the Desk of the President (10/2005)
is hard to believe that we are already facing October –
getting ready to find pumpkins that will serve as the
perfect jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and apples that will
be just right for fall baking. The changing of the leaves’ colors
always gets my fall cleaning instincts going.
Luckily, I am able to squelch them just fine so that
I can get out and really enjoy all that nature has to offer
us like the crisp fall air, the bright blue skies and the
last rains to settle the dust of summer.
It is also a time to prepare for the coming winter as
we squirrel away supplies to help us make it through the
season of snow, ice and cold temperatures.
is not a person in your life who isn’t there to teach you
something about yourself.”
- Kristine Carlson
34 ended up having 41 of our dues paying members take
advantage of the Early Retirement/Resignation package so we
saw a flurry of retirement parties during September.
I suspect that many of us were able to get our fill
of sheet cakes – and laughs - as we shared in their joy
and trepidation as they faced the next leg of their
respective life journeys.
Let’s hope that they have many wonderful adventures
ahead of them. The
above quote was shared with a good number of those leaving
as they enriched my life here with Hennepin County,
encouraging me to always give my best effort while showing
me how quality services can be provided to Hennepin County
residents. I am
so grateful for the lessons they shared and, hopefully, will
honor them by passing them on to others.
saw the end of the primary races for many city, school, park
and library seats. AFSCME-endorsed
candidates did quite well in reaching the top two slots for
the general elections in November.
The PEOPLE Committee will have many opportunities for
all of us to become involved in campaign activities – be
it door knocking, literature dropping, phone banks or
providing support for any of the above.
Local 34 members have gone over to the Council 5
office to use the state-of-the-art phone bank there.
It is a wonderful way to talk to fellow union members
about issues important to all of us and you don’t even
have to worry about transposing numbers while dialing (my
major pitfall) as the computer does it for you.
If you think that this is something that you are
interested in doing, please let me know as we do need
ones that I have done have been for several hours after work
in the company of members from the Minneapolis Library, our
Local, the Council 5 E-Board, and staff from the Council.
Getting our friends elected to office allows our
sisters and brothers in the respective public entities to
have a voice in how their work environment which is a win
for all of us.
probably have already read about the maximum tax levy
approved by the County Board at the August 30th meeting.
That amount was 3.98%.
As the Board deliberates on this matter, they will
hold a number of budget meetings between now and the
December 1st Truth in Taxation hearing which is when they
will vote on the levy amount.
It is incumbent on us to support that maximum levy
amount so that we can have the resources to do our jobs as
well receive fair compensation for that work.
Please contact your commissioner to let her or him
know how important it is to support and approve the maximum
is not how much we give but how much love we put into
giving.” – Mother Teresa
you have read in the highlights of the September GA, our
Local voted to send a contribution to the AFSCME fund for
our sisters and brothers affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Per the memo from President McEntee, we have 3,300
members in Louisiana alone who have been put out of their
homes due to this tragedy, with over 800 of them from New
have lost their homes, their personal belongings, their
sense of comfort and well-being. I ask that each of you join me in sending
a personal contribution to this fund so that they can work
to rebuild their lives more speedily.
It does not have to be a lot, as even one dollar,
when added to other dollars, goes a long way towards
building the fund. Contributions can be sent to AFSCME
Fallen Heroes Fund, 1625 L Street NW, Washington, DC
note on the memo line or in a cover letter that this is
meant for the Katrina Relief effort.
You can also visit www.afscme.org to see what else
can be done to assist our members in the affected zone.
Thank you for anything you do.
insurance is moving slowly as we work our way through all of
the information provided in the proposals from the
the Labor/Management Health Care Committee will be able to
reach an agreement, by the end of September or beginning of
October, on a recommendation for Paul Cegla to take forward
to the County Board. The
nine AFSCME locals, with the assistance of Eliot Seide and
Jerry Serfling from Council 5, plan to hold a series of
informational meetings around the County about this
insurance - give you the most up-to-date information that we
have and answer your questions.
They will be held in early October so look for flyers
which will announce the meeting dates, times and places.
are moving forward. We
met three times in September and have another three meetings
scheduled during October.
We have yet to get to the issues of wages and health
insurance, the two biggest drivers to the process.
Right now, most of the progress has been on
housekeeping items. We
hope to have made major strides in the process by the end of
the month but we are not sure how some portions of health
insurance piece will affect the process. The most current
information can be found on our web site, www.afscmelocal34.org
, or that of Council 5, www.afscemn.org
. Those sites
will be updated as we have more movement in the process.
As Indira Gandhi said, "The beaten track does
not lead to new pastures."
I look forward to traversing new paths as we work to
achieve our goals of a fair contract and decent heath
you for supporting our Table Team as we continue our