From the Desk of the President (June, 2013)
- Douglas Graham was elected to fill the one year Trustee position vacated by
Katie Farber when she retired. Please join me in thanking Doug for stepping
forward to fill this important position for our local. The folks who conduct the
audit of our financial transactions need a keen eye and lots of patience as they
scour all the pages of records when they conduct that audit. Both Doug and Paul
Madison, our two year Trustee, attended the Financial Training for Locals at the
Council 5 office this month so are now ready to hit the books!
that the deadline for applications to the Minnesota Union Leadership Program is
May 31st. Local 34 will cover the costs for this program for two of our members
if they are accepted into the program. This is one of the agenda items for our
June 19, 2013 Executive Board meeting.
vote on one issue only at the June 5, 2013 General Assembly - Clinical Nurse
Specialists Wage Adjustment.
the Employer: " As you know, for quite some time we have had concerns about
our inability to attract and retain qualified Clinical Nursing Specialists...
after careful consideration of the facts surrounding their claims ... have
received authority to advance their pay so as to match the top rate of
Hennepin's Nurse Practitioner job class.... this decision based on the language
of Article 38, Section 5. (At the discretion of the EMPLOYER and in the event
the EMPLOYER en-counters difficulty with respect to attraction and/or retention
of qualified staff in a particular
job classification, the parties by mutual agreement, may negotiate a modified
salary schedule or other compensation matters for such classification.) What
this means is a new annual top rate of $96,839 (currently $92,077) will be
applied to the Clinical Nursing Specialist. This increase of $4,762 is equal to
approximately 5.17%. All incumbents are currently at the top step. The increase
will be retroactive to the first full payroll period in 2013." Since this a
change to our con-tract, we will hold a special vote at the June 5th General
Assembly to approve that change. Please be prepared to show your member ID to
check in and receive a ballot for that vote.
Negotiations Commit-tee - we have been meeting for the past few months and have
agreed to a number of proposals for the contract. We have agreed that each Local
will bring their final supple-mental proposal items to the next meeting on June
6th. That means that we will spend the first 1/2 hour of our General Assembly on
June 5th to finalize our Local 34 supplemental issues. Please bring your
suggestions to the meeting. If you need a paper copy of the con-tract, let me
know and I will get one to you. Otherwise, our contract can be found at
http://hennote1/intranet/publications/laborcontracts.nsf - we are Social
Services. The Master Negotiations Committee will wrap up their work at the June
6th and June 24th meetings. After that, the final contract proposal will be
polished and readied for presentation to the Employer at our first Negotiations
meeting on August 12th.
insurance - our self insured reserves continue to grow at a steady rate. I think
that we can safely say that you - the employees - are helping to hold down the
costs by watching the costs of the ser-vices you and your families use. I know
that I am looking at the costs for services I need. When looking at doctors for
my knee problems, I talked to folks who had al-ready gone through the various
procedures to ask for their input – which doctors they saw, how they felt
about the facilities and the timeline and costs, etc. I found that the doctor
most recommended for excellent results and wonderful follow-up was also the most
cost effective. That is a win-win in my book as will have the procedure by
some-one in whom I have confidence and costs will be contained. One thing that I
need to point out is that I looked at the overall cost - from beginning of the
procedure to the end. You may very well see a practitioner who charges more per
visit, $300.00, but you only need to see them three times versus another
practitioner who charges less, $250.00, but you need six visits. In the long
run, the three visits end up being more cost effective. Please keep doing your
homework. Costing less does not equal sub-standard services. We all deserve
- update on continuing dental coverage through the union. There has been a
change in this process. At such time as you are officially retired from Hennepin
County, you will be contacted by mail with the information about enrolling in
the dental program as a retiree. That was a change earlier this year. This is a
good deal if you want to keep taking care of your teeth, as Medicare does not
have a dental coverage plan.
Care Savings Account for severance pay - Stephen Cook and Jacquelin Poole are
the chairs of the ad hoc committee working on the education of the membership
about what such a plan would entail. Please contact them if you are interested
in serving on that committee.
Minnesota State Legislature - their "work" ended on May 20th – I
have to admit that I am very disappointed in the childish antics of some of the
people who have been elected to represent us in both the House and the Senate.
If you had the opportunity to go over to the Capitol or watch the proceedings on
their live feed, you were able to observe adults acting like little children in
a sandbox with the "If I don't get my way, I am not sharing any of my
toys" attitude -- actions well beneath their job duties and the reason why
the are there in the first place - to vote on issues important to the residents
of Minnesota. My hope is that every last legislator takes a good look at their
behavior before returning this fall. On the bright side, we did see legislation
passed which gives child care providers and in-home care providers the right to
vote on whether or not they will be in a union. Now the hard work for those
groups will start as they meet with individual child care providers and in home
care providers on a one-by-one basis to explain the benefits of a union.
to Local 3400, CCPT (Child Care Providers Together), on this positive result
after all of your hard work over the past eight years!!!