From the Desk of the President (July, 2017)
to Michael LaCoste please join me
in congratulating our Field Representative, Michael LaCoste, on his promotion to
Acting Organizing Director for AFSCME Council 5. His promotion was effective
June 20, 2017. We will miss his presence at our meetings and his words of advice
to our officers and stewards and his very even keeled approach to the myriad of
issues that crop up in our work lives. However, our loss is our gain as he will
be working with the Organizing staff at the Council to bring more employees into
our AFSCME ranks. The more members we have the stronger we are when we are
advocating for better working conditions or negotiating our contracts.
Carlson, West Region Field Director, has notified us that we have a new Field
Representative assigned to our local. Jolene Catudio will take over the Field
Representative duties from Michael LaCoste. She may be reached at
651-287-0527 (direct dial office), Jolene.firstname.lastname@example.org (email) and cell
651-280-0043. Michael will be sharing the meetings he has on his calendar for
L34 with Jolene, and will be available to her to make the transition go
smoothly. I am excited to have Jolene join us as she brings new eyes and new
experiences to our local and how we do our work. Please join me in welcoming
and reduced co-pay for 2018 office visits
if you have not already completed your health assessment and other activities to
qualify for the reduced co-pay you might want get started. You need to earn 30
wellness points to qualify. Unlike years past this is not some-thing that can be
done at the last minute. The easiest step is completing the health assessment to
get you started on the process.
is the information found at: http://www.hennepin.us/employees/health-insurance-incentive
spouses and retirees with Hennepin County health insurance can choose to
complete the steps to earn the health incentives.
Wellness points have replaced wellness credits. You will earn points for many of
the same activities you completed for credits last year: Learn more about
You must document your participation to earn points for certain activities.
Learn which activities have to be documented:
Employees can earn a Healthy Savings card to use in 2017.
Steps must be completed between November 1, 2016 and October 31, 2017.
spouses and retirees with Hennepin County health insurance can choose to
complete the health incentive steps to receive a $15 reduction on their office
visit co-pays in 2018. Both the employee and covered spouse must complete the
incentive steps for the couple/family to receive reduced co-pays in 2018.
the RedBrick Compass health assessment at any time in the year to earn 10
wellness points. The health assessment is an online health questionnaire.
an additional 20 wellness points by completing in person or online HealthWorks
and RedBrick activities throughout the year. You can find activity options on
your RedBrick HealthMap page or RedBrick Rewards page.
your progress towards earning the health incentive on your RedBrick Rewards
incentive activities and wellness points are tracked in RedBrick Health. Log in
to MyRedBrick.com/Hennepin or call 1-844-724-7968 to get started.
strongly encourage everyone who has not started to begin the process so that you
have completed the necessary steps in order to qualify for the reduced co-pay
Nutritionists a number of the WIC Nutritionists contacted Grace Baltich
and myself regarding the changes in hours as they shift to the Regional Service
Centers. One of the major concerns was the matter of breaks. They work in a
clinic setting with appointments scheduled in increments of ½ hour. That type
of schedule is not conducive to 15 minute breaks. We held a Meet & Confer
with some of our WIC Nutritionists along with Management from WIC/Public Health
and representatives from Labor Relations and Human Resources. The end result of
that conversation is that we signed a Letter of Agreement which allows our WIC
Nutritionists to combine the two paid 15 minute breaks and unpaid ½ hour lunch
into a one hour lunch period to be utilized during their work day. We do have
another issue on scheduling to resolve as they conform to the work hours at the
Regional Service Centers. As the effective date of those changes draws near our
staff should have a clear knowledge of how they will be assigned to the
different schedules and what the hours of operation will be for each work site
as some will have extended hours one day a week.
Nation we have four members who
will be attending this event in Atlanta, Georgia in August. Two of the members
elected, Dawn Coburn-Paden and Fatuma Kassim, stepped down due to conflicts that
cropped up after the election at the May 2017 General Assembly. Folks ask why we
rank alternates when we hold an election and this is the reason. The first and
second ranked alternates, Christina Eichorn and Tamika Hannah, are now able to
join Paul Madison and Grace Baltich as our representatives to this busy event. I
look forward to hearing their reports when they return from this event as there
is so much to do that is new every year.
bulletin boards - per the terms of our
contract we should have a bulletin board on every floor where we work for
posting of our union news, our newsletters and announcements of union
activities. Could all of you please take the time to look around your work area
and let me know if there is a bulletin board dedicated to our union information?
We want to find out which areas do not have one so that we can get one
installed. Our hope is to be able to get the same pieces of information out
across the county to every work site in a timely fashion. Thank you in advance
for your assistance on this piece of member education.
HealthCare Committee and consensus based bargaining
two representatives from each of the 17 bargaining units will meet with
representatives from Benefits and Labor Relations starting July 13th to begin
the consensus based bargaining process for our 2018 health insurance. As we did
last year, we will look at the report from Milliman summarizing our actual usage
and projecting possible trend costs for 2018. We use that report along with the
information we receive on a monthly basis as we explore what changes, if any,
could be made to the premium costs and plan design. Kathy Kelly and I will
represent our local in this process. Your comments shared last year helped us
during the process so we ask that you again share your comments about the health
insurance plans with us now. Having your concerns in front of us when we discuss
those concerns with other members of the committee is extremely helpful.
& Welfare Committee Donna
Ronning and Robert Warmboe have been appointed to serve as our Good &
Welfare folks. They join Amanda Abell in providing recognition of important life
events to our members. Please join me in thanking them for stepping forward and
taking on this task. You should send your request to the three of them.
at your calendar we have the AFSCME Council 5 Convention coming up
October 5-7, 2017. Last year we could have sent 86 members as our delegation.
That number might be higher this year. We have already had some discussion on
sending our full complement this year for several reasons all the
anti-worker initiatives coming from different corners of the country and the
2018 political races. One of this years convention events will be a
Gubernatorial candidate forum with the candidates answering questions from our
members. It will the first opportunity many of our convention delegates have to
hear what the candidates have to say about issues important to us as working
people such as living wages, health insurance, transportation, pensions, etc. We
will have an announcement of delegate elections for this convention once we
receive the official convention call.
4th of July!!!
hope that folks remember the reason that we celebrate this day as a national
holiday and afford all people those freedoms and rights. Jean