34 Officer Nominations: The
following people were nominated for Local 34 Officers at
the February General Membership meeting. Final
nominations will be taken at the March 1 meeting. If you
might be interested in serving, please contact the Local
34 Nominations Chair – Jody Stadler (348-7371) or
attend the membership meeting. Voting for any contested
ballots will be done by mail beginning April 3.
Questions regarding the election can be addressed to
Alex Erickson (348-7304), Elections Chairperson.
Vice President: Grace Baltich
Secretary: Deb Konechne
Chief Steward: Jim Edin, Kenneth Garnier
at Large (3): Angel Alexander, Remy Huerta-Stemper
are also open for Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation
Delegates (5)/Alternates (6) and St. Paul Regional Labor
Federation Delegates (5)/Alternates (6).
Local 34 Executive Board elected Brian Olson to fill the vacant
Chief Steward position at our meeting on January 18, 2017.
He will fill out the term ending April 30, 2018 which was
vacated by Kela Williams. He
took his oath of office immediately following the election.
Please join us as we welcome Brian to his new position in
the local. Our
two Chief Stewards, Tywanna Gray and Kela Williams, have both
accepted positions as supervisors.
Ssengendo has been serving as Acting Chief Steward while Tywanna
was in an acting supervisor position.
The members voted to appoint Mara to step in to that
position pending Tywanna’s return to her Senior HSR position. The
term for this Chief Steward position ends April 30, 2017.
The members attending the December 7, 2016 General
Assembly voted to have Mara continue in that position through
the end of that term. Note
that this is one of the officer positions that will be up for
election this year with nominations at the February and March
Stands by Public Workers in Iowa: AFSCME
is fighting back in Iowa against the latest attempt to
silence the voices of working people and take away their
ability to negotiate together for better wages and working
conditions. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad last week signed
a bill into law that
forbids public service workers from negotiating for
improvements to their benefits and working conditions. It
effectively steals workers’ rights that were established
more than 40 years ago. AFSCME
Iowa Council 61 represents
40,000 public service workers, including law enforcement,
corrections officers, mental health workers, professional
school staff and others. Many of them will be affected by
the new law. Council 61 filed
a lawsuit Monday,
alleging that the new law violates Article 1, Section 6 of
which forbids lawmakers from granting any citizen
“privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms
shall not equally belong to all citizens.” The law
exempts police officers and firefighters. “We
are basically suing over the unconstitutionality of the
law,” said Iowa
Council 61 Pres. Danny Homan. “We believe the law
treats public employees differently.” In
a statement, AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders called the new law “a
slap in the face to the hardworking women and men who
provide professional public services that strengthen Iowa
communities every day.” Saunders added, “We won’t
give up this fight. AFSCME will continue to stand with
Iowa working families and communities.” ~ Pablo Ros
Capitol Report (2/21/2017)
Local Control, Stop Corporate Interference: Last
week, AFSCME members left 266 voice messages asking
legislators to support local control and stop corporate
interference. It’s a threat to our democracy and an
attack on working people. House File 600 and Senate File
580 – known as Local Interference bills – aim
to repeal Minneapolis and St. Paul’s new Earned Sick and
Safe Time ordinances – and to prevent other Minnesota
cities from passing their own work standards.
This summer 150,000 people in our two largest
cities are due to start receiving earned sick and safe
time, a paid benefit, passed at the local level. It would
allow them to take time off when sick or dealing with
domestic abuse. The bills could also block cities from
passing a higher minimum wage. We have testified to stop
corporate interests from robbing workers of their paid
sick leave. Despite
fierce opposition, House and Senate Republicans are moving
the bills quickly.
Two weeks ago, AFSCME members left 206 voice messages
for their legislators urging them to fix transportation
now with new revenue for roads, bridges, transit, bike and
pedestrian infrastructure. We reminded legislators to
budget for AFSCME maintenance workers who plow snow, patch
potholes and inspect bridges. AFSCME MnDOT members were
also at the Capitol to support new revenue for
transportation and to oppose the Republican plan to gut
the general fund as a substitute for new revenue. Raiding
the general fund is simply wrong.
The Pension Commission will
meet again on Tuesday, February 21 at 5:30 pm on Room 15
of the Capitol. Legislators
will consider a MSRS proposal to increase funding and
reduce benefits. The
combination of increased employer contributions, increased
employee contributions, and reduced post-retirement
increases is designed to lead all plans toward full
supports the MSRS reform proposal because it will
guarantee that there are sufficient funds to pay promised
AFSCME continues to work with Representative Rena
Moran on a bill for additional funding for child
protection workers and for upstream services.
Tax Proposal: AFSCME
testified last week in support of the Governor's Tax Bill
in the Senate Tax Committee. We emphasized support for the
$20 million of new money added to the base budget for
Local Government Aid and $10 million added to the base for
County Program Aid. In addition, the bill expands the
Working Families Credit.
5 Offers Social Media Training:
Did you know that the Council 5 Communications
Department offers customized one-on-one and small
group trainings to help your local make the most out
of social media? The trainings are free and flexible.
It’s a great way to build solidarity within your
local. Email Trisha
to get started.
34 will continue our efforts to develop Member Action
Teams (MAT) during 2017. The structure is aimed at
fostering communication, networking and organizing for
our members. Our goal is to have 80 MAT leaders by the
end of 2017. Contact Deb Konechne, Local 34 Membership
Secretary for more information and to express your
interest in becoming a MAT leader. Contact Deb at email@example.com
or call her at 612-816-4321.
34 will continue organizing/training days with Labor
Lunches for members at various worksites throughout
Hennepin County. Contact Deb Konechne
dates/times/locations. The first date is tentatively
set for 2/23/2017 at the Health Service Building (HSB), 525 Portland Avenue South, Mpls. Later dates
will include a variety of other work locations. All
members are welcome!
34 will also continue with union introductions in
conjunction with other AFSCME locals at New Employee
Orientations. Welcome cards with information about
meetings and ways to get more involved will be sent to
all new members beginning in January. If you or anyone
you know if interested in Organizing, NEO or the
Welcoming Committee, contact Deb
Organizers Seek Donations: The
AFSCME Family Picnic needs donations and volunteers.
Mark your calendars for August
20, 1 to 5 p.m. If
you’d like to contribute, contact Council 5
Executive Board member Duane Gatzke at 651-472-2787 or send
him an email.