From the Desk of the President (September, 2015)
Thank you so much for the
beautiful flower arrangement sent to me after my knee re-placement surgery (and
by the way, recovery from the second knee replacement does go faster than the
first one). The timing of the delivery was impeccable. My daughter and I had had
just walked in the door and put my stuff down when the doorbell rang.
There was the
Soderberg’s Florist delivery person with the flowers. They were a true day
brightener greeting me each day.
Also, thank you to
everyone who sent words of encouragement and well wishes. They helped me to keep
going for-ward with that pesky – but needed - physical therapy.
AFSCME Council 5
Convention This years' Council 5 Convention will be held in Duluth, MN on
October 1 -3, 2015. Local 34 voted to send up to 34 dele-gates to this event.
We will cover 3 nights
lodging (Wednesday, September 30th - Friday, October 2nd); round trip mileage;
lost time for two days (Thursday and Friday); and 3.5 days per diem at the
cur-rent IRS rate.
We will elect the
delegates at our September 2nd General Assembly held in HSB 110 at 5:30 PM. Any
member is eligible to put their name forward to be a delegate. Note that our
Local's policy for lodging is double occupancy. If you would choose to have your
own room, you would be responsible to pay for 1/2 the cost of the lodging.
Car-pooling is also highly recommended, as the drive can be long and company is
always good on that drive. If you have any questions, please contact me, Jean
Diederich, at 612-348-0266.
Hennepin County AFSCME Table Team and our three Council 5 Staff Representatives
presented our union proposal to the Employer on Monday, August 10th. You can
find that proposal, along with the opening remarks delivered by Alison Kelly,
one of our Staff Representatives, on page 6, and our Local 34 web page at
http://www.afscmelocal34.org. We will have met again on Monday, August 24th, to
receive the Employer’s opening proposal. After that is when we begin the back
and forth work which is part of the negotiations process.
Many of you feel that
what we do at the table is the most important part of negotiations. In fact, it
is what transpires away from the table that sends a message to the Employer
about how members are reacting to their proposal and what members are willing to
do to further our unions’ requests. That means that we need every member
participating as activists – wear green on Green Tuesdays, keep a poster by
your desk during the day, initiate and/or assist with solidarity events at your
worksite, get involved with our EE&O (Education, Engagement & Outreach)
Committee – in short – be a visible union member and support of our union
work. It is going to take all of us working together to make this happen.
For those of you who are
new to this, we have six AFSCME Locals in Hennepin County. Our local is 34,
Hennepin County Social Services & Related. Local 552 represents Probation
& Parole Officers. Local 1719 represents our Correction-al Officers at the
Adult Correctional Facility (County workhouse). Local 2822 is Hennepin County
Clerical & Related. Local 2864 is the Professional Local. Local 2938 is the
Legal Unit representing County Attorneys, Public Defenders, Fraud Investigators,
Legal Disposition Advisors and a few other job classes.
We are over 4000 members
strong – almost ½ of our county workforce. Our six locals have worked
together to identify issues that pertain to all of us and we, as individual
locals, work on issues that are unique to the job classes we represent. It is
hard work but well worth the time and effort as everyone benefits from the
improvements to our contract.
Please let me know if you
have any questions about this process and join me in thanking Alex Erickson,
Kenneth W. Garnier, Tywanna Gray, Maggie Keating, Kathy Kelly and Brenda Louise
for serving alongside me on our Local 34 Table Team. We will be busy folks over
the course of the next three months.
Remember that Labor Day
is coming up – our day to celebrate the hard work that we do all year long.
Make sure to take some time to relax and enjoy the three day weekend. Jean