Can't Win if you Don't Fight

June is LGBT Pride Month!

Once landfill-bound, the U of M’s Benjamin Karpman Papers are a treasure trove of GLBT history

One Strong, United Voice for Workers

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


  Newsletter (June, 2017)

  President's blog (June, 2017)

AFSCME has made a commitment to getting back to organizing basics, building power at the grassroots level and hearing the unique concerns of every public service worker in one-on-one conversations. As a union, we will never quit fighting for the respect and opportunity public service workers deserve, because public service workers never quit on our communities.~ AFSCME


 Local 34 Officers

Local 34 Stewards

Local 34 Member News


Local 34 Contract  

AFSCME Advantage



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



     AFSCME Local 34                   Updated 6/19/2017

Local 34 Newsletter (June, 2017)

President's Blog (June, 2017)


Summer Resistance Rally

Please join Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, Co-Chair Congressman Keith Ellison, and Minnesota DFL Party Chair Ken Martin for a Summer Resistance Rally on Monday, June 19th, AFSCME Council 5,  300 Hardman Avenue, St. Paul. ! The rally will start at 4:00 PM. An organizing action will follow.



Contrary to Conservative Conventional Wisdom

Conservatives regularly claim that business taxes in Minnesota are high relative to the rest of the nation, but an examination of fiscal year (FY) 2015 total state and local business taxes per private sector employee in each of the fifty states reveals that Minnesota is actually below the national average…Based on data from the EY (Ernst & Young) report, the composition of state and local taxes in Minnesota by tax type is similar to the national composition. Both in Minnesota and nationally, the property tax is the single largest tax, followed by sales taxes, excise taxes (including public utility and insurance taxes), and corporate income taxes. For both Minnesota and the entire U.S., unemployment insurance taxes, individual income taxes on business income, and license and other taxes are the smallest of the business tax categories examined in the EY report…The EY report also notes that total state and local business taxes in Minnesota declined by 0.2 percent from FY 2014 to FY 2015, while nationally they increased by 1.9 percent…Contrary to conservative conventional wisdom, Minnesota ranks among the middle of states in terms of state and local business taxes per private sector employee and is modestly below the national average. These findings are based on FY 2015 data and thus do not include the impact of business property tax relief enacted this year. ~ North Star Policy Institute 

Conventional wisdom is often more conventional than wisdom! ~ Minh Tan


Executive Director Retirement: Council 5 Executive Director, Eliot Seide, has announced his intent to retire after serving our labor movement for the past 38years. He intends to continue serving in his position until a new director is hired and will be part of the transition period once we have a new person in place. The Council 5 Executive Board, by terms of our Council 5 Constitution, is the hiring entity for this position. President Judy Wahlberg will head up the Hiring Committee which is comprised of the four Chair Officers - President Wahlberg, Vice President Mike Lindholt, Secretary Mary Falk & Treasurer Nickson Nyankabaria – plus ten Executive Board members - Jeff Couillard, Gerald Firkus, Dennis Frazier, Pat Guernsey, Jennifer Guertin, Eric Hesse, Cherrene Horazuk, Delphine Steiner, Jacqueline Terry and Jean Diederich. The job will be posted nationally. We have a series of meetings scheduled between now and September to work on the hiring process, review applications and conduct initial interviews of applicants. The final interview of candidates will be conducted by the full Council 5 Executive Board in September. This will be a daunting process as we look to find someone to fill the HUGE shoes being vacated by Director Seide. He helped to guide us through our merger into Council 5 over 11 years ago and has served as our mentor, guide, lodestone, leader, spokesperson, cheerleader, role model, chief cook & bottle washer over that time as we grew into the strong, effective Council that we are today.  

AFSCME Scholarship Winner: Congratulations to Asia Yang, child of Sirynoise Yang from our local, winner of a 2017 AFSCME Family Scholarship. Asia is graduating from Roseville Area High School this year. If we obtain permission to do so we will run Asia's essay in next month's newsletter.  

AFSCME Summer Picnic: Save the date - Sunday, August 20, 2017 - for the AFSCME Family Picnic. It will be held from 1:00- 5:00 PM at Battle Creek Regional Park in Maplewood. All members and their families are welcome to attend. Burgers, hot dogs and soft drinks will be provided. The first 100 kids will receive free Water Park tickets. Please bring other foods and desserts to share. Volunteers are needed to help with the various activities and duties. Please contact Duane Gatzke at 651-472-2787 or if you have questions or are able to volunteer. He would love to hear from you!

Thank You: Thank you to Leah Hicks, Tequia Brown and Wes Volkenant for their service to our local. They have promoted to a job class out of our bargaining unit. Leah served as one of our Good & Welfare contacts. Tequia served as a steward. Wes served as a Membership Secretary, Vice President and Newsletter Editor. We are grateful for their hard work on our behalf over the course of their years as members of our local. Please join me thanking them for that service and wishing them well with their new job classification.

The Minnesota Union Leadership Program (MULP) is taking applications for the 2017 - 2018 class. This program is coordinated by Labor Education Services (LES) and is offered in cooperation with the Minnesota AFL-CIO. Staff from LES lead the training which has experienced speakers from the labor movement and allied community. Participants in the program gain and develop leadership skills as they build relationships and network with their classmates. The course consists of six days of classes beginning with a two day session in October 2017 followed by four one day sessions between December 2017 and May 2018.  

Local 34 will once again sponsor members to be part of the 2017 - 2018 series if their application is accepted by LES. You must complete the application which can be found at If your application is approved, LES will then contact our local to see if we will support your participation in the program. That support consists of covering the $1500.00 tuition as well as lost time, mileage and parking to attend all six sessions of the program. Local 34's request is that any member who submits an application make a firm commitment to attend & fully participate in all six days of the program AND make a firm commitment to participate in Local 34 union activities.

AFSCME Organizing Days/Labor Lunches

Who: All are welcome! Anyone who wants to learn more about or get a feel for union organizing or get more involved in our union.

When: One day in the months of February, March, May, June, August, September, November

How: Let Deb Konechne know. Ask for the day off, take Special Leave Without Pay (SLWOP) and our union pays your day’s wages.

Upcoming Dates/Locations:  

  • August 16 - West Hub

  • September 14 - North Hub / Northpoint

  • November - South Hub

Local 34 will continue our efforts to develop Member Action Teams (MAT) during 2017. The structure is aimed at fostering communication, networking and organizing for our members. Our goal is to have 80 MAT leaders by the end of 2017. Contact Deb Konechne, Local 34 Membership Secretary for more information and to express your interest in becoming a MAT leader. Contact Deb at or or call her at 612-816-4321.  


John Herzog - WEB Developer

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

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