From the Desk of the President (March, 2016)
Editor - the Local 34 Executive Board will interview candidates for our
Local 34 newsletter editor at our April 20, 2016 meeting. The editor is
responsible for pulling together articles from officers and activists of our
local as well as information of interest from various newspapers/publications
and formatting the newsletter once per month. Our goal is to have a
newsletter ready for distribution and posting on our web site at least one week
before the beginning of each month. Candidates are requested to submit an
example of their writing to the Executive Board by no later than April 16, 2016
and to then attend the meeting to be interviewed. The meeting is held in
HSB 917 at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, April 20th. Please contact me for more
Do you know about the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program? The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) forgives the remaining balance on your Direct Loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly loan payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer. As a county employee, you meet the criteria for public service. It might be worth your while to investigate the terms and conditions of this program to see if you are eligible to see some debt relief on your loans.
More information can be found
at: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/public-service-loan-forgiveness.pdf and https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service.
you to all of you who took time on Tuesday, March 2nd, to attend your
precinct caucus. If the parking by the caucus site for my precinct was any
indication, there was a record turnout of citizens who wanted to participate in
the process this year. Traffic was clogged and the streets surrounding
Roosevelt High School were bumper to bumper parking for at least eight blocks in
all directions of the school. Kudos to the organizers from all the
political parties for their hard work in maintaining order and running the
caucuses. For all of you who are now delegates to your respective district
conventions, congratulations and thank you for your continued efforts to move
your party platforms issues forward. I wish you luck if you hope to move
forward to your respective state conventions.
of the issues that has been on the table at the Capitol for the past few
sessions is our pension - PERA. PERA has a new Executive Director, Doug
Anderson. It is gratifying to read in the most recent issue of PERAgraph,
the newsletter of the General Plan of PERA, that Mr. Anderson is a strong
proponent of our current defined benefit plan. He states that he believes
a defined benefit plan provides more benefits at a lesser cost because you have
a larger investment return over a longer period of time. This is what our
lobbyists from AFSCME have been saying for years as we work to maintain a plan
that is sustainable and healthy. And this is one of the reasons why we
hold Day on the Hill each year and why we must remain politically active.
Dates for the 2016 Legislature:
8: Legislature convenes.
9: Governorís State of the State.
15: The Governor will submit his supplemental FY16-17 budget recommendations to Legislature.
25-March 28: Easter break.
1: First policy committee deadline.
8: Second policy committee deadline.
21: Third committee deadline. Major appropriations and finance bills must be out
of the Finance and Ways and Means Committees.
22: Passover break.
and May: Conference Committees meet to resolve differences between House and
Senate versions of bills.
22: Last day in the 2016 regular session that bills may be passed.
23: Mandatory adjournment.
action that you can take right now is to ask your state representative
to stop the tax breaks for billionaires and big businesses. Some of our
lawmakers have introduced bills that would give tax breaks to those groups
instead of conserving our state's budget surplus or using the money judiciously
on sustainable programs that would benefit all Minnesotans such as more funding
for K - 12 education or statewide broadband. You can text SURPLUS to 237263 to
be connected to your state representative or dial 1-888-440-2111. You will be
connected to their phone so that you can leave a message asking that our and,
yes, it is our money because we paid those taxes!) budget surplus be used to
benefit all of us, not just a few.
elections will take place April 4, 2016 to April 25, 2016. We have
contested races for Treasurer and Member-at-Large. See the Nominations
Chair report elsewhere in this newsletter for candidates for those offices.
Ballots will be mailed to your home address by Monday, April 4th. You
will have until Monday, April 25th to return your ballot - must be postmarked by
April 25th in order to be valid. Ballots will be counted at the Local 34
office on Thursday, April 28th. You must be a member in order to receive
a ballot. If you have moved recently, please contact me to see if we have
your new address. If you are currently fair share and wish to become a
member, please contact our Membership Secretary, Deborah Konechne, so she can
get a membership card to you.
to keep in mind:
15, 2016: "Northern Lights" shown at 6:00 PM at East Side Freedom
Library, 1105 Greenbrier St, St Paul
5, 2016: Sixth Annual Labor Bowl at the Midway Pro Bowl, St Paul
2016: NALC Stamp out Hunger food drive - leave a bag of groceries by your
20, 2016: "Blood Fruit" shown at 6:00 PM, Room 356, United Labor
Center, 312 Central Ave SE, Minneapolis
17, 2016: "Pride", 6:00 PM at East Side Freedom Library, 1105
Greenbrier St, St Paul
15, 2016: "The Organizer", 6:00 PM, Room 356, United Labor Center, 312
Central Ave SE, Minneapolis
14 -17, 2016: Netroots Nation, St Louis, Missouri
18 - 22, 2016: AFSCME 42nd Annual International Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada
12 -14 & 19 - 21, 2016: Working Partnerships booth at the Game Fair near
19, 2016: "Matewan", 6:00 PM at East Side Freedom Library, 1105
Greenbrier St, St Paul
21, 2016: AFSCME Family Picnic at Battle Creek Regional Park,
25 - September 5, 2016: AFSCME booth at the Minnesota State Fair
19, 2016: Working Partnerships Golf Tournament
22 - 24, 2016: AFSCME Council Convention in Bloomington, MN
25 - 27, 2016: Minnesota AFL-CIO Convention in Duluth, MN
as an end to my article, a quote from Mark Twain: "In the Spring, I have
counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours." He must
have known Minnesota and our weather! Jean