the Desk of the President (August, 2010)
of delegates to two important conventions – MN State AFL-CIO and AFSCME
Council 5 – will be held at the August 4, 2010 General Assembly.
Both conventions will be held at the Sheraton Hotel in
. The State AFL-CIO convention will
be held September 26-28, 2010. The
local will cover two days lost time and mileage for delegates attending that
event. The Council 5 Convention will
be held September 30 – October 2, 2010. The
local will cover two days lost time and mileage for the delegates attending this
event. The highlights of this
convention will be the elections of our Council 5 Executive Board, as well as
workshops on immigration, bullyism in the workplace and how to keep the Next
Wave moving forward. If you
are interested in putting your name forward to be a delegate to either or both
events, please let me know by no later than 12:00 noon on the afternoon of
Wednesday, August 4, 2010. If you
would like more information about either event, I can be reached at 348-0266.
to the resignation of our Chief Steward, Clifford Robinson, who is looking
forward to his retirement and travels with his wife, Kathy, we have a vacancy
for the position. The Local 34
Executive Board is charged, by terms of our Constitution, to hold an election to
fill that position. That election
will be held at our August 18, 2010 Executive Board meeting.
If you are interested in getting information on the duties and
responsibilities of Chief Steward or wish to put your name forward for that
position, please contact me by no later than noon of that day.
started work with
in 1980 and became active in our local shortly thereafter.
Over the course of the years, I will hear allusions to the work that
Cliff had done when he was President of the local, the inroads he had made in
employer-employee relations, the contracts he helped to craft, and the direction
our local took after PELRA. Presidents
to follow in his footsteps – Mike Freier, Lucy Olson, John Herzog and Audie
Lussier – would all invoke his work at one point or another, noting how they
had gone to him for advice or counsel on issues we faced.
When I became President of our local, I knew that so much of the
groundwork for keeping our local fresh, healthy and forward thinking had already
been laid because of Cliff. I also
knew that we could not rest on his laurels – we had to constantly nurture
those laurels so that they could be passed forward to members following in our
footsteps. When Cliff agreed to run
for Chief Steward again, it was wonderful news, as he brought his years of
experience to the table. His
knowledge of our history, of when we began the Meet & Confer process, why
career ladders were created, why language in our contract is just as pertinent
today as it was when he was on the Table Team negotiating that language, has
helped to build the bridge from the Baby Boomers to the Millennials.
He has served as a sounding board, as an ethics test, as an idea person
for our many questions and concerns since he began employment in 1969 and all of
us have been enriched by those years of service to our union.
I have enjoyed serving with him on our Local 34 Executive Board, as well
as the Council 5 Executive Board and wish him many years of health and happiness
with Kathy as they enter this next chapter of life called retirement.
Thank you Cliff – you will be missed.
have read the articles written by my fellow delegates at the convention.
I will add this comment: I was profoundly disappointed by the behavior of
President McEntee as he very visibly showed his contempt for anyone who did not
agree with him. As a sister delegate
(and a Lee Saunders supporter) told me, “I never expected to be treated by
the President of our union like this. I
thought that I would feel welcome and safe here, with my union.
Instead, I felt as if I was being bullied just like my employer tries to
bully me at work. This is truly a
sad day for me.” She went on to
comment that she never felt threatened by anyone supporting Danny Donohue and
always felt welcomed by our Minnesota delegation and that she knows we, as
AFSCME members, can work together as this is a bottoms up, not top down,
organization. Hopefully, our
behavior will reflect well on the election for both President and
Secretary-Treasurer at the 2012 convention in
remember to vote in the August 10, 2010 State Primary.
See the list of our endorsed candidates elsewhere in this newsletter.