From the Desk of the President (July, 2009)


     Election for vacant Trustee position – we have a vacant Trustee position as Ester Killion resigned after being elected to fill this three year term.  The Trustees perform an annual audit of our financial records each year, prepare a report and present that report along with any recommendations to the members. The Executive Board will elect to fill that vacancy at the July 15, 2009 meeting held in HSB 917 as 5:30 PM. If you are interested in putting your name forward, please let me know.

MAT (Member Action Team) Coordinator position - we are looking for a member interested in filling this position. Our Local is creating an e-mail list to be used to send information to our entire membership in a timely and effective fashion. Our goal is to have a MAT Coordinator to contact worksite leaders who then contact one person per unit at each worksite to forward that information to their respective units.  This is the job description: The MAT Coordinator will maintain a current list of Local 34 bargaining unit members and unit leaders by work location.  Each month the stewards/building volunteers will provide an updated list of those bargaining unit members to the MAT Coordinator. The MAT Coordinator will provide a monthly report to the Executive Board. When necessary, the Co-Chief Stewards will assist the MAT Coordinator in assignment and reassignment of stewards/building volunteers to maintain the MAT structure.  The membership voted to approve a monthly stipend of $35.00 for the MAT Coordinator.  If you think that this is a job for you, give me a call at 348-0266. We will fill the position at the July 1, 2009 General Assembly.

Health Care Forum – Keith Ellison, 5th District Congressman, will hold a forum on fixing health care. It will be held on Wednesday, July 1st, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Keith will be joined by health care experts and community leaders for a conversation on how we must work together to get the public health care plan we deserve. Note that this is held at the same time as our Local 34 General Assembly so many of us will not be able to attend the forum. If you are not planning to attend the GA, you might want to consider attending the forum to be voice your concerns, offer solutions and be ready to organize around this issue. It will be held at UCare – 500 Stinson Boulevard NE, Minneapolis.

ROWE – please read the article by Carolyn Johnson (page 13) regarding ROWE – results only workplace environment. She is one of the Internal Change Agents for this process. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about ROWE as it is being rolled out around the Human Services and Public Health Department, please let me know. Labor Relations and AFSCME are reviewing the language in our contract, PELRA (Public Employee Labor Relations Act) and the Fair Labor Standards Act in light of how ROWE might change when we do our work. Stay tuned for more information and updates.

PEOPLE (People Organized to Promote Legislative Equality) Chair – our newly appointed PEOPLE Chair is Member-at-Large, Jacqueline Coleman. If you are interested in serving on the PEOPLE Committee – working on political campaigns – working for political equity, contact her to express that interest. She can be reached via county e-mail or by phone at 543-2605. She is located at NorthPoint, mail code N706. Keep in mind that our political activity is not limited to election cycles. We also conduct phone banks to our members asking them to contact our elected politicians regarding issues that affect our ability to do our work and attend public meetings to ask questions on those elected officials. The opportunities are endless – your imagination is welcome.

Negotiations - we have more meetings of the Master Negotiation Committee scheduled in July and August as we work on our plan building up to negotiations. More news will be forthcoming in the August newsletter.


     From Erika Lutgen… the 2009 Inaugural Minneapolis Marathon and Half Marathon was run on Sunday, May 31, 2009. Team AFSCME was present at Water Stop #4 which provided fluids at mile markers 6.5, 12.5 and 25.5 at this event. Thanks to our event coordinators, Alex Gordon and Duane Gatzke, and the close to 30 AFSCME volunteers who helped to make this event a success. The race participants were thankful for the fluids provided at the stations. I even saw some of our Local 34 members as race participants!