From the Desk of the President (May, 2013)



Katie Farber is retiring on May 3rd. Please join me in thanking her for all her hard work as one of Local 34 un-ion activists. She has touched many of our lives over the years with her unbridled enthusiasm for being a card carrying union member. She has never been shy about sharing the many reasons why it is important to be in our union and talking about the benefits for you and your coworkers. She has been a steward, a Membership Secretary, a Member Action Team Coordinator, a political motivator, a phone bank guru, an avid parade marcher and a wonderful vocalist in the Labor Chorus. I know that I have not hit on all of her union activities as that would fill up several newsletters. Katie is going to be missed as a Local 34 member - now she has the opportunity to move on to the Council 5 Retirees Chapter (I wonder if they know what is coming their way???).

Thank you Katie. We all wish you well. Labor Education Services is taking applications for the 2013 - 2014 Minnesota Union Leadership Program. This program is designed to help union members become leaders as they learn about the labor movement, gain knowledge and skills to ad-dress the challenges we are faced with and develop strategies to deal with the issues we see in the workplace (see the complete information elsewhere in the newsletter). I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to talk to Heather Hemmer, Wes Volkenant, Kela Williams or Maslash Jama, our past and current participants as they will be able to give you their impressions of the pro-gram.

Taxes - hopefully you all were able to meet the April 15th deadline for filing your taxes. I have no problem with paying taxes - as long as it a fair tax system. Unfortunately for those of us who are faithful about meeting our tax obligations, there are any number of others who do not - big businesses who use offshore mail addresses, corporations who utilize loopholes, etc. If you are on Facebook, you probably saw daily Tax Dodger Trading Cards from American for Tax Fairness addressing some of the more egregious tax dodgers. If you missed them, you can visit their website at - itís worth checking out. My personal favorite was the one about Verizon - with the $7.3 billion tax subsidy they received for 2008 to 2012, we could have covered 1,077,491 people on Medicaid. New information is added on a daily basis - get the facts and share them. Annual reviews or, as they are called on APEX, EPR (employee performance review), are still an issue for our members. Ac-cording to the County Human Resource Rules, we are all supposed to have a salary review completed each year. For those of us at the top of pay scale, it might not seem to be a concern ff one is not completed because it does not gain us anything monetarily. However, it is a concern when a seasoned employee is being told that they are not meeting the performance standards for their job class, are put on a special performance plan and, far too often, end up in fear for their job. When I ask about the most recent EPR and what was in the review, I

find that one has not been done in years. Without those reviews, there is nothing to use for comparison. This is something that is so important that I am including the wording from the HR Rules.

Please read:

HR Rules:


13.1 Requirements A written appraisal of each employee's performance shall be completed and shall assess the employee's performance results and methods. The appraisal shall be made by the employee's immediate supervisor, reviewed by the appointing authority or his/her designee and reviewed and signed by the employee. Once the employee has signed the performance appraisal form, no deletions or additions may be made to the contents of the appraisal on past results or methods except as a result of the Human Resources Director's review. A copy of the appraisal, including a salary recommendation, shall be given to the employee at the time of signing and sent to the Human Resources Director who may review and, if necessary, take action to secure the adjustment of the appraisal to conform to the facts obtained. Departments may design a performance appraisal process to better reflect their organizational goals and performance expectations; prior to implementation, the process must be approved by the Human Resources Director.

a. Review with the Employee The supervisor shall discuss the performance results and methods with the employee for the purpose of improving job performance, recognition of employee accomplishment (including recommended salary adjustment, if any) and certification of successful completion of probation. Where performance deficiencies are identified, the supervisor shall include a detailed statement describing the steps necessary to correct these performance deficiencies and the time period within which the deficiencies are to be corrected and set progress reviews for various times during the appraisal period. The employee shall be given an opportunity to write a dissenting statement on any part of the appraisal with which he/she disagrees. The employee's statement shall be affixed to and become part of the appraisal. When an appointing authority is considering an employee for appointment, he/she may review the employee's past.  

b. Schedule for Conducting Appraisals Performance appraisals shall be completed at the midpoint and end of the probationary

period. Thereafter, performance appraisals shall be completed as indicated in the Compensation Plan. Additional performance appraisals may be completed at any time including, but not limited to, recognizing outstanding service or to identify deficient performance.



d. last paragraph

Each appointing authority and his/her delegated representative shall at least once a year review the salary of each employee to determine the employee's rate of pay within the salary range based on his/her performance and shall advise the employee in accordance with Section 13.1.

If you have not had a review for several years, it might be a good idea to find out why that has not happened. If you donít know, or donít have a copy of your reviews, you can go to Human Resources at the Government Center, and request to go over your employee file, and look at any reviews or other materials kept there. We have to watch out for ourselves and our well-being on the job. We know how hard we are working and how much work we do. We should have an acknowledgement of those accomplishments recorded.

Negotiations - we are working on our Local 34 supplemental proposal issues as well as our total contract proposal. If you would like a paper copy of our contract to review, just call me or send me an e-mail with your mail code and I will send one to you. You can also view the contract on line on the Labor Relations site: http://hennote1/intranet/publications/laborcontracts.nsf. We will also take suggestions at our May 1st General Assembly.

I am hopeful that we will have spring weather by the time that you read this article, as we are once more experiencing winter weather with Ďsnoetí (snow/sleet) as I write this. I found it highly amusing that on the day we had a test of the tornado warning system, we had a winter snowstorm. Ah, Minnesota!