Can't Win if you Don't Fight

One Strong, United Voice for Workers

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

Victory for HCMC Workers!

 ( 4/19/2017 – AFSCME Council 5

Workers at Hennepin County Medical Center pumped their fists in the air Tuesday after reaching a settlement presented in court.  

The AFSCME members were seeking a temporary restraining order to restrain the employer from continuing to commit unfair labor practices.  Yesterday HCMC made a commitment in court to follow existing labor law.  

The employer also agreed to reinstate two union leaders – Local 977 president Carmen Brown and steward Marlon Gaston – to their former positions.   

“We’re going to hold the employer’s feet to the fire,” says Carmen Brown.  

“We strive for excellence and take pride in our work,” says Sara Franck, president of Local 2474.  “We treat every patient with kindness and respect.  And we expect the same in return from our employer.”  

The employer’s agreement to follow the law will be posted on union bulletin boards throughout the hospital and clinics.  This public display is intended to help workers hold their employer accountable to the agreement. 

Much harm was done by the layoffs.  AFSCME will use the grievance and arbitration procedure to make workers whole for the damages they suffered.  Our goal is to force the employer to follow our union contract, which spells out a fair process for bumping, bidding and reassignments.  The first arbitration hearing is scheduled for May 4.  

The brunt of the layoffs impacted older workers, mostly people of color.  AFSCME will assist those individuals if they choose to file potential discrimination claims with the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  

A lawsuit remains before the court on behalf of Locals 977 and 2472 in regard to employer animus against the union.  

The workers thanked their attorneys and hugged each other as they left the courtroom.  They stood up together and will return to work more powerful than ever before.  

“We got some justice today,” says Marlon Gaston, with a smile.


Call HCMC CEO Jon Pryor at 612-873-3629. Tell him that layoffs and outsourcing hurt patient care.  

AFSCME Council 5



Newsletter (February)

President's blog (February)

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


The 25th annual Letter Carriers’

Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive

Saturday, May 13, 2017


AFSCME Happy Hour 

First Friday of every month. 5 p.m. Mac’s Industrial Bar. 

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Council 5 Advocates for excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all workers.

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AFSCME women make up close to 60% of the union’s membership.

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AFSCME Strong Update

AFSCME Strong is our program to determine our own destiny by building a stronger union with members who are more engaged. We’re already at 87 percent full membership! Sign a membership card to protect your job, defend our rights and preserve the quality of services we provide our communities.  



     AFSCME Local 34                   Updated 4/25/2017




Local 34 Officer Elections


  • Senior Chief Steward (1): Mara Ssengendo, Kenneth W. Garnier

  • Members at Large (3): Angel Alexander, Remy Huerta-Stemper, Kimberly Jorgensen, Erica Millner, Alexandra Marzolf 

Voting for any contested races will be done by mail-in ballot in the following manner: Beginning Monday, April 3rd, a ballot will be mailed to each member’s last known address. A self addressed stamped envelope and a balloting envelope will be provided to return the marked ballot. All offices will be voted on by the general membership. Members will have until Monday, April 24th to return their marked ballot. Any ballots postmarked after April 24th will not be counted.  

Ballots will be counted on Thursday April 27, 2017 at 5:30 PM at the Local 34 office, Room 488, United Labor Center Building, 312 Central Ave. NE., Minneapolis.

Questions about the election can be addressed to Alex Erickson, at 612-348-7304.


  • First Vice President: Grace Baltich

  • Recording Secretary: David Yang

  • Membership Secretary: Deb Konechne 

  • Mpls. Regional Labor Federation Delegates (5): Jean Diederich, Grace Baltich, Kay Powell, Kenneth W. Garnier, 

  • Mpls. Regional Labor Federation Alternates (6): Maggie Keating

  • St. Paul Regional Labor Federation Delegates (5): Jean Diederich, Kathy Kelly, Jody Stadler, Deb Konechne, Tamika Hannah, Laura Ross 

  • St. Paul Regional Labor Federation Alternates (6):

  • The trustee (1) remains open.

Friends’ labor history series looks back on ‘World in Turmoil’

May is labor history month, and for the last 18 years, the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library have marked the occasion with a series of labor-related programs in the city’s libraries and union halls.

The award-winning “Untold Stories” series will continue this May, with an appropriately severe theme for the dawn of the Trump era: “A World in Turmoil: 1917-2017.” All programs are free and open to the public.

Workers’ Memorial Event, April 26, 7 p.m., St. Paul Labor Center, 353 W. 7th St. Panelists will explore workplace safety issues in advance of the national commemoration, held April 28. They include labor historian John Sielaff; workers’ comp attorney Mike Scully; and Phil Qualy, director of the UTU Minnesota Legislative Board.

David Noble Lecture with Roderick Ferguson, May 2, 7 p.m., Cowles Auditorium, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis. Presented by the University of Minnesota Department of American Studies, the annual lecture honors a groundbreaking professor in the field whose work offers fresh perspectives on our history and culture. Ferguson, a faculty member at the University of Illinois, will present “The Bookshop of Black Queer Diaspora.”

1917 – A Look Back, May 3, 7 p.m., Rice Street Library, 1011 Rice St. Panelists will travel back in time to 1917 for a look at politics and labor, from the nonpartisan league and the women’s suffrage movement to the Twin Cities streetcar strike.

Nativism and Resistance – Then and Now, May 9, 7 p.m., East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St. Freedom Library co-director Peter Rachleff will discuss how business and political leaders promoted nativism in World War I-era Minnesota as a means to squelch the labor movement and its farmer allies, followed by a conversation about the re-emergence of anti-immigrant fears today.

“Racism in our Hometown,” May 15, 7 p.m., ESFL, 1105 Greenbrier St. Presented by the APWU Solidarity Kids Theater, this multi-media puppet show introduces the family of Arthur and Edith Lee, who moved into an all-white neighborhood in 1931. Arthur’s union coworkers at the Minneapolis Post Office, most of whom were white, protected his family when police failed to stop racist mobs trying to force him from his home.

100 Years at the Library, May 16, 7 p.m., St. Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como Ave. Speakers will describe the St. Paul Public Library as it appeared 100 years ago, from one of four Carnegie libraries in the city celebrating a centennial.

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids, May 16, 6 p.m., Rondo Community Outreach Library, 461 N. Dale St. Professors William Jones, Yuichiro Onishi and James Robinson will paint a portrait of the early history of the Brotherhood, from the participation of A. Philip Randolph to the Brotherhood’s presence in St. Paul.

Payne Avenue Walking Tour and Library Celebration, May 21, 10:30 a.m., Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave. Rachleff will lead a tour of the East Side artery, ending the walk at another library celebrating its centennial. Space is limited; reservations are required at

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:  

  • May 11 - Government Center

  • June 7 - NW Hub

  • August 16 - West Hub

  • September 14 - North Hub / Northpoint

  • November - South Hub

The last Local 34 Labor Lunch held in February was very successful! We collected 30 new membership cards and over 110 people attended.

Local 34 doubled our number of Member Action Team (MAT) leaders in the past quarter. Contact Deb Konechne if you may be interested. 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.  

Coalition for Black Trade Unionists 

Local 34 will be electing up to three members to attend the CBTU Convention in New Orleans, May 24 - 29, 2017. Local 34 will cover travel, lodging, lost time and per diem for the convention.

AFL-CIO Scholarship Deadline is April 30

Council 5 Scholarship Deadline is May 5  

John Herzog - WEB Developer

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

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