Can't Win if you Don't Fight

One Strong, United Voice for Workers

Established in April 1950, AFSCME Local 34 represents over 2000 Social Service employees of Hennepin County

In A Nutshell

The Legislature adjourned early Friday after sending Gov. Mark Dayton 10 bills that lay out a $46 billion spending plan for Minnesota government for the next two years. Dayton has until Tuesday to sign or veto them. If he vetoes any of the bills, it could mean another special session.

Public schools: A $1.35 billion increase in state money to schools over the next two years. That includes a 2 percent increase in per pupil spending each of those years, for a total of $245 more per student. It also includes a $50 million boost for districts that are developing pre-kindergarten programs.

Transportation: $600 million in new money over the next two years, including $300 million in permanent funding for road and bridge construction and renovation. The bonding bill also contains $300 million for transportation infrastructure.

Taxes: A $650 million tax cut delivers a $117 million break for senior citizens on a portion of Social Security income, $55 million for tax credits for student loan payments and $20 million in relief for families using 529 Savings Plans. Business owners get a commercial property tax exemption totaling $95 million, and farmers get $34 million in relief from payments toward school bond referendums. Also as part of the tax bill, cities and counties get annual boosts in local government aid payments starting in 2019 by $15 million and $25.5 million, respectively.

Health and Human Services: The state will spend $15 billion in the next two years on assistance and aid programs, which is a reduction of $463 million against the projected growth in need for the programs

Environment and Natural Resources: Fees to enter Minnesota state parks, and other recreation-related fees, will increase for the first time in a number of years.

Higher Education: Minnesota’s public colleges and universities will see a $210 million increase in funding for the next two years.


Newsletter (February)

President's blog (February)

AFSCME has made a commitment to getting back to organizing basics, building power at the grassroots level and hearing the unique concerns of every public service worker in one-on-one conversations. As a union, we will never quit fighting for the respect and opportunity public service workers deserve, because public service workers never quit on our communities.~ AFSCME


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First Friday of every month. 5 p.m. Mac’s Industrial Bar. 

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     AFSCME Local 34                   Updated 5/30/2017



Republican Attack on State Employee Rights Stopped

AFSCME members Thursday night defeated a Republican attempt to cripple the right of state employees to bargain wage increases and health insurance.

Language inserted in the Omnibus State Finance bill in the middle of the night Tuesday would have forced us to negotiate with the Legislature, making it nearly impossible to get a fair contract.

Those changes were voted out of the bill by the Senate Thursday night, and the entire bill passed both the Senate and House. Now it goes to Gov. Dayton for his signature.

AFSCME beat back the attempt to take away our bargaining rights and turn us into Wisconsin through concerted member action. Council 5 members were a constant presence at the Capitol all session, and especially this past week, as the Legislature blew past the end-of-session deadline Monday and went into a special session that lasted four days.

Members in green AFSCME T-shirts stayed late into the night all week, packing House and Senate galleries, talking to lawmakers and carrying “AFSCME is watching” signs. They made hundreds of calls to Gov. Dayton and their legislators, and signed petitions. They attended rallies with our allies in labor, the faith community, transit and community groups that packed the Rotunda and send chants thundering through the Capitol.

“Politicians better know one thing: We are watching and we will hold them accountable for cuts that hurt working people,” Council 5 executive director Eliot Seide said.

Multiple legislators told members Thursday night that the AFSCME presence made a big difference in the outcome of the vote. READ MORE


Local 34 Officer Final Election Results

  • First Vice President: Grace Baltich  

  • Senior Chief Steward : Kenneth W. Garnier  

  • Recording Secretary: David Yang

  • Membership Secretary: Deb Konechne 

  • At-large Members: Angel Alexander, Kimberly Jorgensen,  Alexandra Marzolf

  • Mpls. Regional Labor Federation Delegates (5): Jean Diederich, Grace Baltich, Kay Powell, Kenneth W. Garnier, 

  • Mpls. Regional Labor Federation Alternates (6): Maggie Keating

  • St. Paul Regional Labor Federation Delegates (5): Jean Diederich, Kathy Kelly, Jody Stadler, Deb Konechne, Tamika Hannah, Laura Ross 

  • St. Paul Regional Labor Federation Alternates (6): None

  • Trustee (1): Open

AFSCME Organizing Days/Labor Lunches

Who: All are welcome! Anyone who wants to learn more about or get a feel for union organizing or get more involved in our union.

When: One day in the months of February, March, May, June, August, September, November

How: Let Deb Konechne know. Ask for the day off, take Special Leave Without Pay (SLWOP) and our union pays your day’s wages.

Upcoming Dates/Locations:  

  • June 7 - NW Hub

  • August 16 - West Hub

  • September 14 - North Hub / Northpoint

  • November - South Hub

The last Local 34 Labor Lunch held in February was very successful! We collected 30 new membership cards and over 110 people attended.

Local 34 doubled our number of Member Action Team (MAT) leaders in the past quarter. Contact Deb Konechne if you may be interested. Local 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 or or call her at 612-816-4321.  


John Herzog - WEB Developer

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

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