From the Desk of the President (June, 2014)



The M.O.U. (Memorandum of Understanding) to change the length of the probation period effective June 1, 2014, just for STS Crewleaders, was approved by the members voting at the May 7th General Assembly. This means that newly employed, promotional and transfer employees in the STS Crewleader job class will now serve a 12 month probationary period. This change does not affect any other job class in our Local 34 bargaining unit.

It is not too early to make plans for the 2014 AFSCME Family picnic. It will be held on Sunday, August 17th from 1:00- 5:00 PM at Battle Creek Regional Park in Maple-wood. Organizers are seeking commitments for potluck food and desserts. If you have a picnic specialty such as a fabulous potato salad or a delicious rhubarb crumble, please let Duane Gatzke know. He can be reached at or at 651-472-2787. Any and all food contributions are greatly welcomed. There is a water park so bring your swimsuits and towels for an afternoon of good food, good company and good times.

Please join me in welcoming Kathy Kelly as our new Vice President. She will serve as our First Vice President for May 1, 2014—April 30, 2015. One of Kathy's major responsibilities will be setting the agenda for the monthly HSPHD Meet & Confer. If you have suggestions for agenda topics, please let her know. She, along with Vicki Moore, our Second Vice President, will work with our members on a myriad of non-contractual issues that crop up in the workplace.

With Kathy taking office as Vice President, we now have a vacancy for Recording Secretary. That position will be filled with a special election held at the Executive Board meeting held Wednesday, June 18th at 5:30 PM in HSB 917. Per the terms of our Local 34 Constitution, any Executive Board vacancies are filled with an election by the Executive Board.

The Recording Secretary is responsible for taking the minutes of the monthly General Assembly and Executive Board meetings, for providing those minutes at meetings that follow, and maintaining the minutes at our Local 34 office; for keeping a record of the property of the local and conducting an annual inventory of that property; for completing the registration of delegates to any conferences or conventions, and other duties assigned.

If you are interested in put-ting your name forward for the office of Recording Secretary, please let me know by no later than Monday, June 16, 2014. All candidates will have the opportunity to give a short speech to the officers before the election is held.

Reminder that this month's Labor Movie Night offering is "Live Nude Girls Unite!". It will be shown on June 20th in Room 356, United Labor Center, 312 Central Ave SE.

The 2014 Minnesota Session is over. The phased retirement option for PERA was approved through 2019 ,so, if you who have been thinking about easing into retirement while sharing your vast wealth of knowledge about the services and programs we provide with your coworkers, you should look into what this option entails. And speaking of PERA, all the calls you made and letters you sent to your legislators helped as our pension re-mains in place. This is in spite of repeated attempts by ALEC backed legislators to reduce the benefits or change it to a 401(K) type plan. If those legislators are re-elected, they will try to pull the same stunts in the 2015 session so remain vigilant.

And with the end of the legislative sessions, comes campaigning in earnest. All of the candidates for the various seats such as State Representatives, Governor, Secretary of State and State Auditor, for U.S. House and Senate, as well as a variety of local races, will be out in full force as they join sum-mer parades, host door knocks and phone banks, and ask for money to fund their campaigns.

The Council 5 Screening Committees will be meeting around the state to question the candidates for of-fice. You are welcome to attend any of the screenings. We have two West Metro screenings in June - June 3rd and June 10th - coming up. They will be held in the 5th floor conference room of the Labor Center, 312 Central Ave SE, Minneapolis beginning at 5:30 PM. If you are interested in attending, please let Jon Grebner, Council 5, know via e-mail at If you live in the East Metro, he can also let you know when screenings will take place for those candidates.

Summer seems to have made an appearance. If you have gardens, I wish you well. Otherwise, kick back and relax!