state can't give you freedom, and the state can't take it
away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears.
Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone
to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is
the degree to which you are free...” ~ Utah Phillips
Engagement and Outreach Committee!
We wish to remind and invite everyone to the upcoming EE&O meeting
which is this coming Monday evening March 30 from
5:30-7:00 in Room 111 of the Health Services Building
which is located at 525 Portland Ave S, Minneapolis.
What a great turn out at the Labor Lunch!
Thanks to all who were able to attend.
The Auditorium was filled with people who care
about their Union and their careers and being able to
deliver the best possible services to the residents of
Hennepin County and shared in serious discussion about how
this is impacted by wage theft.
The impact of wage theft is very damaging and the
information that was shared is powerful testimony that
this issue needs to be addressed.
This meeting is a follow up to the Labor Lunch that was recently held
regarding Wage Theft. We
will be reviewing information members have shared about
wage theft and how they are impacted.
As was discussed at the labor Lunch the data
collected is very important.
Be sure to continue to fill out the time sheets and
encourage your so-workers to fill out the time sheets.
When completed please refer to the information on
the back side of the time sheet on how or where you can
submit your time sheet. Again,
this data is important in helping all of us and united
together we can make a difference.
Have a great day and we hope you can attend the meeting on Monday March
30. ~ The Education, Engagement and Outreach Committee (EE&O)
of all six Hennepin County AFSCME Locals.
34 members created a “wish list” of issues they would
like to see addressed in Negotiations this year. They
range from wages to benefits to specific contract language
suggestions. One issue has already been dealt with by the
County Board - which approved a paid parental leave plan,
beginning May 1. All who participated in the GA meeting
process to develop these proposals are invited to
participate in the Master Committee, which will hold its
first meeting on Monday, April
join us in the Government Center Auditorium from 5:30 p.m.
- 7:30 p.m. You must be a full dues paying member to
participate and have your voice heard.
AFSCME members rally for quality of life in Minnesota
AFSCME Council 5 rallied in Saint Paul yesterday,
1,000-plus strong, calling for the legislature to adopt a
state budget that delivers quality of life for all
Minnesotans. The rally came the same day that Minnesota
House Republican leaders released a budget calling for
budget cuts to human services programs, despite a
projected state budget surplus of nearly $2 billion.
“They want to fill potholes with human services
workers,” charged Eliot Seide, executive director of
AFSCME Council 5. “Their plan is to fill the potholes
with your jobs,” said Seide, addressing the crowd of
AFSCME members at the Crowne Plaza Hotel as part Council
5’s “Day on the Hill.” Read
more at Workday Minnesota
Keeping the dream
alive - volunteers welcome!
24th marked the kick- off day to Council 5’s Month of
Service. That month will
culminate in a Day of Action, Celebration and Service on
Saturday, April 25th. We will meet at the
Martin Luther King Center, 270 N. Kent St, St Paul MN by
10:00 am for a spring clean-up of the Rondo neighbor-hood.
This action honors the sacrifices made by the 1968 Memphis
sanitation workers. This keeps alive our union’s legacy
with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. of gaining respect and
rights for all workers. The clean-up is followed by a meal
at 12:30 PM and ends with a celebration at 1:00 PM. The
keynote speaker will be AFSCME’s Bill Lucy, who helped
the Mem-phis sanitation workers in their fight to
organize. The day will end wrap up with the movie, “At
the River I Stand” which documents the Dr. King’s last
days in Memphis as he acted to settle the sanitation
34 has scheduled two volunteer events as our part in the
month of service. Please con-tact Kay Powell or me, via
email, to sign up to participate. We will have t-shirts to
wear that have “I Am A Man” to honor the Memphis
sanitation workers as we work on our projects to benefit
others. Your children can help – see age limits by the
first event is at Bridging-Roseville, 1633 Terrace
Drive, Roseville MN on Saturday, April 18, 2015 from
9:00 – Noon. We are looking for 10 – 15
volunteers. We will be providing general warehouse
assistance: loading and unloading trucks, sorting
through donated goods, rolling linens and re-stocking
shelves. Note: All volunteers must be 14 or older. Check
the Local 34 April Newsletter for additional
second event is at Second Harvest, 6325 Sandburg Rd,
Suite 1700, Golden Valley MN, on Tuesday, May 12, 2015
from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. We will pack food
at the ware-house. You must be over 8 to participate.
We need 15 volunteers for this event. Check the
Local 34 April Newsletter for additional information.
Workday Break - It’s your Right - you Deserve it!
the History of the Labor Movement and the Struggle for the
8-Hour Work Day! May 1st is International
Workers Day. Come and celebrate the benefits we enjoy
because of unions fighting for worker’s rights in the
Organized by the Action & Education Committee of
AFSCME Local 34 and Local 2822. Refreshments will be
May 1, 2015
at Century Plaza (Lunchroom), NW Hub (Lunchroom), North
Hub (Break Room), Government Center (Room A1412),
Brookdale (Meeting Room), Ridgedale (Room 172).
at South Suburban Hub (Room 174) and 1800 Chicago (Room
at HSB (Room 110) and FJC (3rd Floor)
to offer paid parental leave!
Hennepin County Board approved a policy to offer
paid parental leave to new parents. The county
policy will be implemented May 1, 2015 and
provides up to three weeks (120 hours) of 100
percent paid parental leave to eligible parents
following the birth or adoption of a child. The
policy will be used as a tool to attract and
retain employees and give parents additional
flexibility and time to bond with their new
children, adjust to their new family situations,
and balance their professional obligations.
to the National Partnership for Women and
Families, 12 percent of workers in the United
States had access to paid family leave through
their employers in 2014. Over the past several
years, Hennepin County has experienced an
increased number of retirements. Analysis of the
new hire demographic data shows 65 percent of all
newly hired employees fall between the ages of 20
information regarding policy details, eligibility,
application process, and FAQs can be found on the paid
parental leave web page.
Questions? Contact Human Resources Leave and
Accommodation Management (LAM) Office: Email: HR.LAM.Office@hennepin.us
34 2015 election results!
following individuals were elected by uncontested
President: Laura Ross
Secretary: Miguel Salazar
Steward: Kela Williams
Regional Labor Federation Delegates: Patrick Regan, Grace
Baltich, Kay Powell
Regional Labor Federation Alternates: Maggie Keating
Paul RLF Delegates: Kathy Kelly, Tony Parish, Deb
Konechne, Tywanna Gray
is one contested race for Executive Board Member at
Large: There are three open positions and four candidates:
Kenneth W. Garnier, Sharon Streeter, Angel Alexander,
Mohamed Falag. Voting for any
contested races will be done by mail-in ballot in the
following manner: Beginning Monday, March 30th a ballot
will be mailed to each member’s last known address. A
self addressed stamped envelope and a balloting envelope
will be provided to return the marked ballot. All offices
will be voted on by the general membership. Members will
have until Monday, April 27th to return their marked
ballot. Any ballots postmarked after April 27th will not
34 Vice President steps down!
so this is it. It has been an honor and a privilege to be
the Local 34 Vice President. I hope that I was always able
to bring your issues forward and give voice to concerns
that seemed to have fallen through the cracks so to speak.
I have always been amazed by how interconnected our work
is and how often several details of the interconnectedness
get over-looked. Sometimes I wonder when the powers that
be are planning change if they ask themselves, “If this,
then that?” And that’s the View for the Cheap Seats
for this month. For me this is a sign-off and as one of my
favorite characters would say, “Exit Stage Left.”
Thank you, Vicki Moore, Local 34 Vice President Note:
Laura Ross is the Local 34 Vice President Elect.
Local 34 staff representative!
Matt Nelson has served
as the staff representative to Local 34 for the past 15
years. Prior to that time, Matt was a Hennepin County
Financial Worker and Chief Steward for Local 34. A new
staff representative for our local is yet to be appointed.
We wish to convey our deepest thanks and appreciation to
brother Matt for all his years of service to the members
of Local 34. He will truly be missed! We wish him well in
his new assignment. Matt's last meeting with Local 34 will
be the May
6 General Membership meeting...stop by to
wish him well!
Nelson, who has been Local 34’s Business Representative
for about 15 years, when he re-placed Rita During at
AFSCME Council 5, is leaving us, as of April 1. His new
assignment will be to get Regions Hospital through its
difficult series of negotiations this year. As of this
writing, Matt’s replacement has not been announced. Matt
started here in Hennepin County in the mid-70s, as an
Eligibility Technician (later called Financial Worker and
now HSR). He was Chief Steward of Local 34 - in fact, he
recruited President Jean Diederich into being a Local 34
activist in her first year on the job. He next joined the
then-AFSCME Council 14, as a Business Agent, and was later
assigned to Local 34 in 2000, completing his circle of
AFSCME leadership! His steady guidance for the Local has
been appreciated, and will be missed.
Local 34 News!
meeting with Bill Peters of Labor Relations, the
Department Directors are confirmed as Appointing
Authority for Grievances (Article 28, Section 3 of the
Local 34 contract) - when we grieve Performance
Health Care Labor-Management Committee reports that
our reserve fund in the health care account continues
strong at $40 million. Our trends in Hennepin County
show that we are facing just a 2-3% increase in claims
while other jurisdictions have been averaging 8%.
stewards George Mokamba (South
Suburban Hub) and Bethlehem Beyene (Century
) were elected.
to attend the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix,
AZ in July were Kenneth W. Garnier and Tywanna Gray.
to represent the Local at the March 26 Nellie Stone
Johnson Dinner were Laura Ross, Kathy Kelly, Kenneth
W. Garnier, Tywanna Gray, Sharon Streeter, Leah Hicks,
Deb Konechne and Jean Diederich.
Movie Night “Wisconsin Rising” - April
16th, 6:00 p.m.,
United Labor Centre, 312 Central Avenue S.E., Mpls., Room
356 or 467. Wisconsin
Rising documents the largest sustained workers' resistance
movement in American history, telling the dramatic story
of how the people of Wisconsin occupied the State House
and the streets when Republican Governor Scott Walker
introduced legislation that stripped state employees of
their right to collectively bargain in the workplace,
undoing eight decades of basic workers' rights.
Happy Hour presents “Union Busting in Wisconsin”. May
14th, 5:00 p.m.,
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Minneapolis. Speaker:
Wisconsin AFSCME member Angela Morrow.
Family Picnic: August 16th,
Maplewood (Battle Creek Regional Park).
Board opens nominations!
5’s Executive Board is accepting nominations for
the following vacancy:
Metro District 6: Nominees must live in Anoka,
Carver, Hennepin, Scott, or Wright County (or
work in one of the counties if they do not
live in Minnesota). Friday April 10 is the
deadline to submit nominations for District 6
vacancies. Submit names to: AFSCME Council 5
Elections Committee, c/o Michelle Stein, 300
Hardman Ave. S, South St. Paul, MN 55075. The term
for all the seats runs through fall 2016.