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summer of 2000 with support from Minnesota's labor
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AFSCME - Promoting
excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace with opportunity
and prosperity for all!
Local 34, P.O. Box 15222, Commerce Station, Mpls., Mn. 55415
is not about power. Politics is not about money. Politics is not
about winning for the sake of winning. Politics is about the
improvement of people's lives." ~ Senator Paul Wellstone
Election Day is Tuesday
places are open from 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Find out where
you vote and who is on your ballot!
the gains we've made for working families!
Local 34 retiree
Katie Farber talks with voter Harold Wachtier at his Eagan
home. Farber has been door knocking for AFSCME-endorsed
candidates in the south suburbs at least once a week since
May. In the past month, she’s been out two or three
times a week, with a goal of at least 90 doors each week.
is what democracy is all about - voting. There's so much
at stake this year for women, for students, for seniors
and for working families that every vote will matter. When
more people know the issues and get out to vote, then
democracy works - and we can help it work.
public employees, the people we elect determine the quality
of our lives and our livelihood. Our wages, benefits,
working conditions, health and safety, and even whether we
have jobs at all, are in the hands of officials who
influence our future. Unless, that is, we hold them
accountable. Our activism in politics is incredibly
the temperature is dropping, the election season is
heating up. Soon we will be voting to decide the future of
Minnesota. Will we keep moving our state forward for
working families? Which direction will your vote take
Minnesota on November 4th?
Dayton and DFL majorities have made astounding progress
during the last two years by creating an economy that
works better for everyone. They approved contracts with
pay raises for state employees. They raised the minimum
wage to lift hardworking families out of poverty. They
leveled the economic playing field for women. They made
sure every child has access to free all-day kindergarten. They passed property tax relief for middle-class
homeowners. They required the richest two percent to pay
their fair share of income taxes. They put same-sex
marriage into law. They voted to give child care workers the
choice to unionize.
And they turned a budget
deficit into a surplus! ~ AFSCME Council 5
Time off for voting on Election Day - November 4th
20 of our Local 34 Contract: “An employee who is entitled
to vote in any election, as defined in M.S. 204C.04, subd 2,
may absent himself/herself from his/her work for the purpose
of voting during such election day for a period not to
exceed two (2) hours without deduction from salary on
account of such absence, provided the employee has made
prior arrangements for the absence with the Employer.
Any employee making claim for time off for voting and
not casting a ballot or utilizing the time off for
unauthorized purposes shall be subject to disciplinary
let your supervisor know now if you plan to take the time
off for voting. S/he needs that time to make sure that
your team/unit has adequate staffing to meet your area’s
website makes voting easier than ever!
the new website launched by the Office of the Minnesota Secretary
of State, makes it easier than ever to vote in the November 4
elections. Minnesotans can register online, request absentee
ballots, find their polling places and more. Read
a list of candidates
endorsed by the AFSCME PEOPLE Committee.
you want to volunteer with other AFSCME members and
retirees to support candidates who support us, call
AFSCME Council 5’s Jon Grebner: 651-287-0587.
are the Hennepin County Board Candidates in 2014?
District 2, Linda Higgins is unopposed for re-election. In
District 3, recently-elected Marion Greene has survived both a
Special Election and a Primary already in 2014. She faces Jeffrey
Beck, who lived outside the District prior to October 1. And, in
District 4, long-time Board member Peter McLaughlin faces
community activist, “Captain Jack Sparrow” (yes, that’s his
has endorsed Commissioners Linda Higgins, Marion Greene and Peter
News From Your Union! Hennepin
County has agreed that there will be no premium
increase for all health plans in
2015. This is in part due to the extraordinary
performance of the self-insurance plan
negotiated four years ago. It also has to do
with members being healthier, so all those
wellness activities are starting to pay off.
Hennepin County Medical Center/NorthPoint is a new
network option available with Advantage! Find out
more about this network for Hennepin County
employees that will cost 10% less than the
Standard plan and 5% less than other Advantage
plans. You will need to have
your health incentive activities
completed before the end of the business day on
Care Open Enrollment Begins: November 10, 2014
Ends: November 25, 2014, 4:30 p.m. Open
enrollment is your opportunity to review your
benefits elections, make changes, enroll in
flexible spending and enroll or cancel eligible
dependents in your health or dental plans. During
open enrollment you can:
in or change health insurance plans.
in the voluntary dental plan.
or waive coverage for yourself or eligible
or re-enroll in a flexible spending account
(requires annual enrollment).
in the vacation-PTO cash out program.Donation!
At the October general membership meeting, the
Local approved a $500 contribution to the NSJ
Capital Fund to help pay for a bust of
Minnesota labor and feminist pioneer, Nellie
at the State Capitol.
Matt Nelson (Business Representative for Local
34) is currently working on four discipline cases.
There are three 5-day suspension grievances and
one written reprimand grievance. They are all
performance-related. The County always writes a
performance issue as insubordination. The County
is doing this so they do not have to pay
unemployment insurance. The County hopes the
employee does not appeal the denial of
unemployment benefits, as the State will usually
deny a claim if “insubordination” is the
claim. We recently had a member who was terminated
for performance (“insubordination”). The State
denied her case, but she was able to win after an
appeal. Performance-related issues are not
insubordination, and any member who is denied
unemployment for performance issues needs to
appeal their denial.
Issues of the Local 34 Newsletter!
The Executive Board has decided
that beginning with the October 2014 issue, our newsletter will no longer be distributed in paper
version to each individual member. The PDF version will be
made available to each of you through e-mail links
via unit representatives. We
are in the process of building an “e-tree” – similar
to a phone tree but with e-mail addresses – with a
contact from every team/unit in our local to receive
notices of the newsletter being ready, flyers, etc. and
then share them with the team/unit. If you are
willing to serve as that person for your unit, please send
an e-mail to Kay Powell, email@example.com.
Our goal is to be able to get our information shared
as quickly as possible.
Until that system is in
place you can contact our Newsletter Editor, Wesley
and he will email you a notice once the
newsletter has been posted on the Local 34
can also view all copies of our Local
dating back to 2002 on this website. A shorter
version of our newsletter will also be posted on
all union bulletin boards in your work areas.
Board Vacancy! On 11/19/14 the Local 34
Executive Board will hold a special election to
fill the vacant Executive Board Member-at-Large
seat. If you are interested in finding out the job
duties of that office, please let me know and I
will send the information to you. If you wish to
put your name forward for the election, contact me
by no later than Tuesday, November 18, 2014. The
meeting in held at 5:30 PM in HSB 917. ~ Jean
Diederich, Local 34 President
At the October General Membership meeting, the
Local approved a $500 contribution to the NSJ
Capital Fund to help pay for a bust of Minnesota
labor and feminist pioneer, Nellie
at the State Capitol.
Plus® Mortgage program,
with financing provided by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage
can help you with your mortgage needs whether you
are purchasing your first home, buying a new home,
or refinancing your current mortgage. Did you know
that in addition to all active & retired union
members, parents and children of union members are
also eligible to participate in the Union Plus
Mortgage program? Join over 200,000 of your fellow
union members and their families who have already
taken advantage of this fantastic opportunity and
these exclusive benefits. Call 1-866-802-7312
to talk with a Union Plus Mortgage specialist to
help you find the home financing that works for you
or request Union
Plus Mortgage consultation today.
~ Union Plus
wanted you to be the first to know about a brand-new
grant for union member veterans. The Union Plus
Mortgage Veterans Grants program will provide
qualified union member veterans with a $1,000 grant
that never needs to be repaid! This exciting program
launches November 1 and the funds are limited. The
American Dream of homeownership is too often out of
reach, especially for those of your members who made
sacrifices in protecting our country. Union Plus
wants to make the dream of homeownership more
affordable for hard working union members who have
served in our armed forces. The Veterans Grants
program, a NEW grant feature of the Union Plus
Mortgage program, provides qualified union member
veterans with a $1,000 grant that never needs to be
repaid to help offset the costs of a down payment.
sure you and your members don't miss out on
valuable offers like this by signing up for
the FREE union benefits e-newsletter, Union
You’ll be the first to find out about new
and updated benefits for working families
including scholarships, discounts and
financial services. The
Union Plus E-News is a free monthly
subscription. Read archives and samples of
Union Plus E-News here.
Reasons to Stay in Child Protection Social Work!
This is not a short-term career and the profession needs
experienced workers, so give it a good run. No two days
will ever be the same. The variety of children,
families, complex problem-solving, situations and
locations will keep your brain moving at a pace. You
will be in a process of continuous learning for as long
as you stay in the job. Read
Workers Mobilize for Higher Wage! Workers at
airports across the country have raised their wages to a
minimum of $15 an hour and sparked wage increase
campaigns in nearby cities. After Sea-Tac workers in
Washington won a ballot initiative to raise their wages,
a mobilization in nearby Seattle succeeded in passing a
$15 an hour minimum in that city. Workers at the Los
Angeles and St. Louis airports also won minimum wage
increases. Workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport
are organizing to do the same. Airport workers with 15
Now Minnesota members and supporters testified at the
monthly meeting of the Metropolitan Airports Commission
on Monday. They spoke to keep up the pressure on the
body to raise the wages of thousands of MSP workers, who
now make wages at or only a little above the current $8
an hour Minnesota minimum. Following the comments to the
commission, advocates marched through the airport and
rallied across the road from the terminal. Read
Minneapolis Unions Launch Campaign over Unsafe
Conditions At Ridgedale Center Mall! A 28-union
coalition is launching a “Shop at Your Own Risk”
campaign in Minnetonka warning of safety problems at the
Ridgedale Center shopping mall renovation project. The
unions are launching a mobile safety information
campaign aimed at mall customers after the mall owner
– General Growth Properties – failed to adequately
respond to the safety concerns. Dan McConnell is the
Business Manager of the Minneapolis Building and
Construction Trades Council. The Minneapolis Building
and Construction Trades Council has distributed letters
to businesses in the mall informing them of the safety
problems and the coming union campaign about them. The
union coalition is also launching a web site called “ShopAtYourOwnRisk.com”
to highlight the safety issues.
Parental Leave Policy! St. Paul is poised to become
the second city in Minnesota (after Brooklyn Park) to
offer paid maternity leave to city employees. A
resolution that has the unanimous support of the city's
seven council members "would provide four weeks
paid salary to the birthing employee mother and two
weeks paid salary to the non-birthing employee parent or
adoptee employee parent. Read
great day and thank you for visiting our union's website!