From the Desk of the President (July, 2007)
– AFSCME Council 5 has extended an offer that our
Executive Board decided we could not refuse.
That offer is to assist our local with internal
organizing efforts by paying for up to 8 days lost time per
month for up to 4 months – with the local matching with
another 8 days per month – for a member – or members –
to coordinate one-on-one meetings with current fair share
fee payers from Local 34 and, possibly, some of the other
Hennepin County AFSCME locals, to introduce them to AFSCME,
answer questions they might have about the union, and invite
them to join as dues paying members.
We have voiced our concerns in the past that we are
not doing as good as job as we could in meeting new
employees and introducing them to the union.
This offer from the Council will give us the
opportunity to rectify that concern and to grow our local’s
strength and power in the workplace.
We will be using this as one of our many tools in our
2008 contract campaign to build that power in the workplace.
This lost time position could be done by one or two
of our members - splitting the 16 days per month – with
the time away from your County job paid for by AFSCME.
The position is open to any member of Local 34.
ELECTION – As noted earlier in the newsletter, one of our
Trustees, Sara Pearson, has left our ranks to work at HCMC.
With her departure, her trustee position, with one
year remaining of a three-year term, is vacant.
A special election will be held at the July 18, 2007
Executive Board meeting to fill the vacant position.
We have three trustees whose responsibility is to
conduct an annual review of our Local’s financial books,
craft a report of the findings and present that report along
with any recommendations to the Executive Board and
time commitment is approximately three – four meetings
over a two-month period prior to the October General
5 CONVENTION – We have received the “Call” to this
annual convention, which will be held September 27 –29,
2007 in Duluth, MN this year.
The Local has approved sending up to 35 members,
paying lost time of two days, lodging for three nights, per
diem of $35.00 for three days, and mileage to and from
election of the delegates will be held at the August 1, 2007
General Assembly. There are a variety of workshops planned,
ranging from “New Delegates: Why the Heck Do We Have These
Conventions?” to “Communicating With a Powerful Voice”
to “Retirement Programs Under MSRS & PERA” to “Bullying
in the Workplace” and “Commanding Laughter: Humor in the
serve on the Convention Committee and one message that has
been heard loud and clear is that speakers should be kept to
a minimum. There
will be very few speakers who are not conducting our Council
business. Both President McEntee and
Secretary-Treasurer Lucy have been invited to speak although
we have not received confirmation of the time or dates as of
will be available during the hours of convention business if
you need it.
ANYONE? – The Local voted to contribute $500.00 as an
Event Sponsor to the Bill Peterson 7th Annual
Golf Tournament fundraiser held July 30, 2007 at the Oak
Marsh Golf Course in Oakdale, MN – near the Prom Center.
Proceeds from the event fund educational scholarships
for Regions Hospital employees and AFL-CIO/Teamsters union
members, spouses and children. Along with our sponsorship
comes the opportunity for one of our members to enter the
tournament and then attend the dinner with a guest.
If you like to golf, this is an opportunity to enjoy
a day on the course while representing your local!
We will elect our participant at the July 11, 2007
GRIEVANCE – Matt Nelson, Barbara Harrison and I met with
Labor Relations for our mileage grievance.
We had a good discussion about the issue as we
explained the adverse effect this policy has had on our
folks who work out of their homes – have no desk anywhere
in a county building – and drive to see their clients.
I sent an e-mail asking the telecommuters impacted to
send me their mileage totals since May 1, 2007 along with
the miles they have been able to claim. Here are the totals from the responses so
far: total # of miles driven = 11,951 minus the total #
miles claimed = 3925 and this equals the total #
unreimbursed miles = 8026 times rate of $.485 which equals
$3892.61 lost reimbursement for our members.
This is just for the period May 1, 2007 – June 18,
2007 and is for the 17 members who have responded to date.
If you are a “100%” telecommuter with your County
provided desk, chair, phone/computer equipment and supplies
at your home - and have not responded to the request for
information - please do so as soon as possible, so that we
can have as complete a picture as possible of how this
policy has impacted our members.
BUT NOT LEAST – Negotiations begin on July 30 at 2:30 PM
when AFSCME Locals 34, 552, 1719, 2864, 2822 and 2938
present our union proposal to the Employer.
Keep your eyes open for the complete proposal that
will be shared as soon as we have the final copy ready.