From the Desk of the President (September, 2009)
of Understanding - the members attending the August 5, 2009
General Assembly passed a motion to accept to the County's
proposed Letter of Understanding for changes to our contract
necessitated by the new payroll system, APEX. Thank
you to everyone who took time to ask the questions about the
effects the changes in the contract language will have on us
in the future and to those of you who attended the meeting
to vote. The new language will appear in our next
contract but is effective when the APEX is up and running.
And speaking of APEX....
new payroll system - if you have not already signed up
for the mandatory training for APEX, you should make sure to
do so now. The training sessions can be found on the
County's Learning Center site on the intranet.
According to the information we have been given, there will
be a change in the way we complete our timecards so it is
imperative that everyone attends the training. Those
sessions will be held over the course of this month with
room for all employees to attend. My normal mode of
operation is to wait til the last minute but I decided that
might not be such a good idea for something of this import
so signed up for one of the first sessions. My hope is
that I will be able to ask as many questions as possible
that you might have so that we get the answers early on.
Please let me know if you walk out of your sessions with
questions as I might be able to help clarify them for you or
help you get the answers.
Census - it is not too early to begin talking about the
census that will be conducted next year. Minnesota is
one of the states that is cited as being in danger of
losing a Congressional Representative if our population
numbers show a large decrease from the 2000 census. Right
now, the prognosticators say that we lost a good
number of people when jobs left the state and the economy
took a downward turn. Local 34 has appointed one of
our members, Rita Salone, to represent us on the Minneapolis
Regional Labor Federation Complete Count Committee.
This group will work with unions, community
organizations, churches, etc. to encourage all
residents of the state to participate fully in the census.
One of the barriers that we will face are those members of
our communities who fear that they will be harmed if they
talk to the census takers - some because they think that the
Immigration will come into their homes, some because they
are afraid of trouble with law officials, some because they
do not trust any governmental entity. Since much
of the work that we do is funded with federal dollars, we
have a strong interest in having the census count be a
success. When Rita asks for your assistance,
please help her. You will hear more on this effort as
the year progresses.
held our final meeting of the Master Negotiations Committee
on August 17, 2009 to wrap up the work on the union's joint
proposal as well the various local supplemental items.
Our Staff Representatives will fine tune the language and deliver
that proposal to the Employer on September 8, 2009. It
will be posted on the Council 5 website with a link for the
Hennepin County negotiations by that date for your perusal. Our
first negotiations meeting will be held on September 14,
2009 at which time the Employer will present their
counter-proposal to the Table Team. We have five
meetings scheduled this year - down five sessions
from years past, as we feel that we can be
more effective with fewer meetings that go a bit longer into
the evening. Look for a Table Talk to be issued after
the 9/14/09 session with information about the proposals.
Action Team is chaired by Vern Wagner this year. He is
looking for willing members to help with the work of
the committee. Send him an e-mail if you
can help out.
read Vicki Moore's article with the information about
the County Board meetings for the 2010 budget process and
plan to attend at least one of those sessions.
(Member Action Team) Coordinator - I am pleased to announce
that Robert Velez has graciously agreed to be our Local 34
MAT Coordinator. His appointment to this position was
approved by the Executive Board at our August 19, 2009
meeting. Bob will be responsible for working with
building contacts throughout our local to develop
an electronic or e-tree for speedy and effective
dissemination of time sensitive news such as an update
on the progress of the Table Team or asking for people to
attend a meeting. He will use the lists compiled
by our stewards when they mapped our work sites to get
the information to those sites. This is a work in
progress and is part of the Executive Board's
commitment to improving our local's communication with our
members. Your feedback is greatly
appreciated as this rolls out.
build a labor movement we have to look beyond our own
personal interests - look beyond our own local -- we have to
look beyond our own union and remember that ALL workers ...
every last one of them ... are our brothers and sisters.
Not just when it's easy ... not just when I get my way ...
not just some days ... but every day -- every last
day." - Richard Trumka
Labor Day to all of you. Take time to sit back and
relax - this is your holiday to celebrate you -