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Summary of 2013 and 2014 Legislation to Support Working Families





Next Wave



AFSCME Council 5

"We advocate for excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all workers."

Action Update

AFSCME Congressional Reports

Labor Resources on Facebook

Links for Working Families

36 Reasons We All Benefit From Unions


"We are all trade unionists. We are all civil rights activists. And it’s about time for all of us to get together and organize America like never before! It’s time to say to America, ‘We will not turn back now!” ~ Rev. Dr. William Barber

AFSCME History





Who Is Local 34

Local 34 Mission

Local 34 Lapel Pin

Local 34 Archives

Local 34 Election Results

Photo Gallery  

Workers level the playing field when they organize!


Screening Room

Union Songs

Stories of Labor Union History

Today in History

African American Labor History

Labor Day History


Local 34 Reimbursement form


Mileage Policy

2011 Seniority Report

  Family and Medical Leave Act Employee Guide (pdf)

  FMLA Basics

Disciplined for Being Sick  Know your rights

Non-Discrimination and Respectful Workplace Policy

102 things not to do if you really hate taxes and government

Negotiations 2013

Negotiations 2011

  Negotiations 2009

John Herzog - WEB Developer

AFSCME - Promoting excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace with opportunity and prosperity for all!

AFSCME Local 34, P.O. Box 15222, Commerce Station, Mpls., Mn. 55415



          AFSCME Local 34                    Updated 9/2/2014


Labor Day is usually filled with barbecues, burgers, beer, and beautiful friends and family. But this holiday really means a lot more to working people all over the country. Here are just a few stories handpicked for you ~ Upworthy  

Have You Ever Heard Of The Ludlow Massacre? You Might Be Shocked When You See What Happened


Over 100 Years Ago, 123 Young Women Working In A Factory Never Came Home. It Changed Our Country




AFSCME Local 34 News!

  • The September issue of the Local 34 Banner is a milestone issue! The Executive Board has decided that beginning with the October 2014 issue, this newsletter will no longer be distributed in paper version to each individual member. Rather, about 200 copies will be printed—primarily for bulletin boards at our job sites. The PDF version will be made available to each of you through e-mail links via unit representatives. If you don’t have a mailed link for that issue by October 1st, please contact Jean Diederich, Local 34 President.

  • New Local 34 Chief Steward! Please join us in congratulating Tywanna Gray on her election at our last Local 34 Executive Board meeting to fill the Senior Chief Steward position.  She brings her years of service as a Local 34 steward and activist to her new role.  I, along with all the officers and stewards, look forward to working together with Tywanna and her co-Chief Steward, Kela Williams, as we continue to address issues we face in the workplace. If you find yourself in the need for a steward to represent you, please note that you now contact both Tywanna and Kela. As Chief Stewards, they will then work with you to find a steward to represent you. Please feel free to share this news with your coworkers. The Member-at-Large position remains vacant.  ~ Jean Diederich, Local 34 President

  • Welcome Committee! Local 34 has a new Welcome Committee for new employees, composed of Stewards Tywanna Gray, Margo Blay Bugbee and Sheila Lipsco, and Member-at-Large Deborah Konechne. They work in conjunction with the EE&O Committee and the Membership Secretary, Heather Hemmer.

  • Facebook! Amanda Abell has been approved as our new Local 34 Facebook page Administrator. This is a “Closed” group, so contact Amanda to request access.

  • Budget & Finance Committee! The Budget & Finance Committee reported that meetings have commenced for the year, and the committee is diligently working to flesh out what a membership dues increase would look like, based on 2015 wages. A presentation of sample dues increases with discussion will be presented at the September 3rd General Membership meeting. The 2015 Local 34 budget recommendation is pending.  


Upcoming Events!

Labor 2014 Retiree Day of Action! With special guest speaker Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Thursday September 4, 2014, 2:00 p.m., Room 218, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, 312 Central Avenue, Minneapolis.

Firefighters’ Fundraiser Aims to Buy 1,000 Winter Coats for Minneapolis Kids! Enjoy at evening at the Fulton Brewery and help Minneapolis Firefighters Local 82 raise funds to buy 1,000 new American-made winter coats for Minneapolis elementary school students. The fundraiser for Local 82’s “Operation Warm” takes place Saturday, September 6 from 3:00-10:00 p.m. at Fulton Brewery, 414 6th Ave. N., Minneapolis. A $20 donation includes access to Fulton beer, food trucks, a silent auction, and live music. For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit

NorthPoint Health & Wellness Fitness Event! On Saturday, September 13, 2014, NorthPoint will host its third annual Fit-4-Fun Event. Last year, close to 1,000 community members participated in this event. This on site event starts at 10 a.m. and will include a family oriented 1 or 3 mile walk or run as well as a bike ride through the Northside neighborhoods. In addition, participants will be able to try aerobic exercises, line dancing, and other activities. Attendees will also make their way through an obstacle course. There will be music, prizes, and healthy food options to try. NorthPoint will be distributing health and wellness information and most importantly, providing a setting where everyone can have fun. NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center has made a strategic decision and priority to engage our community to make better informed decisions concerning their health and wellness and encourage them to simply "get up and move." We look forward to your participation!

‘Labor Movie Night’ documentary recounts 1939 story of sharecroppers organizing! The “Labor Movie Night” series presents the documentary film “Oh Freedom After a While” Friday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 356 of the United Labor Centre, 312 Central Ave., Minneapolis. Admission is free. Snacks, beer and soda will be available during the film; donations appreciated. “Oh Freedom After A While” (U.S.A., 1999, 56 minutes) uncovers the story of a 1939 protest by sharecropping farmers. One wintry morning in January 1939, residents of southeastern Missouri awoke to a startling sight. More than 1,000 sharecroppers — mostly African American but whites, too — had camped out alongside two state highways with their families and a few meager belongings. They were taking a stand against the planters, the federal government, and the desperate conditions of their lives. Their tale, narrated by Julian Bond, is told by interweaving recollections by former sharecroppers, their children and scholars with vivid archival footage and striking Farm Security Administration photographs, despite the odds, they organized themselves, attracted national attention, and changed government policies. “Labor Movie Night” is sponsored by AFSCME Local 3800, AFSCME Council 5 Next Wave, and AFSCME Locals 2822, 34, and 1164.The film series runs the third Friday of each month.  

Working Partnerships! Local 34 has committed to supporting the 2nd Annual Working Partnerships’ Golf Tournament held on Monday, October 6, 2014. The Local 34 membership voted to approve lost time for up to ten members to volunteer at this event. If you are interested in helping out, please contact President Jean diederich so that she can forward your name on to Doug Flateau (Working Partnerships). Last year’s event had a good turnout and they look forward to having even more participants this year. Doug Flateau of Working Partnerships did a special presentation for the August General Membership meeting. Doug spoke about LIVE UNITED (affiliated with United Way) which is a national movement that strengthens communities by improving education, income, and health. Their goals are clear, ambitious, and attainable — but only with your support.

EEO! The next Education, Engagement, and Outreach (EEO) meeting will be held on October 6, at the Health Services Building, Room 110 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For those of you who missed the last EEO meeting, discussion included staffing issues, employee discipline tracking system, Hennepin County Workplace Culture statistics and workplace actions.  Contact Local 34 member Heather Hemmer for more information. 

Labor lunch! The next Labor Lunch will be held on November 12, 12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m. in the Government Center Auditorium. Subject: Strikes.

Labor Ball! AFSCME Next Wave Minnesota presents: Save the date - Friday, November 14. Currently seeking donations to help defer costs. Make checks payable to AFSCME Local 66. Memo line: Next Wave. Send check to AFSCME Local 66, 211 West 2nd Street, #205, Duluth, Minnesota 55802. Questions: Contact Ryan Welles.

View from the Cheap Seats! by Vicki Moore, Local 34 Vice President

September has always felt like the beginning of a new year to me. I think it is because that is when school starts and summer is coming to an end. As I write my column, it is only the middle of August and all ready the days are getting noticeably shorter. So this is the beginning of a new year for me.

This will be the last September that I am an employee of Hennepin County and the last September as one of Local 34’s Vice Presidents. I am retiring May 31, 2015. Nominations for Vice President will open I believe in February with the election being held in April. I have very much enjoyed the support I have had from our members to do this work. It is rarely easy but often fulfilling. I would like to take the next months to talk with people who think that they might want to be one of Local 34’s Vice Presidents. Please contact me if you would like my perspective on the work ahead.

This month much of my time has been spent supporting CPSWs who are experiencing very high caseloads and documentation standards while in the midst of significant change throughout the Child Protection Programs. Dan Neumann, Brenda Louise and Jody Stadler stepped up and took the lead in soliciting concerns from other workers in the area, analyzing the work and meeting with Area Manager Ja-nine Moore. Their analysis was de-tailed and thoughtful. I knew that they were working long hours but was surprised to learn that currently it takes 72 hours to achieve the results expected to be achieved within the normal 40 hour workweek. I cannot find the words to express the stress this places on Child Protection Staff when they all know that their primary mandate is the protection of children.

Dan, Brenda and Jody reached out to other staff, but we know that they may not have heard all of the concerns. They are still open to hearing from staff. As the result of their work, they were able to meet with Area Manager at Meet and Confer and able to set-up a meeting between Janine and Child Protection Staff. The feedback that I’ve received indicates that Janine was able to hear the concerns. I was privileged to be at this meeting and can report that there was meaningful dialogue. Janine was able to clearly say what she could and could not do. She was also able to tell staff that there were requests that needed more research. {At left, see Janine Moore’s e-mail to Staff, dated August 13th} This is a work in progress. What is clear is that the issues are known and solutions are being sought.

Here’s some good news from the legislative front: Congressman Keith Ellison has introduced a bill making Union Organizing a Civil Right. Here’s what he had to say: “Discrimination against union organizers is rampant. One in five union organizers are fired due to their efforts. These firings are illegal, but current protections for workers are inadequate. My bill will give workers the same legal options for union organizing discrimination as for other forms of discrimination.” And that’s the View from the Cheap Seats for this month.

Note: David Hough and the County Board have heard our concerns. They have authorized an additional 22 staff to be added to our Budget for 2015. What this means for us is the following: A new Child Protection Investigative Unit (10 staff and a Supervisor), a new Child Protection Field Unit (10 CPSW’s to serve ICWA and Non-ICWA and a Supervisor), and a new Induction Unit (10 CPSW’s plus Lisa Tittle as the Supervisor) – (Previously approved but yet to be hired). These 33 additional staff will help to mitigate some of the stresses that are being felt across the Child Protection Service area and allow the staff and supervisors to feel productive and successful in fulfilling their job duties while managing and supervising much more reasonable caseload sizes. ~ Janine Moore, Children and Family Services Area Director.

Are You Ready for Changes to Your Pension? by Carolyn Vreeman

Every year, I facilitate a workshop about the Public Employee Pension Services Association (PEPSA) at conferences. Last year, we split the room into 3 age groups: age 18-25, 26-50, 51-70. I asked the groups to identify what is important to them during that age range. The 18-25 group talks about employment, relationships, traveling, and starting a family. Age 26-50 talks about buying a home, raising children, career-planning, and college for kids. Finally, when we get to the 51-70 year old group we hear the word “retirement.” The group realizes that there are so many demands for our money throughout our lives that it is difficult for people to even think about retirement plans until it’s too late. One of the 18-25 group members talked about an article that she’d just read stating that the average employee saves less than $1,000 per year for retirement. Yikes!

Hennepin County knows this. Years ago, public employees were offered a pension so they can retire comfortably. That pension exists today, but changes are looming…

Since 2009, 45 states have responded to fiscal constraints by making significant changes to their retirement plans, including increasing employee contributions, reducing benefits, or both. Other states have modified their plan design, choosing to transfer more of the risk associated with providing retirement benefits from the state and its political subdivisions to its employees.

The Public Employee Pension Services Association (PEPSA) acts as a “watchdog” for your pension at the capital. We work to protect your pension through lobbying, research, establishing partnerships with legislators, and by “rallying the troops” when our pension is under attack. If you’re al-ready a member of PEPSA, you’re receiving our newsletter, and you’re ready to act to protect your pension! Thank you! If you’re not a member, contact Carolyn Vreeman (, Katie Farber (, Don Nikkola (612)386-7639, or go to We need all of the help we can get.

Voter Expansion Project! The goal of this project is to make it easier and more convenient for Americans to participate in the electoral process, by empowering them with the information they would need to exercise their right to vote. Go to for more information on Minnesota voting guidelines and access to on-line voter registration. A Spanish language version,, was also launched so that language does not pose an unnecessary barrier to electoral participation for those voters who are more comfortable getting information in Spanish.  

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