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

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AFSCME Strong on the Rise

 86% of Local 34 are now full members of our union. AFSCME Strong is our program to determine our own destiny by building a stronger union with members who are more engaged. 

Sign a membership card to protect your job, defend our rights and preserve the quality of services we provide our communities. Our goal is to reach 94% membership. 

Contact any of the officers or stewards to sign a card or plan to attend one of the AFSCME Strong trainings.


Labor Lunch at Century Plaza

When: Thursday, September 15th in the Century Plaza lunch-room

What: A time for workers to gather together to learn about AFSCME news, updates, and other union related information while snacking on pizza.

Why YOU should attend: This is a great environment to get your questions answered, as well as mingle with your fellow union members. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact face-to face with some of the names you see often in The Local 34 Banner! Please contact Deb Konechne for more information.

AFSCME members Sametta Hill and Kimberly Barr — at Minnesota State Fair.

New Executive Board Member

Please join us in welcoming Tamika Hannah to the Local 34 Executive Board. She was elected to fill the Member at Large seat vacated by Brittany Bullock. Tamika was elected at the August 17th, 2016 Executive Board meeting and will begin in this new position effective September 1, 2016. Her term of office runs September 1, 2016 - April 30, 2018. She has been serving as one of our stewards prior to this new role. Tamika also has been very active in the AFSCME Strong trainings held around the county over the past year.

Dayton Backs Southwest Light Rail Rescue Plan 

The agency that operates the Twin Cities mass transit system will move ahead with a new financing plan for the imperiled Southwest Corridor light rail project, bypassing the Legislature for now given deep-rooted Republican resistance to the route. The Metropolitan Council, will seek approval as early as next week to committing the board to more than $90 million in borrowing. Additionally, the Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority and the Counties Transportation Improvement Boards would have to consent to $20.5 million each in additional contributions. The three sources would cover the remaining local share needed to unlock federal money toward half of the $1.8 billion line.

State Employees to Vote on Paid Parental Leave

AFSCME members who work for the state of Minnesota will vote to ratify a new paid parental leave package August 30, 31 and September 1. The new policy provides state employees with up to six weeks of paid parental leave in the event of the birth or adoption of a child. Paid parental leave will make it easier for mothers and fathers to care for new children. The package will save the average state employee $6,200 in lost time and give parents priceless time to bond with their newborn and adopted children. Employers also benefit because paid parental leave helps recruit and retain quality employees. Minnesota will become the fourth state to offer paid parental leave to state employees, making it easier to compete with private sector employers who already offer similar benefits. 


AFSCME Union Happy Hour: Friday, September 2, 5 p.m. Mac’s Industrial Bar. 

Labor Day Door-Knock: Wes Volkenant (long time Local 34 member) is inviting union and political brothers and sisters to meet at his house on Sunday afternoon, September 4, at 1:30 pm, to spend a couple of hours knocking at targeted doors in various precincts of House District 35B - the City of Andover and the northern portion of Coon Rapids. Wes is running for the House seat in 35B. If you able and willing to participate, e-mail Wes at or call him at 763-434-1551 with questions or if you need directions to Wes's home. He'll have Wes V for 35B t-shirts (various sizes), voter contact lists, maps, campaign literature pieces, and beverages and snacks for the volunteers.

Annual Labor Day BBQ: Minnehaha Falls Park - Wabun Picnic Area, September 4, 2016, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Have a burger, hot dog or veggie option, compliments of Representative Keith Elllison in honor of the important contributions working people make every day. You are encouraged to bring a side dish to share with others and a non-perishable food item to support Second Harvest Heartland.

Labor Day Parade: Labor Day is September 5 and union members will walk with their friends and family members in the Minnesota State Fair’s Labor Day parade through the fairgrounds. The 2 p.m. event is an opportunity to recognize the working people who keep America strong. The St. Paul Regional Labor Federation sponsors the parade unit annually. Union members will march alongside two patriotic floats, while union musicians and the Twin Cities Labor chorus perform labor and patriotic songs. Union members and retirees are invited to bring their families and join the RLF’s parade unit. Participants will receive a free ticket to the fair. This is our day. Let’s make an impact! For a ticket to participate in the parade, you must RSVP. For more information on the event and to RSVP, call Vicki Beebe at 651-222-3787, x120.

Rake the Leaves Fall Yard Clean-Up: Leaves do fall. Improve your health while helping a senior citizen remain independent in their home! You choose the date and time to rake and clean up the yard. Perfect for individuals, groups, and families. Seasonal: Starting mid-October (depending upon the weather). This is a one-time fun unpaid activity available weekdays and weekends. Feel free to sign up multiple times! Exact location TBD in Minneapolis or Suburban Hennepin County, depends upon where the senior citizen resides. Ongoing unpaid volunteer opportunities are also available. Please contact the Household & Outside Maintenance for Elderly (HOME) Program or call 952-767-7894 for more information. 



  AFSCME Local 34                       Updated 8/28/2016



“The United States of America Bears a Union Label.”

“In 1934, Minneapolis police opened fire on a picket line of striking truck drivers. 67 picketers were injured. Two men, John Belor and Henry Ness, were killed. Minnesota now remembers that day as Bloody Sunday. “More than 80 years after Bloody Sunday, the future John and Henry died for is being threatened. Millions of Americans are working longer hours for smaller paychecks. They're struggling to save for retirement and finding it harder and harder to make ends meet.

“People like John and Henry gave their lives so workers today could go to a safe workplace, earn a fair wage for their work, and go home to their families at a reasonable hour. We owe it to them and to all working Americans to continue this fight. We can follow their lead by standing together and getting organized. We can do it by working for a minimum wage that's enough to live on. We can do it by protecting the right to join a union. We can do it by fighting against bad trade deals that lower wages and ship jobs overseas. We can do it by remembering people like John Belor and Henry Ness.

“Labor Day isn't just an opportunity to thank the people who pave our roads and teach our kids. It's a remembrance for the workers of the Labor Movement who fought for a better future for us, and for those on the front lines still fighting. The rights that American workers won are the cornerstone of our country's prosperity and success. ~ Congressman Keith Ellison


Allina Health Nurses Set Labor Day as Date for Hospital Strike

Nurses at five Allina Health hospitals will go on strike starting at 7 a.m. on Labor Day, their union said Friday in a mandatory 10-day notice sent to the health system. The walkout would be the second by the Allina nurses since negotiations started in February over a new three-year contract. Following a one-week strike in June, the nurses rejected a contract offer from Allina and authorized strike planning in voting last week. But negotiators with the Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) opted to wait to set a date pending the outcome of talks that occurred Tuesday. Union leaders formally announced the strike at a news conference at the Minnesota State Fair. They were joined by other Twin Cities labor leaders, who warned Allina that they intend to support the walkout. Rose Roach, MNA executive director, said the talks on Tuesday produced nothing new: Allina wanted steep concessions on health benefits before addressing the nurses’ requests to improve staffing and workplace safety. “It was more of the same,” she said. “Concede on our issues, then maybe we will talk to you about yours.” Read more

A Manhattan Diner’s New Management Has Servers Singing a Defiant Tune 

Clutching bottles of ketchup as if they were microphones, three waitresses stood atop vinyl banquettes at Ellen’s Stardust Diner near Times Square the other day, belting out the chorus of a 1984 Twisted Sister hit: “Oh, we’re not gonna take it! No, we ain’t gonna take it! Oh, we’re not gonna take it anymore!” Customers, many of them out-of-towners there to see the singing servers for which the 1950s-style restaurant is known, put down their iPhones to applaud. Kristine Bogan stepped down from a banquette. “That one,” she said, referring to the song, “is new.” It was also a coded reference to a battle unfolding inside the popular diner, where Broadway hopefuls and itinerant performers have serenaded tourist-heavy crowds tucking into cheeseburgers and waffles for more than 20 years. Art and food service have always coexisted at Ellen’s, where actors and singers relished the chance to earn money, hone their craft and audition in their off hours. Read more

Note: East Side Freedom Library's continuing collaboration with the Class and the Arts discussion network explores the economic challenges faced, especially, by theater and performing artists and the ways that they can create solutions through collective organization and action. Join us for the screening and discussion of "Sing Faster: The Stagehands' Ring Cycle" this Monday evening, August 29, at 6:30 p.m. This film takes us backstage for a humorous, but grounded, view of the labor of stagehands.


AFSCME International Convention 2016: Thank you for sending me to the 42nd Annual AFSCME Convention in Las Vegas. It was an experience - hot, hotter and hottest. The temperatures climbed up to 112 - 115 degrees while we were there so good air conditioning was very welcome. Ironically, the 114th anniversary of Willis Carrier designing the first modern air conditioner was July 17th while we were sweltering when outside. Thank you Mr. Carrier! The convention was non-stop action from registration on Saturday, July 16th, to the closing business on Friday, July 22nd. The theme, Never Quit, was indicative of the tone and tenor of our business conducted. We heard many stories of crap employers have tried to throw at members across the country from mandatory overtime to divide & conquer tactics. AFSCME members are on their game and thanks to the hard work of AFSCME Strong initiatives, members have been able to keep fighting. For those of you have attended the past three or four conventions, there was contention as members voiced their concerns and dissatisfaction with how the convention was run. That was gone this year. This convention was about building our union, bringing everyone to the table, taking care of our internal business so that we can fight the battles facing us with anti-worker forces chomping at the bit to break us up. This was very much evident when a resolution to support the legalization of marijuana passed with no speakers against it. Discussion on resolutions was factual and cordial. I believe that this convention was a turning point for some of the growing pains that we have shared for the past years. The other delegates - Brittany Bullock, Kathy Kelly, Paul Madison, Andrea Lazo-Rice and Grace Baltich along with our 1st Alternate, Linda Flykt, who attended this convention on her own time, were present for the daily business on the convention floor as well as the early morning workshops and caucuses. Your delegation rep-resented you well. The highlight for me, as a Council 5 Resolutions Committee guru, was the fact that we addressed and handled every single resolution as part of our convention. We did not pass any of them on to the AFSCME International Executive Board as we have done every single convention in my memory. We, the delegates who were elected by our respective locals to do the business of the union actually DID the business of the union. That is an accomplishment! Again, thank you. It was a wonderful convention and I was honored to represent you there. ~ Jean Diederich, President

Netroots Nation Convention 2016 - An Opportunity That Opened Many Doors: What I went to do, to bring back tools and resources to help amplify our member’s voices by gathering and exchanging ideas. Plus, learning how to be more effective in using technology to influence the public debate. What they told me to expect: Each year, thousands of bloggers, newsmakers, social justice advocates, labor and organizational leaders, grassroots organizers and online activists come together to make new connections, hone their organizing skills, share best practices and build stronger relationships with others working on the issues they care most about. And each year, some of the brightest minds in progressive politics come to Netroots Nation to speak with—and hear from—our community. What really happened: I learned and listened to a narrative I had not heard before. I obtained new tools to communicate with my brothers and sisters and learned to be an ally. I tell people my trip was not fun, because what I did there was grow. Growing and gaining knowledge in that space and time could not have been called fun, but it was invaluable to reminding me of why we do this work and who we are doing it for. My whole world is now open and exposed and I am left with a compassion and new awareness I couldn’t have gotten without this experience. I dealt with ideals, and anger. I dealt with hope and fear. I dealt with left and right, race, religion, politics, money, and, ultimately, the absolute need for things to change. ~ MiKayla Handley, Steward

Netroots Nation Convention 2016 - Progressive Organizing and More: Thank you for sending Mikayla Handley and I to the annual Netroots Nation Convention this year in St Louis, Missouri. Four days packed with panels, speakers, impassioned musical performances, and quality conversations about how to move people to change our nation for the better. I can assure you that MiKayla and I did not return to Minneapolis the same people as when we left. We listened in on panels that spoke on the importance of using statistical data and social media to better reach our community members, whether we are working within our own Local 34, or with committed movements within our neighborhoods. These methods were com-pared to traditional grassroots organizing, which encourages one-on-one conversations with each other to develop and project our communal voice in power. More importantly these panels spoke on how to use these two methods in conjunction with each other to further enhance and maximize our power to evoke sustainable change. We had the pleasure of listening to the #AskaSista panel, led by the amazing Dr. Goddess, which highlighted the need for diverse leadership, and lifted the women of color who have broken glass ceilings in the political realm, as well as pointed out the need for fair representation. During a forum focused on how to provide a space for our LGBTQ+ members a space for safety and expression, we were invited to participate in a local action of blocking one of the highways in St. Louis, in protest against police brutality. This invitation prompted a quality conversation MiKayla and I participated in about how we support the communities that host us, the residents, and speaking out against violence. I won’t tell you whether we participated in the action or not, but I invite you to reach out to MiKayla and I for the full story. Our experience at Netroots Nation was overwhelmingly positive, in that it was both overwhelming and positive. MiKayla and I spent our evenings debriefing about what we had taken away from the day, which brought about heavy conversations about how we can evoke change, on a micro and macro scale. One-on-one, quality, and respectful conversations with each other allow for us to learn and grow, and develop complex ideas about our current community. Organizing the groups can lead to a strengthening of power, a communal and undeniable voice, and an insurance that minority groups that are often under-served or neglected are given the chance to speak for change. Netroots Nation has helped me come back to Local 34 revitalized and more committed than ever to help Local 34 be the best local we can be. Reaching out to our members to fairly and accurately represent my coworkers throughout HSPHD will always be one of our primary missions, which guide us in creating a supportive and successful work environment. MiKayla and I would like to extend our most heartfelt thanks to Local 34 and all of its members for sending us to the Netroots Nation Convention 2016, and look forward to passing the torch in helping send members next year, which will be held in Atlanta, GA. ~ Christina Eichhorn, Member-at-Large

AFSCME International Convention 2016 - Uniting Fuels Inspiration: Sister’s and Brother’s, if you ever wonder if your actions make a difference, I tell you, they really do! While at the AFSCME International Convention in 112 degree weather in Vegas, THOUSANDS of AFSCME members marched to and picketed the Trump Hotel in support of the culinary workers who organized and have yet to negotiate their first contract. It was a phenomenal showing of solidarity and action. The very next day, the culinary workers reached a settlement with the Trump Hotel to rein-state and pay back pay to workers who had been illegally fired for their union activity!! This direct action, in addition to hearing Secretary Hillary Clinton and Reverend Doctor William J. Barber, II address the convention, has me fired up and ready to take action!! ~ Grace Baltich, Steward

AFSCME International Convention 2016 - Final Notes: As a delegate, I experienced the process of elections for International staff and regional Vice Presidents, discussions/voting for resolutions and amendments, seeing a Presidential Candidate for the first time, how tired you will be at the end of each day, the importance of appearance and support, having a good time, forming more/stronger relationships. ~ Brittany Bullock, former Member-at-Large

AFSCME International Convention 2016 - Many Thanks to the Membership for Allowing me to Serve Our Union: I was elected as a delegate to attend the AFSCME 42nd International Convention in Las Vegas Nevada. I was overwhelmed with the feeling of solidarity in the convention hall. There were thousands of our brothers and sisters in the hall but it certainly felt like we were ONE! The theme of the convention was Never Quit. Members shared their stories about how proud they are of the work they do and why they never quit. For the first time members received awards for their work of excellence in the areas of Public Service, Activism and Innovation. A total of 12 awards were given more in-formation about the members and their excellent work is available on the website Many resolutions were passed by the delegation but the one that stood out for me was the resolution for Racial Justice and Public Safety. President Saunders talked about how we can achieve law and order and racial justice if we all work together. Rev Dr. Barber addressed the delegation he asked everyone to join the “Moral Revival of Our Nation”. I was moved by his talk of economic and racial justice. The highlight of the convention for me was when Hillary Clinton spoke about her commitment to children and working families. Council 5 member Sharice McCain won the AF-SCME’s Got Talent contest. She sang “Killing Me Softly” I thought it was the Roberta Flack version, but I was told otherwise. I must be getting old! I was most inspired when we attended our sector workshop Child Support and Child Welfare. I found out how fortunate we are to be members of Local 34. Some of these folks around the country are in a world of hurt trying to organize their workers and resolve issues with management. Local 34 members shared our experiences addressing issues with our meet & confer process. We also shared success due to the hard work of our membership secretary organizing through AFSCME Strong and work done by our Chief Stewards developing a process to meet the needs of our members. Our brothers and sisters were amazed at all the good work you all do. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as a delegate and as always thank you for letting me serve the membership as Sr. Vice President of Local 34. I don’t take this privilege for granted and I will always do my best for my brothers and sisters. ~ Katherine Kelly, First Vice President


AFSCME Council 5 advocates for excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all workers.

AFSCME Local 34 Facebook is a closed group - Email Amanda Abell for an invite. 

AFSCME women make up close to 60% of the union’s membership.

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

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