the Desk of the President (12/2005)
Council 5 Executive Board update -
The two E-Board vacancies were from the East Metro section
filled at the November 17, 2005 meeting by the election of
Jennifer Huepenbecker and John Ewaldt. They have both been active in the
St Paul political arena, most recently splitting a lost time
position for the Council coordinating the Council activities
during the 2005 political races. The Board was presented with a
comparison of the estimated budget versus actual
expenditures for 2005, our first year as a merged Council.
We overspent in some areas and under spent in others
with the end result being close to a wash.
The results of those figures are being used to
determine the budget for 2006 as well as tentative budgets
for 2007 and 2008. If
you are interested in figures, please contact me.
This next item will be of special interest to many
members of our Local who have voiced a concern about the
spiraling increase in health care costs. The E-Board moved to endorse HR 676
Single-Payer Universal Health Care sponsored by US
Representative John Conyers from Michigan.
Executive Director Seide reported that, in
conjunction with that action, the Council will look to
future action based on the work of International Vice
President Peter Benner who is serving on the 21st
Century Committee and has health insurance as his area of
to say, I was one of the first folks to volunteer to serve
in whatever capacity needed by the Council, as this is one
topic near and dear to my heart.
As more information becomes available, it will be
shared with you.
delegates for 2006
nominations will be taken and elections held at the
December 7, 2005 General Assembly for our seven delegate
positions for MSSA for 2006.
If you are interested in serving the Local as one of
those delegates and cannot attend the meeting, please send
me an e-mail by no later than 4:30 PM on Tuesday, December
6, 2005, indicting that interest.
Your name will be included in the nominations and
elections at the meeting.
Sisters and brothers, you have been instrumental in writing one of the most successful chapters in the AFSCME story of Hennepin County negotiations. Your courage, determination and commitment to achieving a fair and equitable contract had all of us standing strong side-by-side like the family that we are. Every day when you look in the mirror, you see the driving force behind our ability to reach the terms of the beat and final offer from the Employer. Your involvement from the opening pages answering questions for the one-on-one Building for a Better Contract survey and the subsequent work by the members of the Master Committee to put the final touched on our supplemental proposal to the middle of the chapter coming to the July 18, 2005 kick-off rally when your Table Team presented our proposal to the Employer to the final pages the rallies on October 24, November 7 and November 14, 2005 along with your phone calls and e-mails to the Commissioners led to the final upbeat end to this chapter of our story. You each and every one of you need to realize that without that commitment to standing together as the sisters and brothers we are, we would not have been successful on reaching our goals. The Employer knew all along that they had to deal with everyone outside of the negotiations room - that strong, comforting, supportive and enduring presence for those of us on the Table Team.
sisters and brothers, on behalf of the Table Team, THANK
would like to take this opportunity to thank Anita Selin,
Mary Kay Popko, Clifford Robinson, and Shannon Wesley who
served you faithfully over the course of the process.
I am proud to have stood by their side as we reviewed
and responded to all of the proposals.
Thanks also to Matt Nelson, our Business Agent, for
helping us to wade through all the piles of information.
Thanks go to Jeff Dains and Steve Marincel, Matts
fellow Business Agents, who spoke for us. Eliot Seide and
Jerry Serfling joined us for the final night and their words
of wisdom, spoken at the right time, helped us to remember
why we were in the room and go forward.
thank go to our sisters and brothers of the other Locals who
stood strong with us in our joint endeavor Local
552s Tim Turrentine, Rhonda Bode, Cate Wagner and Pat
Guernsey; Local 1719s Steve Franks and Don Smith; Local
2822s Molly Malecki, Jennifer McNair and Lynn Stetler;
Local 2864s Jan DeSirey, Lisa Kjellander, and Jean
Bielke-Rodenbiker; and Local 2938s Laura Floistad, Ernie
Dial, Bob Sorenson and Cliff Poehler.
Action Team headed up by Brenda Wood and Mary Dwyer, did an
excellent job or organizing the rallies, getting flyers and
Table Talks out, and bringing much needed food to us during
the November 7 and November 14 sessions, deserve a special
thanks. I will
have a complete list of their names for the next newsletter
so that you can thank all then for their hard work.
Jennifer Lovaasen, Communications person
extraordinaire, who was with us during the process
assisting the Action Team and staying up all night for the
final push, deserves a thank you for all that she gave
both of her expertise and of herself.
The Strike Committee co-chaired by David Tremewan
and John Korman, put together a wonderful Member Survival
members, who will also be listed in the next newsletter,
worked long hours on making sure that we had a process in
place in case of a strike. The knowledge that we were willing to
strike and were prepared to do so was instrumental in the
success of our endeavor.
Last, but very certainly not least, THANK YOU to our own Wes Volkenant, minute taker without compare, for his ability to capture all that was said and discussed during our meetings. That ability enabled us on more than one occasion to clarify questions that we had in the wee hours of the morning. Also included in that, is a thank you to his wife, Cheryl, who helped Wes put together a number of useful charts with numbers and percentages for wages, etc. which I referred to many times over the course of the process. I wish all of you a very joyous holiday season. May future chapters of our story build on the positive note of the one we are now closing. Jean