in Shouldn’t Mean Putting Your Life on the Line! AFSCME
members are standing up for safe staffing. Clocking in shouldn’t
mean putting your life on the line. That’s why AFSCME
members who work with violent patients and inmates are
standing up for safe staffing. We all deserve to work a safe
shift and return home to our families who count on us. Safe
staffing is now a hot topic being debated at the Legislature.
The number of patient-on-staff assaults is surging at
Minnesota Security Hospitals and psychiatric facilities. There has also been an alarming increase in violence
toward health care workers at hospitals like Fairview, Regions
and HCMC. The number of inmates in state prisons and county
jails is also rising as corrections staff has been cut by the
budget axe. Those trends should prompt lawmakers to protect
the public workers who protect the public. Read
for People Who Will Protect our Pensions!
County and local government
employees can vote now for trustees on the PERA board – the
Public Employees Retirement Association.
voting for these candidates to safeguard your pension: Active
(General Fund and Corrections Fund): Paul Bourgeois, Clinton
Schumacher, Thomas Stanley Retiree: Ross Arneson.
Members can return their ballot by mail, vote by phone at
1-800-838-3873 or vote
profiles are available online.
vote could determine the future of retirement security for
Minnesota's public workers.
day to vote is Saturday January 31.
~ In solidarity - AFSCME
Opening: Field Director, AFSCME Council 5! The Field
Director will function as a member of the management
team to oversee the operation of AFSCME MN Council 5 and
implement the programs and direction determined by the
Council 5 Executive Board. This employee will be
involved in all facets of the organization and will
assist in budget preparations, program development,
training and program implementation. The employee will
attend Council 5 Executive Board meetings and provide
reports to the Board as appropriate. The Field Director
will report to the Chief of Staff. Deadline to apply is
4:00 pm, January 30th. Learn
more and apply
AFSCME Day on the Hill this year will be
held on Tuesday, March 24th. This event will be held at the
Crowne Plaza in St Paul with a plenary session and workshops
in the morning and lobbying at the Capitol in the afternoon.
The day is capped off with a reception in the evening. It is
our opportunity to join our fellow AFSCME neighbors in talking
to our legislators about our concerns and issues. A motion was
passed to send up to 34 members. The election will be held at
the February 4th General Assembly meeting.
Month of Service -
Keeping the Dream Alive! Martin Luther King Jr. was
assassinated in Memphis in 1968 after marching with our fellow
AFSCME members, the sanitation workers who were on strike as
they fought to improve their lives by improving their working
conditions. To commemorate the sacrifices of the sanitation
workers and Dr. King, Council 5 is organizing a “month of
service” this spring. The goal is a unified, statewide
effort showing how we AFSCME members improve lives in our
communities when we are off the clock. The plan is for members
to take part in a volunteer or community service activity
where we work or live between March 25th and April 24th.
It all concludes with a one-day
project and celebration in the Twin Cities on Saturday April
can do this with coworkers, families and friends and may be
some-thing that we are already doing such as keeping our block
clean, serving in a food kitchen, helping at your child’s
school, etc. We will discuss this at the February 4th General
Assembly meeting. Please bring your suggestions for possible
activities to the meeting.
Engagement, and Outreach! The EE&O Committee
will next meet on February 9th at HSB 110. They
are focusing on a next Labor Lunch topic of Wage
Theft/Working off the Clock, a topic our Local 34
newsletter discussed in January. Local 2822 has created
a Timesheet Calculator to determine if you are working
off the clock.
Labor Movie Night! February 20
- Killing Floor—Two African-American men migrate from the
rural south to Chicago during World War I and land jobs in a
packing house. They respond very differently to the challenges
presented. The film deals forthrightly and pretty effectively
with racism in the workplace and the union and ends with the
1919 riots and their aftermath.
Women’s Retreat will be held April 22 – 24, 2015
at Ruttger’s Bay Lodge near Brainerd, MN. This event
is geared towards mobilizing women to improve their
workplace, union and community. A motion was passed to
send up to 6 members to this event. The election will be
held at the February 4th General Assembly meeting. Read
more at Workday Minnesota.
Netroots Nation will be held in
Phoenix, Arizona July 16 -19, 2015. The central topic
for this year is immigration and social media’s
ability to effect change in the existing policies. A
motion was passed to send up to 2 members to this event.
The delegates will be elected at the March 4th General
Assembly meeting. Please plan to attend that meeting to
put your name forward and to let us know your plans for
utilizing the experience and knowledge gained to help
our local continue our growth.
spend a day at the Capitol! Tim Adams, one of
our AFSCME Council 5 political staff, attended our
January 14th General Assembly to introduce himself to
us. He talked about the work ahead of us for the 2015
legislative year and asked us to spend a day at the
Capitol visiting with our Senators and Representatives
to talk about issues of concern to us such as local
government aid, transportation, pensions, education,
etc. He noted that issues affecting workers across the
state are important to all of us. If you are interested
in helping, please email Tim
Adams or call Tim at 651-295-1677 and he
will answer your questions and set a date for you to
Leaders Opportunity! AFSCME International is accepting
applications from local officers and activists for the 2015
Women’s Leadership Academy. The academy includes a five-day
orientation June 22-26 and a three-day finale in December. In
between, participants must complete a campaign project in
their local or council, and take part in frequent webinars and
other networking. Details: More
qualifications, who is responsible for which costs, and the
application process is available online. Applications are due
34 Elections! Wes Volkenant is the Elections Chair for
2015 with Vicki Moore as Nominations Chair. Nominations will
be taken at both the February and March General Membership
meetings. If you have been a dues paying member of Local 34
for one year, you are eligible to seek an office.
officer election notice
is About to Get Started! Here is a brief refresher of how
AFSCME negotiations work in Hennepin County: Each of the seven
- 34, 552, 1719, 2822, 2864, and both
parts of 2938 - combine together as the Hennepin Policy
Committee to organize our negotiations, any potential strike
and the educational/action efforts during negotiations. Any
member of Local 34 in good standing may be part of the large
“Master Committee” the next few months, developing our
proposals for the next contract. From this group, each local
chooses a small number (usually 5-7 for Local 34) to be on the
“Table Team.” The Table Team meets face-to-face with the
Employer’s representatives, and later through a mediator, to
reach an agreement by November. The Master Committee then
meets again and recommends
acceptance or rejection of the offer. Contact
President, Local 34 if you are interested in learning more or
becoming involved in negotiations.
You Have What it Takes to Put Out a Local 34 Newsletter Each
Month? Editor Wes Volkenant recently informed the Local
34 E-Board that he intends to step down as Editor
sometime in 2015, if the Local finds an interested
member who’d like to take on this opportunity
– or challenge, and if the Local decides to
continue putting forward a regular newsletter for
its membership. Perhaps
my successor might be you!
If you’re interested, Wes would be happy
to show you what he does each month to put these
editions of the newsletter before the membership.
E-mail Wes or
Jean Diederich to express
You Get Our Text? AFSCME Council 5 is launching a text
message alert network. Messages will update
members about legislative action they can take –
and help us coordinate our actions and locations
during rallies and other events. To sign up: Text
MN5 to 237263, then follow the prompts.
Labor Lunch will be held on
March 12 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm.
Location is TBD.