NEGOTIATIONS LETTER FROM PRESIDENT JEAN DIEDERICH

Greetings. This memo is being sent to everyone in the Local 34 bargaining unit - dues paying members and Fair Share fee payers - to update you on several important matters which affect all of us. 

1st) Wednesday, November 9th, is the cutoff to complete and submit your enrollment form for your Delta Dental coverage through the union for you and your spouse an d dependents if you have them. If you did not receive the enrollment form through the mail, please visit the Council 5 web site at www.afscmemn.org and follow the instruction at the link on the right hand side of the page:  Delta Dental changes for Hennepin County employees-action required!

Also, if you didn't get the notice mailed to your home address, you might want to call the Council 5 officer, 6510455-0773, to make sure that your correct address is on file. We mail information to the address you have on record with Hennepin County so, if you have moved recently and not updated that information, you might want to do so now. 

2nd) A rough draft of the next edition of the Table Talk is attached for your reading pleasure. A paper copy of the polished version will be sent out via the distribution system but I wanted to make sure that you received it in a timely manner as we do have Friday off - Veteran's Day holiday. We have a short workweek so not everyone may have this on their desk before you leave for the weekend.   

3rd) Also attached is the new version of the flyer announcing the rally for next Monday, November 14th. Note that the time has been changed from 4:30 PM to 12:00 noon and will be held on the north plaza of the Government Center. This is in response to many of our members asking for the change so that they can attend. 

We had about 700+ folks attending the rally this Monday, November 7th, and what an impressive show of solidarity it was. You and you fellow union sisters and brothers flexed your collective union muscle to let the Commissioners know that YOU are strong in your resolve to stand united in the fight for a fair contract. That show of strength speaks much more loudly and clearly than anything that the Table Team does at the table during negotiations. If we can get twice that number standing strong on Monday at noon, the message will be even more loud and clear - give us a fair, respectful and equitable contract. 

I strongly encourage members to contact their commissioner or, if not living in Hennepin County, the Chair - Randy Johnson, or Vice Chair - Mark Stenglein, to let them know that we need a fair and respectful offer in order to avoid a strike. Don't be afraid to use the "S" word. They are more afraid of us going on strike than we are. Please remember that we should not use County phones (work or cell) to call so that we avoid any conflict of interest. Also, e-mails to the commissioners are great  - folks should send them from their home (not telecommuting) computers - short but to the point messages are best. They need to hear from people so that the message is clear - it is not the Table Team they have to contend with, it is the entire membership. All calls and e-mails need to be made on your own time - on breaks and/or before or after work.   

County Commissioners:

District 1 - Mike Opat                612-348-7881    

Commissioner.Opat@co.hennepin.mn.us

District 2 - Mark Stenglein          612-348-7882    

Commissioner.Stenglein@co.hennepin.mn.us    

District 3 - Gail Dorfman            612-348-7883    

gail.dorfman@co.hennepin.mn.us

District 4 - Peter McLaughlin      612-348-3085

Commissioner.mclaughlin@co.hennepin.mn.us

District 5 - Randy Johnson         612-348-7885    

randy.johnson@co.hennepinmn.us

District 6 - Linda Koblick            612-348-7886     

Linda.Koblick@co.hennepinmn.us

District 7 - Penny Steele           612-348-7887    

Penny.Steele@co.hennepin.mn.us  

I hope to see you on Monday at the rally. On behalf of the Local 34 Table Team - Anita Selin, Shannon Wesley, Mary Kay Popko, Clifford Robinson, myself and our Business Agent, Matt Nelson, thank you for all the time and energy that you have put into the contract campaign so far.

Jean Diederich

President, AFSCME Local 34