage gap to equal access to the ballot box...Despite having faced significant hurdles throughout American history, women of color have become one of the most influential voting blocs and their power will only continue to grow. Equal access to the ballot is vital to the health of our democratic society. We need federal voting rights protections to help repair the damage done by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder, the case that gutted the Voting Rights Act, to ensure everyone is guaranteed equal access to the ballot box. ~ The Progress Report


August 27 - Septemeber 7: Talk Up Our Union at the State Fair! More than 90 AFSCME volunteers will be at the Minnesota State Fair talking about the good things unions mean for workers, their families, and their communities. Volunteers are handing out 16 separate cards – a different card each day – that highlight union advantages in wages, benefits, paid time off, job security, power and protection at work, and more.AFSCME’s kiosk is located in the Minnesota AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion. . This year’s fair runs from August 27 until Labor Day. 

Septemebr 1 Deadline: Register for Presidential Town Halls! AFSCME members can watch exclusive town-hall meetings that 2016 presidential candidates will hold with AFSCME members and retirees in Iowa on Saturday Sept. 5 and Sunday September 6. The events will stream live on the Internet. You can sign up online to watch any or all of them. Enter your AFSCME ID number; you can find this on your membership card, on the address label of AFSCME Works magazine, or by calling 1-855-237-2631 toll-free between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. You must register by Tuesday September 1.

September 4: AFSCME Council 5 Vacancies! This is a call for Nominations to fill unexpired terms of the Council 5 Executive Board. Candidates for district executive board member must reside within that district. District 5 is comprised of the counties of Dakota, Goodhue, Ramsey and Washington. Yes, Local 34 members living in those four Counties can apply! Applications are due by Friday, September 4th to Michelle Stein, AFSCME Council 5, 300 Hardman Ave. S., South St. Paul, MN 55075. Elections for these seats will be held September 17th at the Council 5 Executive Board meeting.  

September 5: Women's Work Tour with History Player Eva Valesh! Mill City Museum, Saturday, September 5, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm. Join a costumed actor portraying labor writer Eva Valesh for a walking tour that highlights working conditions along the Minneapolis riverfront in the late 1880s. The guide will discuss jobs that were available to women in the late 19th and early 20th century, key events in women's labor history in Minneapolis, and the factories that Valesh exposed, including the North Star Woolen Mill, which still stands two blocks from Mill City Museum. Valesh served as labor editor for the Saint Paul Globe and the Minneapolis Tribune before going on to national acclaim working for Samuel Gompers as assistant editor of the American Federationist.

September 5: Arts in Labor! The East Side Freedom Library will host “A Celebration of the Arts in Labor” on Saturday, September 5, featuring music, poetry, visual art, puppetry, fiction, theater and storytelling from several well-known figures in the Twin Cities. The program, which is free and open to all, will run from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the library, 1105 Greenbrier St., on St. Paul’s east side. Read more  

September 6: Congressman Keith Ellison’s Annual BBQ Honoring Labor:  Sunday, September 6, 12 to 2 p.m.,  Minnehaha Falls Park, Wabun Picnic Area ‘D’. Have a burger, hot dog or veggie option, compliments of Rep. Ellison in honor of the important contributions working people make every day. You are encouraged to bring a side dish to share with others and a non-perishable food item to support Second Harvest Heartland.

September 12: The next meeting for AFSCME MN Next Wave is scheduled for September 12, 11:00 a.m. at the Council 5 office in St. Paul.  The AFSCME Next Wave program is an organization aimed at AFSCME members who are 35 years of age and younger, who are building the union movement.  Sometimes, local meetings aren't the best point of entry into our union for a fledgling member. Next Wave hosts fun, purposeful events to draw young people in and get them excited about AFSCME. We hope people will then emerge prepared to enter our local energized and inspired to be active participants.

September 12: Speakeasy '15!  Kicking ass for the working class deserves a party! Because Labor Ball is an inclusive community, this labor and union event connects people across sectors, classes & affiliations. Labor Ball is an opportunity to enjoy time with likeminded activists. This year’s Labor Ball continues the tradition of being “a party for the working class to celebrate our victories and toast our future.” The evening includes food, drink, live music, and dancing. Donations accepted at event to benefit East Side Freedom Library. Details: Labor Ball is September 12, 7:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m., at the IBEW Local 110 hall, 1330 E. Conway, St. Paul. Admission is free, but a donation of $5-$10 is suggested to support the East Side Freedom Library.  



AFSCME Strong! The six Hennepin County AFSCME locals will hold a one day AFSCME Strong training on September 24, 2015. Local 34 has approved covering 8 hours lost time and parking (if needed) for up to 60 members to attend this training. What is AFSCME Strong training? It is a program to train activists in our locals on how to effectively conduct one-on-one conversations with our members to build our union so that we can fight the right-to-work mentality which exploits us as members of the working class. This, in turn, will help us become a stronger local and enhance our ability to build power for us as public workers. We are facing attacks from anti-union extremists who want to financially cripple us and weaken our ability to function in the public sector. We cannot let that happen. We need to stand up together for quality public services and stronger communities. The tools we gain during this training will give us a strong footing in this endeavor. If you are a Local 34 member interested in participating in this training, please contact Jean Diederich by email before September 2, 2015. Note: The union organizing movement is even more dramatic nationwide, as AFSCME has signed up more than 140,000 members during the past year.

AFSCME Council 5 Convention! This years' Council 5 Convention will be held in Duluth, MN on October 1 -3, 2015.  Local 34 voted to send up to 34 delegates to this event. We will elect the delegates at our September 2nd General Assembly held in HSB 110 at 5:30 PM.  Any member is eligible to put their name forward to be a delegate. If you have any questions, please contact me, Jean Diederich, at 612-348-0266.

Make My Labor Day! Labor Day isn’t just a day off from work to eat good barbecue with friends and family. It’s a celebration of America’s labor movement and its workers. This year, to celebrate the working folks who make America possible, Union Plus is bringing Labor Day back to its roots—and we’re cooking up a little fun for union members in the process. Vote for your favorite labor hero and you enter to win $500. In honor of our labor heritage, and to make Labor Day even more awesome, three union members who vote and enter will be rewarded with $500. But don’t wait too long to enter—this sweepstakes ends Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. Union members should head to now to vote and enter to win $50

Steward Update! Currently there are 33 active Stewards in Local 34 - with space for 11 more. Contact our Chief Stewards if you may be interested in becoming a Local 34 steward.

Budget Hearings! A series of public meetings have been scheduled regarding Hennepin County's 2016 budget and property tax levy. There will be presentations from county staff to the county board about the proposed budget, followed by public comments on the proposed budget. Read the September Local 34 newsletter for specific dates and times.

Labor Education Classes Start in September! The University of Minnesota Labor Education Service has announced its 2015-2016 schedule of Labor Studies Skills Courses, starting September 19 with “Addressing Workplace Bullying and Sexual Harassment.” Other classes include 'Introduction to the Labor Movement" starting October 24 and "Social Media for Organizing and Mobilizing" beginning November 7. Read more. You can request tuition reimbursement from Local 34.

Members Ratify "State" Master Contract! AFSCME State employees ratified their master contract, with 84 percent support from voting members. The two-year deal will cover 15,500 AFSCME members. Highlights include a pay raise of 2.5 percent, retroactive to July 1; another 2.5 percent raise on July 1, 2016; plus step pay increases in both years. Employees eligible for annual steps could see their pay rise 10 percent by the time the contract expires on June 30, 2017. The contract now goes to the Legislature’s Subcommittee on Employee Relations. The committee’s vote will determine when the contract legally takes effect. Retroactive raises usually show up in November. 

2016 AFSCME Family Scholarship! Looking for financial support for college?  Each year the AFSCME Family Scholarship Program provides ten $2,000 scholarships to high school seniors that will be renewed for $2,000 each year for a maximum of four years, provided the student remains enrolled in a full-time course of study. The scholarship may be used for any field of study. The application deadline is 12/31/2015. Read more  



Union News in Brief!

Homecare Ruling a Historic Victory! On 8/21, a federal appeals court upheld a Department of Labor rule requiring homecare agencies to pay the federal minimum wage and overtime. Two million homecare workers - 90 percent of them women and 53 percent women of color - will be affected by the new rule.  

Steelworkers Rally as Contracts Set to Expire! Hundreds of Steelworkers and supporters from across Minnesota’s Iron Range marched and rallied on Thursday as part of nationwide actions by the union as it fights concessions demanded by U.S. Steel, ArcelorMittal and Cliffs Natural Resources.  

NLRB Holds Big Firms Jointly Liable for Rights Violations! In a decision that could aid an estimated 2.87 million workers nationwide, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that big franchising firms, such as McDonald’s, are jointly liable with their local franchise-holders and subcontractors for worker rights and for obeying labor law.  

After Rolling Strikes, Court Fines Washington for Illegally Underfunding Schools! Schools in Washington state are so badly funded, it's unconstitutional. This spring, 40,000 teachers joined one-day strikes to protest. Now the state is facing a court-imposed penalty of $100,000 per day for ignoring the problem.  

Verizon Workers Launch ‘Militant Mondays’! Members of Communications Workers Local 2108 in Maryland are wearing camouflage every Monday until their contract is settled. Contracts expired in August for 28,000 union members at AT&T Southeast and 38,000 at Verizon in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.   

The Clock is Ticking! Last month, President Obama announced a history-making plan to give millions of Americans a raise by increasing the overtime pay threshold to $50,400 and expanding the types of jobs that are eligible for additional pay. If these changes are implemented, as many as 15 million Americans will see their take-home pay go up. That's a huge win for working families.  

Schedules That Work Act! Millions of low-wage hourly workers, many of whom are parents, are given erratic and unpredictable work schedules by their employers. Work hours like these make it almost impossible to schedule childcare, work at a second job, or go back to school. Right now, retailers and restaurants are legally allowed to change employees' schedules at a moment's notice, without recourse or regard to a worker's personal situation. But new legislation introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren would end this once and for all. Sen. Warren's bill, the Schedules That Work Act, would allow employees to have a say in their work schedule and bring more stability to their family's lives.  

Social Security and the Stock Market! The stock market continued a period of volatility on Monday. Media reports sounded the alarm as the DOW opened 1,000 points down and other indexes took huge hits, only to climb back up a bit later in the day. While that performance, which had some people calling it black Monday, may have knocked a good deal of money out of people’s 401(k) retirement accounts, Social Security benefits remain by and large untouched by such fluctuations. Some Republicans, however, are interested in changing that. In June, presidential candidate Jeb Bush said that he thinks the next president will have to try to privatize Social Security. Others have gotten behind the idea as well: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) drafted a plan in 2013 that included partial privatization, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is in favor of using private accounts. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has included privatization in his budget blueprints.

Have a great day and thank you for visiting our union's website!