From the Desk of the President (3/2006)



Local 34 is once again sponsoring the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship by purchasing a table for eight at the annual dinner.  The dinner is scheduled to be held this year on Thursday, March 31, 2006 at the Prom Center in Oakdale, kicking off with a social hour and silent auction at 5:30 PM.  The dinner and program will follow at 6:30 PM.  The evening honors students who have received scholarships for the 2005 - 2006 school year.  This year, Local 34 will be represented by Sam Gutierrez Jr. and Christina Gutierrez, children of our Membership Secretary, Sylvia Gutierrez, who is one proud mother and justifiably so!   We will elect up to eight (8) members at the March 8, 2006, General Assembly to attend this dinner to help Sister Sylvia and her family celebrate her children's accomplishment as well as those of the other students being recognized at this event.  If you are interested in attending this event on behalf of the local and cannot attend the GA, please send me an e-mail or call me by no later than 1:30 PM on that day, 3/8/06, to put your name forward for that election. 

Update on Dues: 

I am happy to report that we have finally been able to work out the new dues deduction issue.  A big THANK YOU goes to Commissioner Randy Johnson for his assistance in getting IT resources allocated to resolving the matter.   His help is very much appreciated.  Also, thank you to Pam Haats and the IT staff who actually worked on the program and implemented it for our new dues structure.  You should have noticed the change with your first paycheck in February with the deduction now listed as "Percentage Union Dues" line on your paycheck instead of "Unions Dues" line.    


Grab your calendars and mark the evening of Tuesday, March 7, 2006 as an important date to keep.  This is the evening that each of us has the ability to attend your local precinct caucus and weigh in on those political issues near and dear to your heart.  We, as public employees, have the ability to begin the process by which our bosses are chosen as they are all elected - by us.  We have the opportunity to impact the direction that our work lives take for the next four years - do we want to continue down the road of tighter budgets, less services and fewer coworkers or do we want to see a more even-keeled approach to how our services are delivered and another state shut down?  This is all governed by state and federal statutes/laws which trickle down to every strata of our government - state, county, city, school.  Those statutes/laws are voted on by the people we elect to represent us - whether it be the Commissioners, State or Federal legislators, or School Board members.  If you need a reminder of why we should take time out of busy schedules to attend a caucus, just think back to the our recent Contract Campaign and the result of that negotiations process.  We used our collective strength to hold our bosses - the Commissioners - accountable.  YOU have the power to continue that change.  Grab It!  

In Solidarity,