From the Desk of the President (August, 2014)



We will be busy at the August 6, 2014 General Assembly with the following:  

1st discuss the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to approve the health insurance holiday for the following pay periods: August 1, 2014; August 15, 2014 and September 12, 2014. After the discussion, members will vote on whether or not to approve the MOU.  

2nd Doug Flateau from the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation will give a short presentation on the United Way Day of Action on August 14, 2014. There are lunchtime volunteer events in downtown Minneapolis, downtown St Paul and the Mall of America.  

3rd elect delegates to attend the Council 5 Convention held at the Bloomington DoubleTree by Hilton September 11 - 13, 2014 (the number of delegates and expenses covered have not been determined as of the time this article is being written). We do have two very important items of business at this conventions elect the Council 5 Chair Officers President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer and the Council 5 Executive Board officers for a two year term and to discuss the proposed amendment to the Council 5 Constitution to raise the Council 5 dues by $5.00 per member per month.  

4th elect delegates to attend the Minnesota State AFL-CIO Convention held at the St Paul Crowne Plaza on Kellogg Blvd September 21 - 23, 2014 (the number of delegates and expenses covered have not been determined as of the time this article is being written). We will be electing the new AFL-CIO Executive Board members at this convention.  

If you wish to be considered for either of the two conventions and cannot attend the General Assembly, please send me an e-mail expressing your interest and for which convention. You should do so by no later than 12:00 noon on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.  

Local 34 Seniority Report - I am pleased to let you know that the new Local 34 seniority report can be found at Please take the time to find your job title and check out your seniority date. If you feel that your date is not correct, please send me an e-mail with your name, your employee ID number, the date on the list and why you feel it is wrong. I will compile a list and forward to Labor Relations for investigation. Any responses from Labor Relations will, in turn, be routed through me and sent back to you. Any re-quest for review of your seniority date should be sent to me by no later than September 1, 2014.  

August 20, 2014 Executive Board meeting we will hold a special election to fill two vacant seats on the Executive Board. One is for the Member-at-Large seat that opened up when Laura Ross was elected to be our new Recording Secretary. The other is for the 1st Chief Steward seat opened up with the resignation from Dana Hanson due to her promotion out of our bargaining unit. Per the terms of our Local 34 Constitutions, any vacant seats are filled with an election by the Executive Board. You must be a dues paying member in good standing as of August 1, 2013 (one full calendar year prior to the election) in order to put your name forward for either office. If you are interested in running for either office or would like more information about the job duties of the office, please send me an e-mail by no later than 12:00 noon on Tuesday, August 19, 2014. We would also ask that you attend the Executive Board meeting as, if elected, you will begin your service that evening.  

On that note, the members attending the July 9th General Assembly very regretfully accepted the resignation from the office of Chief Steward which was tendered by Dana Hanson that evening. She has accepted a position that takes her out of our bargaining unit. Please join me in thanking her for her hard work as a Steward, Chief Steward and union activist. The energy and enthusiasm that she has brought to the local has helped us to grow forward. She and Kela Williams, working together, have helped our stewards represent our members effectively and timely. Thank you, Dana!!! Best wishes as you move to your new job.  

Upcoming events:  

* Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans is hosting the Metro StandDown on August 5th & 6th at the Boy Scout Base Camp at Fort Snelling, 200 Bloomington Road, Fort Snelling. They will need to bring their DD214 for faster registration. Some of the free services provided include meals, clothing, VA medical, dental and optometry care and state and federal tax assistance. For more information, please contact Nathaniel Saltz at 651-224-0290. Please share this information with any veterans you know who might be interested in this event.  

* AFSCME Family Picnic- Sunday, August 17th at Battle Creek Regional Park Picnic Pavilion from 1:00 5:00 PM. This free picnic, for AF-SCME members and their families, includes food, raffles, activities for the kids and discounted waterpark rides. Volunteers are still needed to help serve food and handle the raffle. You are also asked to bring a dish to share with fellow attendees (desserts are always good - hint, hint).  

* 6th Hennepin 5K hosted by HennepinWalks! Walking Club, Health-works, and the Active Living Commit-tee will be held on Thursday, September 18th. This event is free but contributions are accepted for the Hennepin Special Gift Fund. A traveling trophy will be awarded to the Department with the most participants - and that includes employees and their families. You and your spouse can earn a wellness credit for participating whoo hoo!!! You can register for the event on APEX. For additional information about the Hennepin5K and Active Living, click  

* State Fair held August 21st to September 1st volunteers are needed to work a shift at the Council 5 kiosk in the Labor Pavilion. Shifts run 9:00 AM- 12:30 PM; 12:30 4:30 PM and 4:30 - 7:30 PM each day of the fair. As thanks for volunteering, you receive a t-short and your admission is covered by the Council. Last year, volunteers collected over 6000 post cards that was the jump start to the successfully raising the minimum wage. This year we will be building support for transportation investment that supports our jobs and expands economic opportunity and quality of life for everyone. Please contact Michael Kuchta at 651-287-0537 or at to volunteer. He is waiting to hear from you!  

My hope is that you all use some of your savings from the health insurance premium holiday to do some-thing fun with your family this month. You have been part of the solution in keeping our health care costs contained and you deserve this break. Enjoy!!! Jean