the Desk of the President (August, 2005)
Brother Wes McGee sent a letter of resignation for his position of Paraprofessional Chief Steward of Local 34. That resignation was accepted by the July 6, 2005 GA. A motion was passed to hold a special election at the August 17, 2005 Executive Board meeting to fill this position. Qualifications for this position are to be a dues paying member of Local 34 for the past twelve months and holding a job class in the paraprofessional ranks. If you are interested in putting your name forward for this election, please contact me by no later than noon on Monday, August 15, 2005. A motion was passed to appoint Shannon Wesley as the Acting Paraprofessional Chief Steward with commensurate pay effective May 1, 2005 based on her doing the work related to that position since that time. Thank you to Sister Wesley for her willingness to step forward and assist our Local to continue serving our members.
RFP (Request for Proposal) has been sent out and the
Labor/Management Health Care Committee is waiting for a
committee members will most likely be meeting weekly during
the month of August to review the submissions by the
insurance providers. If
you read through the Union contract proposal, you should
have noted that we did not make a proposal on health
insurance, noting that we would wait until the County had a
plan in place. Sisters
Anita Selin and Mary Kay Popko, Brother Doyle Juenke, our
Business Agent Matt Nelson, and I will be very busy
reviewing the information from the providers along with the
other members on the committee.
I would like to thank two unsung heroes who should
receive commendations, Paul Cegla and Val Tetzlaff, from
Benefits, for all the hard work that they put into
this process behind the scenes.
It is only because of their work and the work of
their staff that we are even this far in the process.
They will be doing much more time-intensive work
before this is over.
Retirement/Resignation Buy-Out Incentive
Local voted at the July 6th GA to approve the usage of this
program by our members.
If you have thought about using the program and have
not yet contacted Human Resources to explore the advantages,
I would suggest that you do so quickly, as the 45 day
deadline of August 22, 2005, is fast approaching. Please see the news article elsewhere in
had a very nice attendance at the kickoff rally on July
18th. If you
were not in attendance, you missed an extremely uplifting
and exciting event. Cliff Poehler, Treasurer of Council 5 and
a Public Defender from Local 2938, served as our "keep
this event moving right along" and did a wonderful job
in that role. Eliot
Seide, Executive Director of Council 5, gave a rousing
speech about our role in providing quality services to the
residents of Hennepin County and how the work that we do
makes a lasting difference in their lives. His message resonated with every union
member present. Brother
Jim Appleby from the County Attorney's office and sisters
Solveig Nilson from the Library and Monica Jochmans from our
Local all gave impassioned speeches on the services we
provide to document the basis of our respective fair and
equitable contract proposals. Speeches by Commissioners
Peter McLaughlin and Gail Dorfman lifted our spirits as they
acknowledged the quality of our work and the important role
we play in keeping our County as a leader around the country
for the services we provide with dignity and respect.
HUGE round of
applause goes to the Action Team for the fine work that they
did in making this rally a success.
It takes a lot of work to get any event off the
ground and this one was definitely well done.
Please join me in this THANK YOU! to that team.
rally was a nice segue into our opening of negotiations
later on in the day. It
was almost anticlimactic but for the opening remarks given
by Steve Marincel, Business Agent for Locals 552, 2822 and
2938 (see the full text of those remarks elsewhere in this
issue). They set the tone and tenor of our proposal - that
we ask to be equitably recompensed for the work that we do,
while putting the Employer on notice that we are determined
and unified in our desire to reach a fair contract
majority of our first meeting was spent presenting the
proposal to the Employer and answering questions for
next meeting is scheduled for August 15th when the Employer
will provide us with their first counterproposal.
may have seen some of your fellow members styling Local 34
t-shirts in bright yellow, lime green, gray or white with
our snake logo on the back.
We have a limited number of those t-shirts left and
would like to get them to you to wear in support of the
union's activities. Wear
them grocery shopping, banking, garage sale-ing,
neighborhood activities to get the word out about how
important unions are to the financial viability of the
them to political rallies/events.
To paraphrase Nike "Just wear them".
If you would like one, please send me an e-mail with
your size and color choice.
We do not have all colors in all sizes so please list
We have Small, Medium, Large, XLarge, 2XLarge,
3XLarge and a
few 4XLarge on hand. Again,
first come, first served.
August is a wonderful month for vacations and I hope
that every one of you has the opportunity to enjoy some time
away from work this month.