From the Desk of the President (March, 2007)
join me in congratulating Kela Williams on becoming our new
Membership Secretary. She was unanimously elected by the
Executive Board members at our February 21, 2007 E-Board
meeting. Kela brings her infectious (this is a good thing)
enthusiasm, boundless energy and a keen understanding of the
importance of unionism to her new position. Welcome, Sister
INVITATION TO ALL DUES PAYING MEMBERS OF LOCAL 34 - MANY
OPPORTUNITIES TO PARTICIPATE: Hopefully that will be you -
yes, you. It is that time of the cycle again when we work on
crafting our proposal in preparation for contract
1st opportunity for you to be involved in this process will
be one-on-one, talking to your fellow members who will be
asking you to meet on breaks to go over a questionnaire
about is important to you for the coming two years with the
information to be used as part of the contract proposal.
2nd opportunity for you to become even more involved will be
the March 14, 2007 General Assembly in HSB 110 and the April
4, 2007 General Assembly in HSB 112, both meetings held at
the Health Services Building at 525 Portland Ave S,
Minneapolis. We will begin the meetings at 5:15 PM sharp so
that we can hold the necessary discussions to identify the
areas of the existing contract that we would like to improve
and perhaps find new items to add. We did this two years ago
and, in my humble opinion, it truly was democracy in action
as the floor was open to all members wishing to have a voice
in what our issues were and how they were framed.
3rd opportunity exists for you to be part of the Local 34
Master Negotiations Team. This group of members will be
responsible to attend the large Master Negotiation team
meetings with members from Locals 552, 1719, 2822, 2864 and
2938 to merge our common proposals in our master contract
proposal and fine tune the Local 34 supplemental proposals.
This group will meet during the months April and May and
then again whenever needed during the negotiations process.
It is also the group that meets to go over the final offer
from the Employer to recommend acceptance or rejection with
authorization to strike to the membership before the
contract vote. If you are interested in serving on this
Team, please let me know by no later than 12:00 noon on
Wednesday, March 14, 2007, as I will ask for approval of the
appointments at that meeting.
4th opportunity for you to be really involved in the ongoing
contract campaign will be to volunteer to participate on
Contract Campaign Committees. The Hennepin County Policy
Committee (comprised of members of all nine Hennepin County
AFSCME locals) will serve as the oversight agency for the
campaign. These committees will be responsible for
developing, coordinating and carrying out the various
activities in support of the 2007 Contract Campaign effort.
Folks will be able to commit a lot of time or a little time,
depending on the specific need of the individual events and
efforts. Two years ago, we had an Action Team and a Strike
Committee. This year, the Policy Committee has decided to
look at how to improve our process and you could be on the
ground floor of that discussion and work! If this is
something that you think you might enjoy, please let me
know. We do have a meeting scheduled for March 13, 2007 from
9:00 Am - 12:00 noon and you are welcome to attend.
Volkenant covered the information from our most recent
Labor/Management Health Care Committee. The information we
are receiving in this venue is extremely crucial as it is
clear that much of it will be brought to the table during
negotiations. Please feel free to share your ideas,
concerns, suggestions about the information with Wes,
myself, Mary Kay Popko, Doyle Juenke, and Matt Nelson as we
all sit on this committee.
but certainly not least, we had our monthly HSPHD
Labor/Management Meet & Confer on February 21st. We had
hoped for an update on possible adjustments to the HSR
series but, according to Mark Lee from Administrative
Services, there is still some work to be done before
Department Director, Dan Engstrom, will be ready to make a
final decision. As soon as there is news on that front, it
will be shared with us. Also, at that same meeting, Mark let
us know that the County's lobbyist is continuing to work on
the issue of the proposed cuts in Child Support funding.
Personally, my hope is that the folks we worked hard to
elect will have the ability to roll back many of the cuts
from the Deficit Reduction Act.