From the Desk of the President (July, 2014)


New Local 34 Recording Secretary – please join me in congratulating Laura Ross on her election as our Recording Secretary effective 7/1/14. She was elected at the June 18th Executive Board meeting and will take over the duties of that office with the July 9th General Assembly as her first meeting. Thank you, Laura, for taking on this important role in our local.

With Laura’s election to Recording Secretary, we now have a vacancy for her Member-at-Large position. That position will be filled with a special election at the August 20th Executive Board meeting. If you are interested in putting your name forward or would like more information about the duties of a Member-at-Large, please contact me at 612-348-0266. You can also talk to any of the current Member’s-at-Large: Angel Alexander, Deb Konechne, Jacquelin Poole, Kay Powell and Miguel Salazar.  

Kudos to the EE&O Committee, chaired by Heather Hemmer, for all their hard work to make the June 12th labor lunch presentation on the contract process. All the feedback that I have received (I missed the event as I attended the Council 5 President’s meeting that day) from members who attended was that it was well worth it and that they understood the process a lot better now. Heather is always looking for ideas on keeping members informed and engaged in the union. If you have suggestions for future presentations or can help with activities, please contact her at All members are welcomed!  

We will have a presentation by Council 5 staff on the proposed Council 5 dues increase effective January 1, 2015 at the July 9th General Assembly. The meeting will begin with a PowerPoint presentation of what we, Council 5 members, have accomplished since our merger in 2004, how our money is spent and why an increase, the first one since 2004, is needed. Our General Assembly is held in HSB 110 at 5:30 PM. Please plan to attend the presentation and ask your questions about the proposal.  

Reminder: We have a fabulous Local 34 web site that is updated on a regular basis by John Herzog. He has information about our Local 34 news, including the Local 34 newsletters back to January 2002, as well as announcements about current events such as rallies and picnics. If you have not already done so, please take time to check it out at  

One of my favorite stories can be found at which explains the design of our Local 34 lapel pin. We have another link——which goes to union songs! I promise not to sing for you but suggest you read the words to some of the songs. They are a moving record of the struggles our sisters and brothers endured as they fought for labor rights over the years and our hopes for the future of our families. One song, “Your Daughters and Your Sons”, written by Tommy Sands in 1985, sums up many of my hopes at that time as I raised my daughter. Again, take some time to see what is there. It will be time well spent. Thank you, John, for all your hard work on the web site.

Happy 4th of July.