AFSCME Contract Negotiations 2015

 

Contract Voting Results

The votes were cast 12/3/2015 and the ballots counted 12/4/2015. The contract has been approved with a majority of over 88%. Thank you to everyone who took time to come to the voting sites, ask questions about the tentative agreement and vote. This is another example of our democracy in action.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners will hold their final meeting on Tuesday, December 15, 2015. Our contract ratification will be on the agenda for that meeting. ~ Jean Diederich, President, AFSCME Local 34

 

 

Thank You! 

Your Table Team members of the six AFSCME locals - 34, 551, 1719, 2822, 2864 and 2938 – reached a tentative agreement with the Employer on November 16th around 10:00 p.m. after 13 hours of bargaining. The 2015 Table Team is recommending that the members approve this tentative agreement when you come out to vote on Thursday, December 3.

Thank you to all of you who have been wearing your green shirts on Tuesdays, who attended the rallies and informational pickets, who made phone calls to the Commissioners, who worked on our EE&O Committee (kudos for all their time, energy and hard work to pull everything off), who helped with informational meetings, who attended County Board meetings, who helped to craft our original proposal. Your contributions helped to get us to this spot.  

Thank you to the Table Team members of AFSCME Locals 552, 1719, 2722, 2864 and 2938. You did good work.   

Last, but most definitely not least, THANK YOU to Alex Erickson, Brenda Louise, Kathy Kelly, Kenneth Garnier, Maggie Keating and Tywanna Gray.  It has been a huge honor and privilege to serve with you on our Local 34 Table Team. Your insights, wisdom, counsel, ideas, suggestions and tough decision making skills are so much appreciated. Our members will all benefit from your efforts. Thank you, thank you, thank you. ~ Jean Diederich, President, AFSCME Local 34     

 

 

Final Day of Negotiations

AFSCME members gathered on the final morning of Negotiations, first on the Service Level of the Government Center, then up to the 24th floor and the Commissioner offices. 

They presented your signed petitions for a Fair Contract and Base Pay of $15 per Hour. Over 1500 signatures were displayed on a roll nearly 180 feet long, which members stretched out from the Commissioner Reception desk out past elevators and into the Hallway as shown above.

Your Table Team members of the six AFSCME locals - 34, 551, 1719, 2822, 2864 and 2938 – reached a tentative agreement with the Employer Monday night, November 16th around 10:00 p.m. We began the day at 8:00 a.m. with the rally on the Public Service Level in the Government Center with our negotiation session following at 9:00 a.m. We had a number of proposals and counter-proposals between our union folks and the Employer. 

You will receive a complete summary of the offer with all the nuts and bolts via U.S. mail by the end of this week. The contract vote is set for Thursday, 12/3/2015 at 18 sites around the County – sites and times to be announced later.  

 

 

Tentative Contract Settlement Reached

Here is a "short summary" of the agreement:

Term of contract:  Three years - 1/1/2016 -12/31/2018

Steps remain in place all three years of the contract.

Base wage of $15.00 – means that all job classes with wages of less than $15.00/hour now will increase to $15.00 effective 2016.

General wage adjustment - COLA

2016

2017

2018

Top of wage range

2.5%

2.5%

2.5%

In the range

1.5%

1.5%

2.5%

Minimum raise for those in range

(This means that folks will see a raise of at least $.27 in 2017 and $.45 in 2018)

 

$.27

$.45

Drop bottom steps for following job classes (Note: There are currently no employees on these steps of the respective job classes):

Chemical Health Counselor - eliminate bottom 4 steps

Chemical Health Counselor, Sr. - eliminate bottom 4 steps

Child Support Officer - eliminate bottom 2 steps

Child Support Officer, Principal - eliminate bottom 2 steps

Community Health Worker - eliminate bottom 2 steps

Corrections Counselor - eliminate bottom 3 steps

Health Care Quality Improvement Specialist - eliminate bottom 2 steps

LPN - eliminate bottom 2 steps

Medical Examiner Investigation Assistant - eliminate bottom 2 steps

Medical Examiner Technician - eliminate bottom 2 steps

MHP Medical Services Coordinator - eliminate bottom 1 step

Psychologist, Clinical - eliminate bottom 4 steps

Social Worker, Psychiatric - eliminate bottom 3 steps

Sterile Processing Technician - eliminate bottom 2 steps

Training Specialist - eliminate bottom 4 steps

Volunteer Coordinator - eliminate bottom 2 steps

Volunteer Coordinator, Sr. - eliminate bottom 2 steps    

 

Drop steps and move employees to new bottom step:

Social Worker - eliminate bottom 6 steps and move 23 employees to step 7 (new 1st step).

Social Worker, Sr. - eliminate bottom 3 steps and move 15 employees to step 4 (new 1st step).

Planning Analyst - eliminate bottom 5steps and move 10 employees to step 6 (new 1st step).

 

Market adjustments:

Public Health Nurse - one additional step at the top (5%) in 2016 and one additional step at the top in (5%)in 2017.

Social Worker, Psychiatric, Sr. - one additional step (5%) at the top in 2016 and eliminate the bottom step. 

Corrections Officer - additional 2% to the top step in 2016; additional 1% to the range in 2016 and drop the bottom step in 2017.

Corrections Officer, Sr. - additional 2% to the top step in 2016; additional 1% to the range in 2016; eliminate bottom 2 steps in 2016. 

Service Center Representative - additional 2% to the top step in 2016 and eliminate bottom 3 steps in 2016.

Sheriff’s Records Coordinator - additional 2% to the top step in 2016 and additional 2% to the range in 2016. 

Veterans Service Representative - additional 2% to the top step in 2016 and eliminate bottom 2 steps in 2016. 

Community Health Worker, Sr. - additional 1.5% to the top step in 2016 and elimination of the bottom 2 steps in 2016.

Medical Assistant - additional 1.5% to the top step in 2016 and elimination of the bottom 2 steps in 2016.

Social Worker, Child Protection - additional 1.5% to the top step in 2016 and elimination of the bottom step in 2016 (this will move 28 employees up to the new top step).

WIC Nutritionist - additional 1.5% to the top step in 2016. 

Sentence to Service Crew Leader - additional 1% to the top step in 2016.

Service Center Rep, Sr. - additional 1% to the top step in 2016.

Legal Service Specialist - additional 1% to the top step in 2016.      

We have Meet & Confer language on a variety of issues ranging from resources & tools to support workers in a mobile & regionalized work environment to technology changes and resulting impact to health care cost containment to work week schedule to efficacy of the Child Protection Induction unit to HSPHD work culture to HSR series issues workload & performance standards.   

We have shift and weekend differential increases to bring those amounts up to $1.00 /hour by 2017 except for those that were already over $1.00/hour. 

The health insurance agreement is what you have seen reflected in the open enrollment plan.   

Again, look for the complete summary in your mail box by the end of this week. If you have moved recently, please send me your new address so our records can be updated. If you have updated APEX with this information, it should be sent to the AFSCME Council 5 office. 

Thank you to all of you who have been wearing your green shirts on Tuesdays, who attended the rallies and informational pickets, who made phone calls to the Commissioners, who worked on our EE&O Committee (kudos for all their time, energy and hard work to pull everything off), who helped with informational meetings, who attended County Board meetings, who helped to craft our original proposal. Your contributions helped to get us to this spot. 

Thank you to the Table Team members of Locals 552, 1719, 2722, 2864 and 2938. You did good work.  

Last, but most definitely not least, THANK YOU to Alex Erickson, Brenda Louise, Kathy Kelly, Kenneth Garnier, Maggie Keating and Tywanna Gray.  It has been a huge honor and privilege to serve with you on our Local 34 Table Team. Your insights, wisdom, counsel, ideas, suggestions and tough decision making skills are so much appreciated by me. Our members will all benefit from your efforts. Thank you, thank you, thank you.     

 

 

Negotiation Update (11/16/2015): 

We have one more round of negotiations (final mediation session is scheduled for November 16) to figure out wages and the County has yet to offer an acceptable Cost of Living adjustment or respond to our $15 base wage proposal. Right now, they are only offering 1.75% for those at the top of their pay scale, and 1% for everyone else. We do not want a divided contract that leaves our newer or less senior workers behind. We need a real  Cost of Living increase!

NEGOTIATION RALLY

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16

8:00 A.M.

HENNEPIN COUNTY GOVERNMENT CENTER

We'll rally at the fountain on the service level for the last and decisive day of negotiations. 

Wear green and be ready to make some noise! 

To get what we need, we have to contact County Commissioners (call or email) and prove to management that we have the power to act collectively. Monday morning is our last chance to influence negotiations and win a real COLA and a $15 base wage. We want Commissioners and Labor Relations to know our negotiating team has member support and that we won't back down. 

Cost of Living Adjustments ensure that our wages keep up with inflation. Inflation goes up for everyone equally and disproportionately affects our lower wage workers. We do not want a divided contract that leaves our newer workers behind. We want a fair and equal COLA for EVERYONE.  Furthermore, we deserve a Cost of Living Adjustment that meets the Cost of Living -1% won't pay the rent. We also ask that you support a $15 base wage for all County workers. If  Hennepin County wants to be an employer of choice, we need to offer all our workers a living wage. 

 

 

Hennepin County Workers Seek Fair Contracts  

By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review

A spirited crowd of nearly 200 AFSCME members who work for Hennepin County rallied and marched at the Hennepin County Government Center Thursday, calling for fair wages, respect on the job, and an increase in staffing levels. Six AFSCME locals are currently in contract negotiations with Hennepin County.

AFSCME members rallied outdoors on the Hennepin County Government Center plaza, where several speakers highlighted the issues facing county workers on the job and outlined the issues in the current contract negotiations.

"The county knows that respect and dignity in the workplace is a problem," said Sam Gutierrez, a clerical worker and member of AFSCME Local 2822 who works at the Hennepin County Government Center. He added: "We're tired of bad bosses… Bad bosses have got to go."

One issue in contract negotiations: the six AFSCME locals bargaining with Hennepin County have a proposal calling for a $15 per hour minimum wage for all county workers.

“There are 10 job classifications in Local 2822 currently making less than $15 per hour,” reported Lynn Stetler, president of AFSCME Local 2822. “Can you imagine your starting wage at $12.82? That isn’t a living wage — not even close."

The county’s three-year proposal includes a wage increase of one percent for workers at the top of the pay scale and .75 percent for workers not in the top scale.

AFSCME is seeking a two-year agreement with a five percent increase each year, to make up for wage freezes in recent years. Compared to surrounding counties, “Hennepin County is the lowest paid in the metro area for a majority of our job classes,” said Jean Diederich, president of AFSCME Local 34.

AFSCME also wants the county to better serve the public by increasing staffing levels.  “We cannot serve the clients if we’re overstretched,” said Brittany Bullock, an AFSCME Local 34 member who works as a human services representative at the Hennepin County’s North Hub. “Our caseloads are unattainable."

Bullock said of county administration: “They need to show us we are important… just like our clients — we help and build them — they need to help and build us.”

Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, addressed the rally. “Everyone we represent does important work that serves the county,” he said. “They’ve got the money — it’s time they pay us.”

“This notion that we can do more with less is baloney,” Seide said, calling on the county to increase staffing levels.

One of the Hennepin County workers attending the rally was Basra Issa, a member of AFSCME Local 34. Issa, Maple Grove, works in child support. “I’m only making $20 per hour after almost 10 years,” she said, adding that she is a single mom with a son and “a mortgage and everything to pay.”

Following the rally, AFSCME members marched around the two blocks of the Hennepin County Government Center, then entered the building. They briefly circled the fountain inside the Hennepin County Government Center, while their chanting echoed loudly in the atrium: “One percent, won’t pay the rent!”  

View more photos of the rally on the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation's Facebook page.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Great Turnout AFSCME!

AFSCME Hennepin County workers rallied for a fair contract at the Government Center, chanting "One percent won't pay the rent! 

It was a blustery day with cool temps but union folks who care about the work we do and the conditions we do it in showed up!

$15.00 base wage! 

Acceptable Cost of Living Adjustment!

Fair Contract!

Dignity, Respect, Justice!

 Go AFSCME!!!!

As Hennepin County workers we support the County’s mission to serve the community. We deserve dignity and respect for the work we do every day. We stand with our negotiating team for a fair contract.   

 

 

 

Negotiation Update (10/8/2015):

“As Hennepin County workers we support the County’s mission to serve the community. We deserve dignity and respect for the work we do every day. We stand with our negotiating team for a fair contract.” 

AFSCME representatives from the Six Hennepin County AFSCME locals continued contract negotiations on October 8 and will meet again on October 15. The October 8 negotiations will tell us a lot about what management is willing to negotiate (or NOT negotiate). At this point they are offering peanuts with only a 1% increase for those at the top of their pay scale, and .75% for those not at the top.  In addition they want to increase our health care costs and want the employers to have full authority to decide our plans and fees in future years.

Check out the latest Table Talk.  

Take a look at the 2015 Wage Comparisons and see how much you make compared to the minimum starting wage at other counties. Please note that we do not have comparisons for all our job classes as some of ours do not exist elsewhere or we could not find anything that matched up. Feel free to share this with your coworkers and fellow Local 34 members.  

Union members can sign the AFSCME petition that will be going around in the next two weeks, asking members to agree that “We as Hennepin County workers support the County’s mission to serve the community. We deserve dignity and respect for the work we do every day. We stand with our negotiating team for a fair contract”. 

Not on Site and Feeling Left Out?  Please sign the petition and send it back. Better yet, please get all your coworkers to sign the petition. Please print, sign, have others sign, scan and email it back or inter office to Christina Eichorn @ Century Plaza MC630, or to Deborah Konechne @ MC 701A, or give to one of your union representatives.  

Join the Education, Engagement and Outreach group to plan actions and help spread the word. You may contact EEO directly at eeandoaction@gmail.com or let Deborah Konechne, AFSCME Local 34 Membership Secretaryknow if interested. 

Like us on Facebook: Hennepin AFSCME Action.  

Follow us on Local 34 website www.afscmelocal34.org/ and on Twitter @HennepinAFSCME.  

 

 

Wear Green on Tuesdays

Are you all wearing your green shirts? Take a picture of you and your coworkers to post on our Local 34 Facebook page, put in our newsletter and on our web site.  Everyone looks good in green!!!  

    

Board Approves Maximum Tax Levy, Moves Budget Cycle Ahead

At its September 22 meeting the Hennepin County Board approved a maximum property tax levy for 2016 of $726.8 million, the next step in the process of determining the county's 2016 budget. The maximum property tax levy represents an increase of 4.48 percent from last year's adjusted levy. The board is required by state law to adopt a maximum property tax levy in September. Commissioners may later approve a property tax levy that is lower than the approved maximum, but they cannot set it higher than the maximum adopted at the meeting.

On September 8, County Administrator David Hough presented a proposed overall budget of $1.9 billion; the figure the board approved on September 22 is the part of the budget that is covered by property taxes. Included in the budget proposal is a plan to improve the safety of children in the county, including increasing critical staff dealing with child protection and reexamining current work practices.

The largest areas of requested increase come in Children and Family Services and Assessment and Case Management. Refer to the October Newsletter for additional information and a breakdown of proposed staffing needs.  

 

 

Negotiation Update (9/14/2015): TABLE TALK #2

On September 14, union and county representatives met for 12 hours. Locals met separately with their departments on supplemental contract issues specific to their bargaining units. We also came very close to a settlement on health insurance, however, work remains and we are unsure an agreement will be reached in time for open enrollment. Please stay tuned for ongoing updates on health insurance and keep in mind what you may see in open enrollment may not be the final agreement.

The union proposed 5% in 2016 and 5% in 2017 cost of living increases (a two or three year contract has yet to be agreed upon).  The county has proposed 1% for employees at top pay and .75% for employees still in the range and who also are eligible for step increases. The County has agreed to step increases for those who are eligible for the length of the contract and we have agreed.

Our Union has been raising staffing issues and we have been heard! County Administrator, David Hough, proposed a 4.5% levy increase, one of the largest proposals in the last 10 years. The proposed increase is based on the need to increase staffing. County Board Chair, Jan Callison said in the Star Tribune that the demand for services is high and “We need to pay them (employees) their value…”  

While it is rewarding to hear the County Board and the County Administrator and our Union agrees on the need for staffing and wages, we need to support the commissioners to ensure this levy passes.  County residents do not always understand how these increases affect them or the workers who serve them every day.  

Please help your union bargaining team by wearing green on Tuesdays, distributing the table talk’s in your area and sign the petition to support your bargaining team!  

We need this levy to pass and we need to support our county commissioners on this issue. You can assist by calling your county commissioner and tell him/her you support David Hough's levy request and his budget that adds line staff positions and moves Hennepin County closer to becoming the employer of choice. If you don't live in Hennepin County, call Board Chair Jan Callison. County Commissioners need to know we support this levy and we support their efforts to increase staffing and wages.  

 

UNION ONGOING PROPOSAL

COUNTY ONGOING PROPOSAL

 

·        2 YEAR AGREEMENT

·        5% GENERAL WAGE ADJUSTMENT FOR EACH YEAR OF THE CONTRACT

·        MINIMAL INCREASE TO HEALTH INSURANCE BASED ON A NEW CONSENSUS MODEL FOR UNION INPUT AND DECISOIN MAKING FOR PREMIUM AND PLAN DESIGN

·        STRONGER SENIORITY RIGHTS

·        INCREASE SHIFT DIFFERENTIALS *several have been agreed to thus far

·        INCREASE VACATION AND PTO ACCRUALS

·        IMPROVED PERFORMANCE EVALUATION LANGUAGE

·        IMPROVED MENTOR LANGUAGE

·        MAXIMUM WORKLOAD/CASELOAD LANGUAGE

·        NEW LANAGUAGE ON DIGNITY AND RESPECT

·        ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTAL PROPOSALS FOR EACH LOCAL UNION

 

·        3 YEAR AGREEMENT

·        1%  PER YR FOR TOP STEP AND .75% STEPINCREASE FOR EMPLOYEES IN THE STEP RANGE

·        EMPLOYER SOLE AUTHORITY ON HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUM AND PLAN DESIGN

·        Limit part-time employee access to healthcare

·        STEP INCREASES

·        MARKET ADJUSTMENTS

·        BONUS PAY FOR PERFORMANCE – Employer intends to do this regardless of our proposal  to spread the millions slotted to go to all workers

·        CADILLAC TAX; PLAN TO ADDRESS FEES AND PLAN DESIGN. THE EMPLOYER SEEKS SOLE AUTHORITY

 

  Contact our Educate, Engage, and Outreach Committee to find out how you can help:

eeando@gmail.com

  

If you have questions about contract negotiations, please contact your AFSCME leaders:

  Local 34 – Social and Health Services – President Jean Diederich

Local 552 – Probation and Parole Officers – President Pat Guernsey

Local 1719 – Adult Corrections Officers – President Dale Blom

Local 2822 – Clerical and Related Services – President Lynn Stetler

Local 2864 – Professional and Librarians – President Catherine Brennan

Local 2938 – Legal and Essential Units – President William Mondale

  AFSCME Field Representatives – Bart Andersen, Alison Kelly, Michael LaCoste

 

Wear Green on Tuesdays!

Are you all wearing your green shirts?  

  Take a picture of you and your coworkers to post on our Local 34 Facebook page, put in our newsletter and on our web site.

 

Everyone looks good in green!  

 

"WILLING to spend long hours with my sisters & brothers to work on it - and ABLE to get up and go to work the next day. That is the story of our Hennepin County AFSCME Table Team. And why can we do it? Because we are backed by thousands of other Hennepin County AFSCME union members in the workplace. It might be putting up a poster, talking to coworkers, attending a meeting - every action is a building block to our success." ~ Jean Diederich, AFSCME Local 34  

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 #1

AFSCME presented its initial contract proposal to the employer on August 10th in the first of many bargaining sessions to come.

The following opening statement was presented by Alison Kelly, AFSCME Council 5 Field Representative, on behalf of all the Hennepin County locals.

"As we share our opening proposal with you we are optimistic to be engaging in productive and collaborative collective bargaining.

Our interests lie in improving the wages, benefits and working conditions of all Hennepin County Workers. Our members strive to meet the Hennepin County mission statement of enhancing the health, safety and quality of life of our residents and communities in a respectful, efficient and fiscally responsible way.

Our members have worked hard to achieve the mission, even to the point of sacrificing their own health and quality of life to do so. Insufficient staffing levels have left workers stressed and morale low. The time has come to rebuild the workforce by providing livable wages, support, maintaining honest department budgets and responsible staffing.

Hennepin county workers deserve the respect and resources to continue to model the mission of Hennepin County."

Click to read a copy of AFSCME's Opening Proposal

Hennepin County's first proposal will be presented to AFSCME on August 24. After we receive the county’s first proposal, AFSCME will prepare a “Table Talk” to compare the two initial proposals. Look for additional Table Talks to keep up to date as we move through contract negotiations.

Solidarity Tuesdays - Wear Green to Work!

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 Negotiations updates. If you want to help at a Hub or Library, please contact: eeando-action@gmail.com

Follow AFSCME Negotiations on Facebook at Hennepin AFSCME Action!

Every two years, in the spring before the contract expires, Hennepin County AFSCME Locals get together to decide whether we will all negotiate together with the employer. Historically we have usually all bargained together. That group consists of Locals 34 (Social Services), 552 (Probation & Parole), 1719 (Corrections Officers), 2822 (Clerical and Related), 2864 (Professionals and Librarians), and 2938 (Legal/Attorneys).

When the AFSCME locals begin to work on a contract negotiation, a “wish list" is made up of things we would like to see changed in the current contract or new items to add, and this is done by the Master Team. This team is composed of activists and leaders from all the locals. We agree on a process, and then begin to work on issues that we all share and some that are important individually. The goal is to come up with a proposal to present to the Employer.

The next step is to choose the Table Team for each local. The Table Team sits next to or across from the Employer. In Local 34, the President chooses the Table Team. This year it is Jean Diederich, Child Support; Kathy Kelly, Child Support; Tywanna Gray, HSRs; Kenneth W. Garnier, HSRs; Alex Erickson, Veteran’s Affairs; Maggie Keating, Psychiatric Social Worker; and Brenda Louise, Child Protection Social Worker.

Negotiations began August 10 and proceed into the fall when we hope to reach a tentative agreement with the Employer by November. If the Table Team reaches a tentative agreement, that agreement must be approved by the Master Team. With their approval, the tentative agreement is presented to the members for a vote.

So you see, the Master Team is there at the beginning and end of the process. And many Master Team members also play a crucial role in the Employee Engagement and Outreach (EE and O) Committee, in helping shape the support needed to get a good contract.

Please join us on Tuesday August 18 1:30 p.m. for the next public comment period at the Commissioners meeting - 24 floor of the Government Center. Please attend to support coworkers who are speaking, or to speak yourself. Come for as little or as long as you can. Anyone has the opportunity to voice their concerns in 3 minutes during the public comment period, which is at the beginning of the meeting. Let's show the commissioners that we are united and let's continue to have our voices heard.   

AFSCME presented its initial contract proposal to the employer on August 10th in the first of many bargaining sessions to come.

The following opening statement was presented by Alison Kelly, AFSCME Council 5 Field Representative, on behalf of all the Hennepin County locals.

"As we share our opening proposal with you we are optimistic to be engaging in productive and collaborative collective bargaining. Our interests lie in improving the wages, benefits and working conditions of all Hennepin County Workers. Our members strive to meet the Hennepin County mission statement of enhancing the health, safety and quality of life of our residents and communities in a respectful, efficient and fiscally responsible way.

Our members have worked hard to achieve the mission, even to the point of sacrificing their own health and quality of life to do so. Insufficient staffing levels have left workers stressed and morale low. The time has come to rebuild the workforce by providing livable wages, support, maintaining honest department budgets and responsible staffing. Hennepin county workers deserve the respect and resources to continue to model the mission of Hennepin County."

Click here to read a copy of AFSCME's Opening Proposal Hennepin County's first proposal will be presented to AFSCME on August 24.

Thank You Union Family for Coming Out!  

On August 4, nearly 60 Hennepin County AFSCME members attended the County Commissioner meeting and presented with a strong Sea of Green!

Thank you to all who came to the Commissioner meetings over the past 2 weeks and to others who wore green to work. Six Hennepin County workers and AFSCME members spoke before the commissioners and provided powerful testimony on the conditions we face as workers across Hennepin County. They spoke about the personal and public cost of inadequate staffing and excess workloads as well as concerns about workplace respect and safety. Watch the video here and share with your coworkers. Please join us on Tuesday August 18th 1:30 pm for the next public comment period at the Commissioners meeting - 24th floor of the Government Center. Please attend to support coworkers who are speaking, or to speak yourself. Come for as little or long as you can. Anyone has the opportunity to voice their concerns in 3 minutes during the public comment period, which is at the beginning of the meeting. Let's show the commissioners that we are united and let's continue to have our voices heard.  

Please WEAR GREEN EVERY TUESDAY now through the end of our contract negotiations. This sends a strong message of our unity in winning the contract we deserve! Thank you for all your work! ~ AFSCME Education, Engagement, and Outreach Committee  

Hennepin County should care about the workers the way we care about our communities!

Education, Engagement, and Outreach! Our contract campaign is already starting with events planned by our EE&O Committee. We welcome all members to join us as we work on those plans and come up with ideas to involve folks at every work site. Our next meeting will be in September - date TBD. Any questions that you have about EE&O should be directed to Norm Meier, Chair. He can be reached at 612-348-5735.

The County works because we do - and we do good work!  

Supplemental Negotiation Proposal! Our Local 34 members who attended the Master Committee meetings met mid-July to craft our Local 34 supplemental proposal – taking all the ideas and suggestions offered by you that are specific to our job classes and the work that we do. That supplemental proposal, along with the supplemental proposals from the other locals, was added to the general proposal for the finished document.  

2015 Contract Negotiations Schedule! August 10th - (Union’s first proposal), August 24th - (Management’s first proposal and debate begins), September 3rd , September 14th , October 8th , October 15th, November 2nd, November 16th.  

Table Team! Our Local 34 Table Team, the folks who will represent us in negotiations, were appointed at our General Assembly meeting. Our Table Team members are Jean Diederich, Alex Erickson, Kenneth W. Garnier, Tywanna Gray, Kathy Kelly, Maggie Keating and Brenda Louise.

Negotiation Changes! County Benefits Manager Jeremy Zajicek is leaving the County and Labor Relations Director Bill Peters will be retiring as of September 11, 2015, and will not be leading this year’s Negotiations with AFSCME. This means that in the Fall, the AFSCME Business Representatives will be new, the County Board Chair will be new, and the County’s Labor Relations Director will be new - should be an interesting Fall!

Look for the Contract Survey! A 2015 contract negotiations survey is coming to a work site near you soon. We will be talking to our fellow members about issues that are important to us as we work on our contract proposal. We are asking for home email and phone numbers so we are able to spread any news, get notices of actions, ask for feedback, etc., in a speedy fashion. Please take the time to fill out the survey when we stop by. If you would like to complete a survey, contact any Local 34 officer to get a copy.