From the Desk of the President (May, 2009)

So, when I read the charge from last year’s Next Wave conference, “As a union we have always overcome whatever challenges come our way. Today, we are confronted with an altogether different sort of challenge — more than half of AFSCME members are eligible to retire in the next 10 years. But, we are not ready to fill this Leadership void. Next Wave chapters are important in providing the tools and connections to get younger members active and ready for future union leadership.” I realized that we must be part of this movement in order to preserve all the hard work accomplished in the past so that we can build for our future. My hope is that sending some of new leaders to the conference this year will bear fruit in the years to come as the tradition of passing along our knowledge continues. 

Elections: to fill vacant Executive Board and trustee position will be held at the May 20, 2009 Executive Board meeting held at 5:30 PM in HSB 917. The two positions are Member-at-Large and Trustee. Please let me know if you are interested in putting your name forward for either position. We are also looking for more members to serve as Local 34 delegates to both the Minneapolis and St Paul Regional Labor Federations. Both groups meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. Minneapolis holds their meeting at 312 Central Ave, Minneapolis, MN from 6:00 - 7:00 PM. St Paul holds their meeting at 411 Main St, Saint Paul, MN with a Public Employee forum from 5:30 - 6:30 PM, followed by the main meeting at 6:30 PM. We are able to send 6 delegates to both bodies - have room for 4 more for both groups. If interested in serving your local in this capacity, please let me know so that your name can be put forward for consideration.

Negotiations:  The Hennepin County Policy Committee has scheduled two meetings of for the Master Negotiations Committee, one on May 12, 2009 and one on June 2, 2009. The members of Locals 34, 552, 1719, 2822, 2864 and 2938 will convene to discuss the direction we will take for this year’s process. More information will be provided as it becomes available. We may very well use the Survey Monkey tool as our local’s contract survey instrument this year. If so, an e-mail will be sent to you regarding the process.  Local 34 will discuss this year’s negotiations process at the May 6th GA meeting, when we will also elect our members of the Master Negotiations Committee.

Being a history major, I find great truth in this quote and believe it is especially topical for this month’s article:


“We live in the present, we dream of the future, but we learn eternal truths from the past.” - Madame Chiang Kai-shek

Always learning,