From the Desk of the President (March, 2010)
new payroll system continues to create problems for county employees.
The AFSCME Local Presidents and our Staff Representatives have a monthly
meeting with County Administrator Richard Johnson.
Labor Relations Director William Peters and Human Resources Director Rafe
Viscasillas generally attend these meetings.
We had a very candid discussion about the myriad of issues and complaints
revolving around APEX at the January 20, 2010 meeting with the President of each
local sharing specific situations experienced by our members.
We did not hold anything back - voiced the concerns you have been raising
since the first paycheck on APEX. We
did get an agreement from Mr. Viscasillas that he would keep us updated on the
progress they are making in resolving the many issues we face.
That is why you are seeing the weekly e-mails from him noting the status
of the various issues. Please
continue to check your paystub to make sure that the appropriate deductions are
being withheld and that it is correct. Also,
when you do see that something is not correct, follow through with your payroll
contact and IT.EHD/Hennepin as issues will not be resolved if you do nothing
AFSCME Council 5 2010 Day on the Hill:
event was another success as close to 1000 AFSCME activists met to attend
workshops on how a bill becomes a law, the outlook for the 2010 State budget and
the impact of that budget on the budgets of counties, cities and nonprofits;
heard from our endorsed gubernatorial candidate, Mark Dayton, as he voiced his
support for our issues - putting money into the budget by raising taxes on those
who can best afford them instead of cutting programs for those who can least
afford the cuts; listened to AFSCME International Legislative Director, Chuck
Loveless, as well as Council 5 Political lobbyist, Julie Bleyhl,
about the issues that concern us most - bills that bring funding back for
the programs and services we provide. We
met with fellow members in our legislative districts to go over the list of
questions that we asked of the Senators and Representatives at our meetings with
rally at the Capitol revolved around our theme for this year's event - We Make
Minnesota Happen. Executive
Director, Eliot Seide, asked the legislators to "Get a spine and do the
right thing!" while holding up a spine.
That spine accompanied the group meeting with Senator Linda Berglin
(although I doubt she got the message that she needed to get one).
We heard from members speaking about the need to put funding back into
higher education so that quality education would be available to the children of
Minnesota and resources there for those who work in the schools to do their
jobs; the need to restore the GAMC cuts so that those most in need would be able
to have access to quality health care instead of going without and using the
emergency rooms for their health care; letting legislators know that our
pensions do not need to be changed - that defined benefits work just fine and,
when we retire, those benefits help create jobs in Minnesota; and about the
impact that the cuts in Local Government Aid and County Aid have had on our
ability to do our work. The
Capitol rocked with our chant of "Who are we?"
"We are AFSCME!" which kicked off our members going to the
meetings with the legislators. The
comment that I heard from a number of first time attendees was that they were
impressed with the ability to discuss their issues with their Senator or
Representative - that it was the first time they had done so and did not realize
how easy the process was. We did
have a large number of people there for the first time which was refreshing.
They brought a lot of enthusiasm to the day and took away a wealth of
knowledge to share with their coworkers.
you to our Local 34 attendees - Katie Farber, Linda Flykt, Diane Fossen, Rhonda
Griffin, Fatuma Hassim, Heather Hemmer, John Herzog, Elena Izaksonas, Kathy
Kelly, Andrea Lazo-Rice, Sheila Lipsco, Vicki Moore, Shawnice Reid, Cliff
Robinson, Bob Velez and Vern Wagner. They
were visible in the legislative meetings - ask Andrea about the one with Linda
Berglin - as well as in the workshops and other events during the day.
Hennepin County AFSCME Picnic:
picnic has been scheduled for Sunday, August 8, 2010 at French Regional Park in
Plymouth. We will need lots of help
to make the picnic a success - planning for food, activities - getting all of
the supplies - setting up and cleaning up. Thanks
go to Local 2822 members, Ann Baird and Molly Malecki, and Local 2864 member,
Anita Urvina Davis, for volunteering to serve as the chairs of the picnic
committee. Please let them know what
you can do to help them in the process.