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

AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Eliot Seide is being honored with the Paul D. Wellstone Award for Lifetime Commitment to Labor: Eliot has spent 38 years organizing with AFSCME members in Minnesota, New York and across the country. He has served as a legislative director, international area director, and currently serving as the Executive Director for the strong and powerful Council 5. As a graduate student, Eliot realized that he was tired of talking about making a difference and decided it was time to take action. In a labor-driven atmosphere, Eliot’s constant leadership and devotion to organized labor make him the perfect recipient for this award. 

"We never quit on our families, our communities, and the people who depend on us." ~ Eliot Seide


Political Opportunities  

Election Day is nearly here, and there’s still time to take action. 

October 22, 2016 (10:00 AM - 1:30 PM) door knock for our endorsed candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner in the 5th District, Debbie Goettel.  

Time for everyone to talk with Debbie before we head out.  Debbie Goettel is a third term Mayor of Richfield. She has lived in Richfield over 20 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, U of MN and completed masters studies in Environmental Sustainability at Harvard. She is married and has one son and three delightful grandchildren. Food before and after the door knock.

  • Details:

  • Date: Saturday, October 22, 2016

  • Time: 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM

  • Location: South Glen Playground parking lot (10701 Rich Rd, Bloomington, Minnesota 55437). 


Voters statewide in Minnesota will be allowed to cast early ballots beginning 9/23/2016. Anyone who is eligible to vote is able to vote in our Minnesota elections. No Excuse Voting is for everyone! For nine election cycles in a row, Minnesota voters turned out to the polls more than any other state in the nation. In fact, the state actually holds the all-time record for turnout, when 78 percent of registered voters showed up to cast a ballot in the 2004 election. Millions of dollars have already been spent on the campaign for control of the Minnesota Legislature, and millions more are coming. Reports released Wednesday showed the legislative caucuses and outside groups are spending and stockpiling lots of money, and aiming a lot of it at key races that are likely to determine which party has the majority in both the House and Senate.  

AFSCME endorsed worker-friendly candidates


Constitutional Amendment on Ballot!

Did you know there’s a constitutional amendment on the ballot this year? A lot of people don’t because there aren’t campaigns for and against like there were on the same-sex marriage and voter ID questions a few years back. This year the amendment involves how pay increases should be set for legislators. If voters approve the amendment a panel appointed by the governor and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court would decide how much lawmakers should be paid. By law, the members of the council would need to equally represent Republicans and Democrats. None of the members could be current or former lawmakers, state elected officials, lobbyists or state or judicial employees. Right now legislators vote on proposed pay increases for the next Legislature. 



Presidential Debates 

  • Third presidential debate (Wednesday, October 19)

Labor Lunch at Century Plaza

AFSCME Happy Hour 

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

Are You Up to Date?

Can your union reach you when you’re not at work? To make sure we can, we need your personal – not work – email and phone. Simply fill out the form on Council 5's website.

Labor Movie Night

This free monthly event includes a double feature Friday, October 21 of the documentaries Delano Manongs and Who Killed Vincent Chin? The first movie tells the story of the Filipino farm workers who started what became the national Grape Strike and helped form the United Farm Workers. Vincent Chin examines the aftermath of the murder of an automotive engineer who was mistaken as being Japanese and killed by an unemployed auto worker in Detroit. The event starts at 7 p.m. at the East Side Freedom Library in Saint Paul. Admission is free. Snacks, beer and soda will be available during the film; donations appreciated.

NOTE: ““Labor Movie Night” is sponsored by AFSCME Local 3800, AFSCME Council 5, AFSCME Council 5 Next Wave, AFSCME Locals 34, 552, 607, 1164 and 2822, IBEW Local 292, Teamsters Local 638, UNITE HERE Local 17, East Side Freedom Library and Minneapolis Labor Review.

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.

Scholarship Application

The AFSCME Family Scholarship for 2017 is now taking applications. Children of full dues-paying members can apply for one of 10 scholarships, worth $2,000 a year for up to four years. The postmark deadline is December 31. Download the form and learn more here.



  AFSCME Local 34                       Updated 10/17/2016


The whole purpose of democracy is for every person to have a say in what goes on, and when less than half the country is voting, not everyone’s voice is being heard. And when not everyone is being heard, that’s not a democracy.

Unity Day


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Together against bullying

“One of every four school-aged children will be bullied this year - upwards of 13 million students,” said Julie Hertzog, director of PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, which sponsors Unity Day and founded National Bullying Prevention Month in 2006. “It’s important these students know they are not alone and that they have the right to feel safe. By joining together and wearing ORANGE on Unity Day (Wednesday, October 19) we can send the unified message that we care about student’s physical and emotional health and that bullying will no longer be accepted in this society.”




America’s Communities Never Rest

Streets need cleaning. Families need care. Students deserve well-run schools, and our neighborhoods demand safety. That’s why people who work in public service never stop. This isn’t just a job. It’s a calling. Nobody does this work to get rich. It’s hard work, and it’s largely unsung. The work matters because it means something to make a community better. In fact, it means everything.

AFSCME believes that every person working to sustain their community better deserves respect.

We show ours through action - fighting to secure opportunity for AFSCME members wherever, and whoever, they are. We negotiate better pay and benefits because fighting for every member’s future is a form of respect. We educate about the issues that keep working families up at night because informed advocates command respect. And we organize because respect is offered to individuals who build power together.

When people in public service connect, big things happen. Fairness. Equality. Democracy.

AFSCME is the union that honors solidarity without conformity—drawing each member’s story into a force of experience and commitment that can’t be ignored. That’s how we win better lives for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country. For people proudly committed to the public service that makes America happen, we never quit. 




Never Quit at the Ballot Box  

With the November 8th election fast approaching, I’m asking you to BELIEVE.  Not just in a particular candidate’s ability to bring real change to Minnesota, but to believe in our union’s collective power to make our state work even better. United we can rise up for excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for every worker. Voting together, we can retire the politicians who have put greed ahead of public need.  We can defeat the foes who threaten our pensions and even our jobs as they slash public budgets and try to privatize our work. Exercising our power starts at the ballot box.  Please mark your calendar and plan to vote for AFSCME-endorsed candidates on Tuesday, November 8.

Our union and our elected allies are a powerful voice for working people.  In Minnesota, we taxed the rich and raised the minimum wage.  We gave everyone access to affordable health care and free all-day kindergarten.  We turned a budget deficit into a surplus.  Now more Minnesotans are working than ever before and our state is ranked best in the nation for business and job creation.

But we’re still facing incoming fire from corporate special interests and the right-wing politicians they carry in their pockets.  They’re not content just to slow us down; they want to take us out.  They don’t want to just weaken us; they want to destroy us.

To withstand these attacks, we need elected leaders – in the White House, state House and every city and county seat – who share our values and honor our work.

We’re lucky in Minnesota to have a governor like Mark Dayton who’s in our corner.  A governor committed to creating opportunity for working people…a governor who supports safe staffing…a governor who took out his veto pen when legislators tried to cut our pensions.

What we need to do now is send Governor Dayton more like-minded allies who want to get the job done.  This cycle, the full state House and Senate will be up for election.  To regain a pro-worker majority, we must protect the state Senate while gaining seven seats to win control of the state House. 

We need to restore the trifecta – the governor and both chambers – to move the needle further on important issues affecting working people.  I believe we can do it.

A pro-worker governor and Legislature could tackle the big challenges that working families say matter most: preparing every child for success with universal early education; helping students afford a college degree without a mountain of debt; adopting paid family leave so we can care for our infants and aging parents; and making infrastructure investments that ensure safe transportation and clean drinking water for everyone.    

It’s your choice how you vote, but please consider the candidates recommended by your co-workers who spend countless hours screening them and holding them accountable.  AFSCME backs candidates – Democrats and Republicans – who support our work and share our values.  

Our choices at the ballot box couldn’t be clearer and the stakes couldn’t be higher.  Elections matter, and this one really matters.

Election Day is less than three weeks away.  We need your time, your energy, and your shoe leather.  If you think you’ve knocked on enough doors, knock on a dozen more.  If you think you’ve made enough phone calls, make 20 more.  And if you’ve already contributed to our PEOPLE program, consider kicking in a little more and encourage others to sign up as well.

Candidates know one thing about AFSCME: We never quit on our families, our communities, and the people who depend on us.  Students are smarter, families are healthier, and our neighborhoods are safer when we have a voice in the halls of power.  We won’t relent until we elect leaders as good we are. ~ In solidarity, Eliot Seide, AFSCME Council 5 Director

To help elect pro-worker candidates, email in South St. Paul


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.

Workday Minnesota is a project of the Labor Education Service at the University of Minnesota. 

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

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