Benefit Aids Corrections Officer

A benefit to help pay the medical bills of AFSCME Local 1539 member Mark Baker takes place February 28th in Frederic, Wisconsin Baker is recovering from an auto accident in which he was submerged in an icy creek in Pine County for four hours. His car apparently spun out on a snowy road while he was on his way to work in Rush City.

Three months later, Baker continues to suffer the effects of a brain injury and still has limited use of his left arm and leg. He will not be able to return to work.

Baker is a corrections officer in Rush City Local 1539. He is also a former member of Stillwater Local 600, and was a field representative at Council 5 before returning to corrections last year. Read more

The next Labor Lunch will be held on March 19 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Location is the GC Auditorium. 

United Labor Center, 

 312 Central Ave. SE

Third Friday of the month, 6:00 pm 

Room 356 or 467

Snacks, beer and soda will be available during the films. Donations appreciated!

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

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 Most Important Numbers of 2014! 2.65 million: The number of jobs that have been created in 2014, more than in any other calendar year since the 1990s.

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AFSCME - Promoting excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace with opportunity and prosperity for all!

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


AFSCME Local 34                                                               Updated 1/31/2015

The February Edition of the Local 34 Newsletter has been posted!


Join us to support our neighbors and community members affected by domestic violence by helping assemble much-needed hygiene kits for families housed at two Twin Cities shelters. This should only be a two hour commitment.

South Suburban Labor Council Project in conjunction with United Way


1000 East 80th Street, Bloomington, MN

Monday, February 2, 6:00 PM

North Suburban Labor Council Project in conjunction with United Way  

Alexandra House

10065 3rd Street Northeast, Blaine, MN

Thursday, February 5, 6:00 PM

In addition, if you are interested in helping donate full-size items for the kits, we are looking for: toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, razors & shaving cream male, razors & shaving cream female, aerosol hairspray.  

For more information on the projects, donations, or to RSVP for either project (we need your name ahead of time for secure access to site) contact:

Graeme Allen 612-321-5672

Doug Flateau 612-379-8133

The organizer, Doug Flateau is asking people to RSVP - if we get a lot of volunteers, he will purchase more items to be assembled into the hygiene kits.


AFSCME News / Events

Forward Together 2015! Join us for TakeAction's Annual Meeting and Progressive Carnival on Saturday, February 28th from 10:30am to 1:30pm. A chance to gather with TakeAction members to look back at the past year and launch our work for the future. This year we will be unveiling and launching our 5 year agenda - a bold vision for what we want to win and build in the next 5 years. And don't forget the progressive carnival, a chance for organizations from across the progressive movement to come together and talk about their work. Free food, childcare, and fun provided! Register to Attend. When: Saturday, February 28, 2015, 10:30 AM - 1:30 PM. Where: Cedars Hall, 602 University Ave NE, Minneapolis.

AFSCME Day on the Hill this year will be held on Tuesday, March 24th. This event will be held at the Crowne Plaza in St Paul with a plenary session and workshops in the morning and lobbying at the Capitol in the afternoon. The day is capped off with a reception in the evening. It is our opportunity to join our fellow AFSCME neighbors in talking to our legislators about our concerns and issues. A motion was passed to send up to 34 members. The election will be held at the February 4th General Assembly meeting.

Month of Service - Keeping the Dream Alive! Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis in 1968 after marching with our fellow AFSCME members, the sanitation workers who were on strike as they fought to improve their lives by improving their working conditions. To commemorate the sacrifices of the sanitation workers and Dr. King, Council 5 is organizing a “month of service” this spring. The goal is a unified, statewide effort showing how we AFSCME members improve lives in our communities when we are off the clock. The plan is for members to take part in a volunteer or community service activity where we work or live between March 25th and April 24th. It all concludes with a one-day project and celebration in the Twin Cities on Saturday April 25.   We can do this with coworkers, families and friends and may be some-thing that we are already doing such as keeping our block clean, serving in a food kitchen, helping at your child’s school, etc. We will discuss this at the February 4th General Assembly meeting. Please bring your suggestions for possible activities to the meeting.

Education, Engagement, and Outreach! The EE&O Committee will next meet on February 9th at HSB 110. They are focusing on a next Labor Lunch topic of Wage Theft/Working off the Clock, a topic our Local 34 newsletter discussed in January. Local 2822 has created a Timesheet Calculator to determine if you are working off the clock.  

Labor Movie Night! February 20 - Killing Floor—Two African-American men migrate from the rural south to Chicago during World War I and land jobs in a packing house. They respond very differently to the challenges presented. The film deals forthrightly and pretty effectively with racism in the workplace and the union and ends with the 1919 riots and their aftermath.  

The next Labor Lunch will be held on March 12 from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Location: Hennepin County Government Center Auditorium.

Minnesota Union Women’s Retreat will be held April 22 – 24, 2015 at Ruttger’s Bay Lodge near Brainerd, MN. This event is geared towards mobilizing women to improve their workplace, union and community. A motion was passed to send up to 6 members to this event. The election will be held at the February 4th General Assembly meeting. Read more at Workday Minnesota.

Netroots Nation will be held in Phoenix, Arizona July 16 -19, 2015. The central topic for this year is immigration and social media’s ability to effect change in the existing policies. A motion was passed to send up to 2 members to this event. The delegates will be elected at the March 4th General Assembly meeting. Please plan to attend that meeting to put your name forward and to let us know your plans for utilizing the experience and knowledge gained to help our local continue our growth.  

Giving Women Leaders Opportunity! AFSCME International is accepting applications from local officers and activists for the 2015 Women’s Leadership Academy. The academy includes a five-day orientation June 22-26 and a three-day finale in December. In between, participants must complete a campaign project in their local or council, and take part in frequent webinars and other networking. Details: More information on qualifications, who is responsible for which costs, and the application process is available online. Applications are due March 7.  

Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarships – A Labor and Education Partnership! Applications for the 2015-2016 academic year are now being accepted. The Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship is available to minority students from union families attending or planning to attend one of the 31 technical colleges, community colleges and/or state universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System. Applications must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2015 to be considered. Read more

Local 34 Elections! Wes Volkenant is the Elections Chair for 2015 with Vicki Moore as Nominations Chair. Nominations will be taken at both the February and March General Membership meetings. If you have been a dues paying member of Local 34 for one year, you are eligible to seek an office. 2015 officer election notice

Negotiations is About to Get Started! Here is a brief refresher of how AFSCME negotiations work in Hennepin County: Each of the seven AFSCME locals - 34, 552, 1719, 2822, 2864, and both parts of 2938 - combine together as the Hennepin Policy Committee to organize our negotiations, any potential strike and the educational/action efforts during negotiations. Any member of Local 34 in good standing may be part of the large “Master Committee” the next few months, developing our proposals for the next contract. From this group, each local chooses a small number (usually 5-7 for Local 34) to be on the “Table Team.” The Table Team meets face-to-face with the Employer’s representatives, and later through a mediator, to reach an agreement by November. The Master Committee then meets again and recommends acceptance or rejection of the offer. Contact Jean Diederich, President, Local 34 if you are interested in learning more or becoming involved in negotiations.

Do You Have What it Takes to Put Out a Local 34 Newsletter Each Month? Editor Wes Volkenant recently informed the Local 34 E-Board that he intends to step down as Editor sometime in 2015, if the Local finds an interested member who’d like to take on this opportunity – or challenge, and if the Local decides to continue putting forward a regular newsletter for its membership. Perhaps my successor might be you! If you’re interested, Wes would be happy to show you what he does each month to put these editions of the newsletter before the membership. E-mail Wes or President Jean Diederich to express your interest!

Did You Get Our Text? AFSCME Council 5 is launching a text message alert network. Messages will update members about legislative action they can take – and help us coordinate our actions and locations during rallies and other events. To sign up: Text MN5 to 237263, then follow the prompts.  



  • AFSCME defied the odds last year and grew by nearly 132,000 members, thanks to the hard work of rank-and-file members who volunteered to talk with their fellow workers. This is how we can rebuild the middle class, by staying involved.

  • Governor Dayton presented his 2015 Transportation proposal last Monday. His proposal would bridge the $6 billion State highway transportation funding gap over the next 10 years by raising new dedicated revenues for roads and bridges.

  • Ida M. Fuller became the first person to receive an old-age monthly benefit check under the new Social Security law. She paid in $24.75 between 1937 and 1939 on an income of $2,484. Her first check was for $22.54.

  • The Rebuild America Act, a five-year plan to rebuild America's infrastructure, would spend a trillion dollars in a bid to create roughly 13 million jobs. The bill would make specific targeted investments over a five year period to rebuilds roads, bridges, passenger and freight rail, transit, broadband, the electrical grid and national parks.


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