From the Desk of the President (September, 2003)
#1 - Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth Portlance as the new Membership Secretary for our Local. She was elected by unanimous ballot at our August 20th Executive Board meeting to fill the position vacated when Nancy Fleming- Norton retired. Liz will take over the duties of this office effective September 1, 2003, so all questions regarding membership, dues and Delta Dental enrollment, can be referred to her.
Congratulations to Liz!!!
- Of course #1 brings us to the
next round in the 2003 saga of E-Board openings. Liz has
been serving as one of our two Paraprofessional
Executive Board Members-at-Large and
that seat when she begins
her new job as Membership Secretary.
The E-Board moved to hold a special
election at our September 17th E-Board meeting to fill this
So, if you are in one of the Para-professional job
classes, have been a dues-paying member in good standing for
one full year (12 months) prior to September 1, 2003, and
are interested in serving your fellow members as a
Member-at-Large, please contact
me at 612-348-0266 by no later than Monday, September 15, 2003,
to indicate your interest.
All interested candidates will be invited to appear
at the E-Board meeting for questions and answers with the
election immediately following.
If you would like to know more about the job duties
of the office, talk to either Liz or me.
Hiner and Chalmers Davis have
volunteered to represent Local 34 on the
Hennepin County HealthWorks Committee.
They both will bring enthusiasm and a fresh outlook
with them which will benefit all of us. If you have any ideas that you would like
them to bring to the committee meetings, please share those
ideas with them. Thanks go to both Carrie and Chalmers for
health is of paramount importance as we deal with our daily
jobs and this is one avenue that the County that is
dedicated to maintaining and improving that state of health
4 - The Executive Board, along
with the Constitution Committee, will be meeting to
review the duties and responsibilities for our officers and
stewards as listed in our Local's Constitution and Standing
Rules. Our goal is twofold: 1st - we will look
at revamping those duties and responsibilities so that we
can provide better and efficient service to the body and 2nd
- we want to have any changes made to be in place prior to
next year's officer elections so that anyone considering
running for an office will have a clear understanding of
what the job entails. We welcome any thoughts that
you might have on this subject - what makes sense, what is
obsolete, what has been working well, what could be done
better - as we take on this task.
current Constitution Committee is as follows:
David Heins, Chair, Chalmers Davis, Jean Diederich,
Andrea Lennox, Wes McGee, Dennis Miller, and Vicki Moore.
has been an extremely busy month for me - filled with more
meetings than usual leading me to wish that I had kept that
nifty little "sit-upon" that I made many years ago
at Girl Scout camp! Perhaps
the most fun meeting time this month was attending the state AFL-CIO convention 8/11/ - 8/13
at the Hilton Hotel.
for me was Linda Chavez-Thompson's speech at the Central
Labor Union Women's lunch. She
spoke about her personal experiences as a woman in the union
in relation to her family - how she had to balance family
time with her union duties and responsibilities.
Her speech hit home as I listened to her relate her
tale of the years when her daughter was a teenager and very
resentful of Linda's time spent away from home while doing
her union work. It
reminded me so much of the times that all of us who are
officers, stewards and activists spend working for the
betterment of our sisters and brothers while trying to
balance time with our families and friends.
There have been many times when my family lost out in
the short term due to the commitments I had made to attend
meetings, etc. My "big picture" mind could see it
as a long term gain for all of us as, to quote Paul
Wellstone, "When we all do better, we all do
better" and the goal of all that activity was to obtain
better benefits for all of us - at work and at home. Linda's reported that her daughter is now
active in her own Union and she constantly consults her so
all of that hard work bore fruit.
My daughter is Management but, like Linda's daughter,
she does ask me plenty of questions about procedures and
have officially began.
We, the nine AFSCME
our proposal to the Employer on August 18th. They
will give us their proposal on August 25th.
If you would like to review any of the documents, please
contact one of our Table Team members - me, Charissa Bryant,
Andrea Lennox, Wes McGee, Dennis Miller, Elizabeth
Portlance, Cliff Robinson, Lindsay Schwab or Laurie Simon.
we should be getting issues of the Table Talks out as soon
as it is possible to do so.
your holiday - Labor Day!