From the Desk of the President (11/2005)
& Respect update: I
have just been informed that the HSPHD Executive Team has
approved the implementation of a Dignity & Respect
project at Century Plaza.
If you recall from earlier articles, the Dignity
& Respect Committee had broached this subject with the
Executive Team with a short presentation on our request at
one of their meetings this summer.
What does this mean for our folks at CP?
It means that everyone there will have an opportunity
to be involved in the process to improve their working
environment so that all people - regardless of their reason
for being in the building - can expect to be treated
respectfully and with dignity.
If you work at CP, look for more information and your
chance to be part of the efforts as the project gets off the
ground in the next few months.
Council 5 Executive Board has issued a call for nominations
to fill two vacancies at the November 17, 2005 meeting. The vacancies are from District 5, the East
Metro area which is comprised of Dakota, Goodhue, Ramsey and
Washington Counties. If
you live in one of those counties or, if residing outside
Minnesota, you work in one of those counties, you are
eligible to be nominated to fill one of the two vacant spots
on the Council 5 Executive Board.
The deadline for nominations is Monday, November 14,
nominations must be submitted to: AFSCME Council 5 Elections
Committee, % Susie Olson, 300 Hardman Ave S, So St Paul MN
55075 or via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
with the note in the subject line -
AFSCME Council 5 Elections Committee.
The vacancies are created by the resignation of
Sister LoRita Powell who is now on the Council 5 staff and
Brother Scott Metcalf whose unit has been called up for
active duty in Iraq.
the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the
brings me to the topic of negotiations. We will be heading into the home stretch of
this process with two all-day meetings scheduled this month
- November 7th and November 14th.
The Table Teams of all the locals have been constant
in their resolve to reach settlement on a fair and equitable
resolve has been tested on more than one occasion - most
recently with the issue of health insurance.
When the Table Talk issued in early October was put
on your desks, you responded in huge numbers. Many of you, after talking to the
officers and Table Team members, to express your anger and
frustrations about the status of insurance rates due to lack
of an agreement, contacted your Commissioners to voice that
anger. It had a
tangible result - an interim proposal with rates greatly
lowered from what was originally proposed and the ongoing
ability of the Table Team to continue to negotiate on the
permanent rates for 2006 - 2007.
No matter what you hear, you are responsible for that
strength and resolve must continue to be voiced - over and
over again - during the next month as we build ourselves up
to get a better contract.
We are a force to be reckoned with.
By continuing to be visible and vocal in the
workplace and in the community, we demonstrate to the
Employer that we are committed to that goal and willing to
turn up the heat in order to achieve more than crumbs for
the next two years. We
must have a contract that recognizes our worth - treats us
respectfully - and allows us to go forward with dignity
knowing that we, the UNION, have been shoulder to shoulder
in our quest.
my resolve has just been strengthened by two pieces of
1st piece of information is the new bankruptcy laws have
changed with a new means test.
If your annual income is below the state's median
income, you can file Chapter 7 and erase your debts.
Minnesota's median income for a single person is $40,650.00.
That works out to an hourly wage of $19.54.
We have 14 job classes in our bargaining unit topping
out at less than this hourly rate. The majority of the job classes in some
of our sister locals are well under that hourly rate.
We deserve better!
For a couple, the annual median income is $54,598.00
which translates to an hourly wage of $26.45.
Many of our members are the sole breadwinner for
their families. That
brings another 17 of our job classes under that rate.
We certainly deserve better than that.
The median income for a family of four is $73,498.00 which is an hourly rate of $35.34 which takes care of the remaining job
classes in our unit. Of
course, if your family falls under those rates with more
than one income, that is even more fuel for our cannons.
And the 2nd piece of information comes from the US census figures recently released by the Bureau of National Affairs. They show that the annual median household income for the United States remained flat in 2004 - at $44,000.00 for both 2003 and 2004 with adjustment for inflation. This goes along with the fact that the number of people without health insurance grew in 2004 from 860,000 to 45.8 million which is about 15.7 % of the population in this country. I do not want to see any of our membership fall into that category because of premiums that are not affordable- we deserve better!
look forward to seeing you out and about as the Action Team
calls for your participation in events to support the Table
Teams - and yourselves - during the remainder of
we can make a difference!