now, 2011–2012 Member Survival Kits, or Strike Manuals
are on their way to
there are certainly always questions like, will we go on strike, when would we
go on strike, or how long a strike would last, now is the time to prepare for
the possibility of a strike, and to understand what a strike would look like.
one of the first things many of us worry about is our income while on strike.
Pay periods start January 1, 15 and 29, and every two weeks after that in 2012.
If we go on strike, it is your responsibility to update your timesheet in APEX
on your last day of work before striking, and to submit it. You will be paid for
hours worked. Pay dates in 2012 are every two weeks after January 6 and 20. You
will not be paid if you had no hours worked in the previous pay period.
there is no strike fund. Local treasuries would not be able to support strikers.
There would likely be a hardship committee set up to assist with specific
concerns. Other unions and other AFSCME units would provide help and assistance,
much as we did for laid-off state employees during the recent shutdown. Still,
if you‘re reading this in October or November—any strike is weeks or months
away. Now is a good time to start preparing by perhaps con-serving expenses, by
preparing credit card companies and other creditors, and by preparing your
family and/or friends with the changing circumstances that may be very impactful
on your lives.
insurance is another important consideration. In a correction of the Manual,
health insurance is deducted the first two checks each month, and we no longer
pay for our insurance a month ahead. If you are working as of the first of the
month, by state law, you will be covered by the County for that month.
course, you can continue at, or start working at, a second or third job, while
on strike. For some, child care would be an issue, and you should check the
Strike Manual for suggestions.
is important to realize that the expectation for all per-sons in our bargaining
- members and fair share fee payers, alike, is that you would honor the
picket lines - in fact, members should be taking turns at the picket
lines - yes, even in the dead of winter. Some will have appropriate
- health-related, for example
- to not be on the line, but may still be
able to assist in planning, logistics, food preparation, etc. Picket training
would be provided, but taking regular shifts of about four hours should be
expected. We would likely be picketing multiple locations, so even with
3000-plus members to call upon, there would be a large number involved every
one can be retaliated against for participating in the strike, whether or not
they are permanent, probationary or temporary employees. If you are part of the
AFSCME bargaining unit, you may go on strike without fear of retaliation.
Employers are restricted by law in terms of replacing staff. The Employer may hire temporary
replacements, or - scabs but the Employer can not permanently replace us
during a strike.
Strike Manual makes suggestions for those who are approaching retirement, and
discusses what‘s done for those on medical leaves during the strike period.
Apparently short-term and long-term disability will still be paid during a
strike, but of course, any pre-approved vacations would be canceled.
was not uncommon for AFSCME and the County to extend negotiations past the end
of the con-tract in past years, although 1994 may have been the last such time.
Mediation between the sides will likely continue even if a strike vote is taken.
Going on strike is a last resort for both the union and the Employer.
AFSCME units in Minnesota have gone out on strike. In both 1981 and 2001, former
Council 6 went on strike against the State of Minnesota for three weeks in 1981
and two weeks in 2001. Dakota County Local 304 struck in 1985, followed six
years later by Ramsey County. The University of Minnesota’s Local 3800
conducted a textbook‘strike in 2007.
are rare, but not unknown in Minnesota. Labor unrest is rooted here. We should
prepare for the possibility in light of the contract proposal we received.