From the Desk of the President (June, 2003)
Executive Board moved to send up to 10 members to the
to be held July 11 – 13, 2003 at the Thunderbird Hotel,
Bloomington, MN. The
Local will cover 1 day lost time, mileage or bus fare, and
the registration cost of $50.00 per person which covers
lunch each day.
Delegates will be elected at the June 4, 2003 GA
meeting. If you
are interested in putting your name forward for this
election and are not able to attend the GA, please contact
me at 348-0266 by no later than the end of the workday,
Tuesday, June 3, 2003, to indicate your interest.
Local 34 is a member organization of the Labour
Council, an international organization comprised of Canadian
and US labor unions dedicated to furthering the causes of
unions across our borders.
Cathy Cowden attended the conference in Canada last
year and would be an excellent resource for more
hope to have a shortened version of negotiations for our
2004 – 2005 contract did not pan out.
We decided that we did not have enough information
available to us to make wise choices for the coming year.
Most of this was predicated on the Legislature giving
some insights into the direction that they would take on
bills affecting how we do business.
Unfortunately, that did not happen as quickly as we
had hoped for which means we will be doing negotiations as
usual. To that
end, the Local
34 Master Negotiations Committee
has been meeting to work on our Local specific proposal and
those items that we see as being common to all members of
the nine AFSCME locals in Hennepin County to bring to the
joint Master Negotiations Committee meetings which will be
held May 29 and June 12, 2003.
We will work on our joint proposal in preparation for
the opening of this year’s negotiation session.
Keep your eyes in this newsletter for more
continues to be the hot topic of discussion at every meeting
I attend. The news does not seem to have changed much over
the past months. The
numbers of dollars and FTE’s
fluctuate a bit but not enough to give me any hope that we
will see a fix for the shortfalls any time soon.
Every Department is looking at losing staff based on
the cuts they will have to make in the coming year.
We are being told that we should be okay for 2003,
but 2004 will bring changes.
Part of the uncertainty at this time is that the
County runs their fiscal year from January 1st
through December 31st
while the State’s fiscal year is July 1st
through June 30th
until the Legislature settles on a budget for the state, we
do not have all the information needed for the balance of
County Board is facing very tough choices as they work on
the budget for the next year.
I suggest that you check out your Department’s
Intranet site for up-to-date information about changes that
may be necessary.
am taking an opportunity at this time to write on a point of
of you know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer and were
there for me as I faced some tough choices about surgery and
your support, prayers and uplifting messages, as well as
some very much appreciated vacation donation hours, I was
able to face this challenge head-on, turning what could have
been a very gloomy time of my life into one of the most
positive opportunities of my life.
Little did I know when John Herzog and I dug through
a contract from the state of Washington many years ago and
found the prototype for our current vacation donation
program that I would be a beneficiary of that program.
It took several tries in contract negotiations to get
it approved but it was time well spent for all those who
have used the program over the years.
month I am celebrating five years of being cancer free – YIPPEE!
Thanks to all of you who have been part of this
journey with me, who offered your encouragement and broad
shoulders to lean on when I needed to do that, who called to
say “hey”, who covered my casework while I was working
partial days, who continue to ask me how I am doing.
I have to be honest and admit there were a few times
while sitting through chemotherapy that I wondered what the
point of that particular exercise was but those were very
short moments compared to the long-term benefits.
My hair is not quite as colorful now as it was then
but that could change at any moment.
The one lesson that I continue to learn is that one
must be true to oneself and one’s values.
This entire process has actually freed me to do just
thanks for all your support.
I am very glad to be here to work for you and with
you and look forward to many more years of doing just that
in whatever capacity is available.
leave you with this quote from Robert Frost, which is
germane to my celebration – “Do
not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there
is no path and leave a trail.”
wish you many new paths to blaze for those who will follow