"Our union is
a testament to collective action and the triumph of
WE over ME.
Never Too Early to Vote
September issue of the Local 34 Banner is a
milestone issue! The Executive Board has decided
that beginning with the October 2014 issue, this
newsletter will no longer be distributed in paper
version to each individual member. Rather, about 200
copies will be printed - primarily for bulletin
boards at our job sites. The PDF version will be
made available to each of you through e-mail links
via unit representatives. If you don’t have a
mailed link for that issue by October 1st, please
contact Jean Diederich, Local 34 President.
can also view all copies of our newsletters
dating back to 2002 on this website.
Retells a Forgotten Fight! In 1939, a
thousand Missouri sharecroppers – a rare
alliance of black and white – walked off the
land to take a stand against their desperate
conditions and the legal loopholes that allowed
land owners to cheat them. The documentary “Oh
Freedom After While” retells the fight of
these farm families and their Southern Tenant
Farmers Union. Details: Labor Movie Night begins
Friday September 19 at 6 p.m. in Room 356
of the Minneapolis Labor Center, 312 Central
Ave., Mpls. Admission is free, but donations are
accepted. Snacks and beverages are available.
Local 34 Chief Steward! Please join us in
congratulating Tywanna Gray on her election at our
last Local 34 Executive Board meeting to fill the
Senior Chief Steward position.
She brings her years of service as a Local 34
steward and activist to her new role. Tywanna and her co-Chief
Steward, Kela Williams continue to address
issues we face in the workplace. If you find
yourself in the need for a steward to represent you,
please note that you now contact both Tywanna and
Kela. As Chief Stewards, they will then work with
you to find a steward to represent you.
34 has a new Welcome Committee for new employees,
composed of Stewards Tywanna Gray, Margo Blay Bugbee
and Sheila Lipsco, and Member-at-Large Deborah
Konechne. They work in conjunction with the EE&O
Committee and the Membership Secretary, Heather
Budget & Finance Committee! The
Budget & Finance Committee reported that
meetings have commenced for the year, and the
committee is diligently working to flesh out what a
membership dues increase would look like, based on
2015 wages. A presentation of sample dues increases
with discussion will be presented at the October General Membership meeting. The 2015 Local 34
budget recommendation is pending.
Planning for contract negotiations will
begin in 3/2015. The first negotiation session
with the county is tentatively scheduled for
Movement for HSRs! HSRs have an opportunity
to change where they work if they want to. HSRs
may complete a survey and request the work place
of their choice (not required). An interview may
be required for specialty positions.
Enrollment! Open enrollment for health care
will be held in 11/2014.
Meeting! The next stewards meeting will be
held on 10/29/2014.
Hosts Labor History Class! St. Paul Public
Schools and the East Side Freedom Library are
teaming up for a six-part community education
class on the history of labor in Minnesota. The
class is held on Thursdays, October 16 -
November 20, from 6-8 p.m., at the library, 1105
Greenbrier St. Cost is $50. To register, call
the Clock, Around the State! Whatever the
time, whatever the day, AFSCME members are on
the job. Sometimes, we do work that everybody
sees. More often, we do work that’s invisible.
In a special
we sample and celebrate the incredible variety
of work Council 5 members do to make life
better, safer, and more enjoyable.
Family Scholarship! Graduating high school
students who are children and financially
dependent grandchildren of full dues-paying
AFSCME members may now apply for the AFSCME
Family Scholarship. Download
an application here. Application
deadline is December 31.
Engagement, and Outreach! Our next AFSCME
EEO meeting will be held on October 6, 5:30 -
7:30 pm at the Health Services Building, Room
agenda items include: Labor Lunch, Strikes, Workplace Issues and
Members Donate to Local Food Shelf! A
heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to
AFSCME’s food drive for Neighbors Inc. We
raised $10,721.63 and collected 23 bags of
groceries, far surpassing last year’s
donations. Food shelf director John Kemp had
tears tumbling down his cheeks. Our generosity
will help him restock bare shelves. Neighbors
assists more than 600 families each month in
Inver Grove Heights, South St. Paul and West St.
Paul. Our timely donations will help union
members who are out of work after the Rainbow
Foods sell off and the Dakota premium plant
Winner! Council 5 scholarship winners were
announced at Council 5’s Annual convention.
Calista DePauw, daughter of our very own Local
34 member, Catherine Rinaldo, is a winner! Congrats to Calista from all of us in Local 34.
For The Fight! AFSCME Council 5 Convention
delegates voted overwhelmingly Friday to
increase Council5’s per capita rate by $5 a
month beginning Jan 1, 2015. The “FIVE FOR THE
FIGHT” increase is the first constitutional
increase since 2005. An increase in the per
capita payment does not automatically mean
individual member dues will increase. Any dues
increase would be handled on a local-by-local
Labor Studies Skills Courses! These
non-credit courses provide a foundation in
"nuts & bolts" areas important to
working people. Classes
are open to all.
Sessions are held on the West Bank of the
University's Minneapolis campus.
34 will reimburse tution costs. If interested
please contact Local 34 President, Jean
Council 5’s Newest Members! Workers at
Stepping Stones for Living in Hermantown voted
by a 4-1 margin on September 3 to join AFSCME.
The 173 new members work at group homes and a
day program run by the private, for-profit
company. They provide residential and support
services for adults with traumatic brain injury
or mental illness. The Stepping Stones workers
are among the 1,065 members organized in Council
5 so far in 2014.
Your Mind on Trade! The State of
Minnesota’s Trade Policy Advisory Council is
trying to find out Minnesotans' views on “free
trade” agreements. We know that agreements
like NAFTA send good-paying jobs overseas, put
our environment at risk, and devastate
communities. This is a chance to speak out that
existing “free trade” policies don't work
and that we need a new model. Take
Director of Membership Services! The
Minnesota Social Service Association (MSSA) is
currently accepting applications for a Director
of Membership Services. This position has
primary responsibility for managing and
implementing membership activities, services and
databases to ensure a meaningful and positive
membership experience for MSSA members.
13 marked the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against
Women Act (VAWA) – the landmark legislation that was
signed into law by President Clinton to provide more
institutional resources for domestic violence victims.
“Decisions are being made every day in
Washington, and if you are not part of those decisions, you
might not like what they decide, and you’ll have no one to
blame but yourself.”
Prepares Stopgap Funding Bill to Prevent Government Shutdown:
Congress has prepared a mostly non-controversial stopgap measure
to keep the government from shutting down when funding for this
fiscal year expires on September 30. This is necessary because
Congress has not completed any of its 12 funding bills.
The so-called “continuing resolution” (CR) will fund
programs at current levels through December 11 minus an
across-the-board cut to comply with budget rules. We expect the
stopgap measure will pass both the House and Senate next week,
when Congress will adjourn to campaign before returning in
November to finalize fiscal year 2015 funding and other pending
After allowing the Paycheck Fairness Act to move forward last
week, Senate Republicans turned around on Monday evening and
unanimously voted to block the bill, which would ban salary
secrecy and tighten rules to try to narrow the gender wage gap.
The vote came weeks after the Republican National Committee
claimed that “All Republicans support equal pay.” Senate
Republicans have unanimously shot the bill down multiple times
over the past four years.
there has been little bipartisan support of bills that would
limit the corporate fire-sale which has become the election
process in America, recently not a single Senate
Republican voted in favor of putting a check on unlimited
money in politics by supporting a constitutional amendment
to overturn Citizens United...As the late Robin Williams
once suggested, a more accurate representation of the
political process would occur if candidates wore jerseys
like Nascar drivers. They would be covered in patches that
said, ‘Astra Zeneca’, or ‘Koch Brothers’,
‘Monsanto’ or ‘Lawyers R Us’ to represent the
largest corporate contributions to members of Congress in
the 2014 cycle.
Debts Hold Back Economic Recovery - Need Assistance: Rising
college debts are holding back recovery in the housing markets
while housing costs converge with college debts to also hold
back recovery for the broader U.S. and Minnesota economies. This
drag on economic performance isn’t perfectly documented and
analyzed yet. It is coming in bits and pieces. Yet an increasing
body of financial house studies and analytical journalism finds
linkages too strong to be ignored.
Care Act Saves Medicare Beneficiaries More Than $11.5 Billion on
Prescription Drugs: As reported by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, the Affordable Care Act has helped
8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities keep more than
$11.5 billion in their pocketbooks
by gradually closing the gap in coverage known as the
donut hole. This gap
required beneficiaries to pay the full cost of their
medications. These savings would be lost if Congress adopted
proposals to repeal the ACA or increase beneficiaries’
Employee Empowerment Act: Two progressive champions -
Representatives Keith Ellison and John Lewis - have launched a
“dramatic counter-offensive” by introducing legislation to
defend the right of workers to organize unions.1 The
Employee Empowerment Act would protect workers from employer
discrimination by making labor organizing a civil
right. Now more than ever, we need to show solidarity with
workers and fight for their right to organize for better wages
and working conditions. Tell Congress: Protect our workers by
voting for the Employee Empowerment Act.
The Ellison-Lewis legislation would amend the National Labor Relations
Act so that firing an employee “on the basis of seeking union
membership” would be illegal -- just as it is now illegal to
fire someone on the basis of race, color, sex, religion or
Ordered To ‘Make Whole’ 300 Union Workers Fired 11 Years
Ago: The National Labor Relations Board has ordered CNN to
re-hire a hundred former union employees and pay compensation to
200 others to make all the workers whole after illegal
anti-union actions eleven years ago. NABET-CWA called on CNN to
immediately comply with the NLRB ruling. CNN is required to
restore any collective bargaining work that was outsourced. CNN
also must recognize the workers’ union locals and resume
bargaining with them. The NLRB found that CNN had engaged in
“widespread and egregious misconduct” and had demonstrated
“a flagrant and general disregard for the employees’
sum up new
the U.S. is way behind other countries when it comes to family
leave policies. Norway, on the other hand, requires paid leave
for moms and puts equal responsibilities on parents. That’s so
insanely reasonable, it just might work.
great day and thank you for visiting our union's website!