From the Desk of the President (July, 2003)
Fleming-Norton, our current Recording Secretary, has
announced her resignation from this post effective July 31,
Executive Board sadly has accepted that resignation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank her
for her many years of service to AFSCME Local 34.
She has been a leader—often
feisty, never quiet—in
making sure that the rights of our members are
protected under our contract.
leaving means that the Executive Board will hold a special
election at the July 16th
meeting to fill that position.
Anyone interested in running for the office of
Recording Secretary should contact me by no later than noon
on Monday, July 14,
2003, to put your name on the ballot.
can be reached at 348-0266.
weather is getting hot but it is nothing to match the fire
that needs to be lit under our Legislators.
debacle called the 2003 Legislative Session did not harm us
as much as it could have, but it certainly is not going to
help us. Upon
reading some of the bills that passed, it appears that cut
and slash was the game plan, much to the detriment of our
clients and many of our fellow taxpayers.
They cut programs to help those in need and touted a
tax cut program while giving the actual tax cuts to the
to their figures, someone like me might see a tax cut of
about $30.00 per month, which, while not a poke in the eye,
is not going to make a difference in my annual budget.
At the Federal level, the Administration would like
to give an additional $726.00 billion in tax cuts to the
wealthy, yet we
have lost 2.5
million private-sector jobs between January 2001 and
February 2003. I
remember comments from some of our legislators that they
were justified in cutting public sector jobs as those
employees who lost their jobs could get jobs in the private
raises an interesting question - where
are those jobs?
another question that needs to be answered - if 40% of our
State's budget comes from income taxes, what affect will the
tax cuts that Governor Pawlenty and his cohorts put forward
have on the budget in the years to come? Common sense dictates that if the source of
income is cut, the budget will be adversely affected but
that is not what we are being told.
Also, with 40% of the State's income coming from
sales taxes, the loss of jobs most certainly has to have an
affect on the State as we have fewer people working meaning
less money being spent to bring in state and local tax
income streams. Math
was not my strong suit during grade school, but even I can
see that less money coming in means that we will have less
money available to provide the services our citizens are
used to and expect to receive.
along with other concerned Union members and public interest
groups, managed to fight off the attempt to cut our right to
collective bargaining under PELRA (Public Employee Labor
Rights Act) and to freeze public employee wages.
Most of the thanks for this goes to the State Senate
and to those of our friends in the House who fought a
valiant fight to stop the efforts there.
However, the pressure that we collectively put on our
friends and non-friends must continue between now and the
next session. If
we let up now, we will lose our momentum.
So, when you receive a notice of a Take
Back Minnesota Town Hall meeting, please attend as our
ability to influence our friends really does start with this
grassroots effort. You will get to meet not only your fellow
Local 34 members but many other union members from your
Visit the website, www.afscmemn.org
to see when the next meeting is planned for our area.
The beginning to putting those who voted against us
this past spring out of office starts now!
Local 34 Master Negotiations Committee
has completed its work, meeting with Master Negotiations
Committees from the other eight Hennepin County AFSCME
spent a number of intense hours bringing forward,
discussing, and determining which items on our “wish lists”
would make the cut for our general proposal for negotiations
this year. Our
last session on June 12th
went from 5:30 PM to just after 9:00 PM.
The hard work of our Committee members will hopefully
bear fruit when we meet with Management this fall.
The Table Team members will be approved at the July
General Assembly so their names will be reported in the
August newsletter. The
Table Team will have a training on July 31st
at the Council 14 office to go over the finer points of
Look for more information as we get closer to our
first session with the Employer, in August.
a safe and happy 4th of July - celebrate your independence!