August Newsletter is now posted on our website!

Local 34 General Assembly meeting!  Scheduled for Wednesday, August 5, Health Services Building, Room 110, 5:30 pm.

Trash Dance! Trash Dance will be broadcast on PBS on August 4 at 8:00 p.m. Sanitation workers in Austin, Texas, worked with a choreographer to turn waste collection into a spectacular art. "“I have had people in screenings say they really appreciate their trash collectors now, and it makes them feel proud." Additional information about Trash Dance, is available at

A Community Gathering on the Voting Rights Act 50 Years Later! Come for an evening of learning, storytelling, and performance art. The event is free, open to the public, and we hope to see you there! Thursday, August 6, 6:00 PM – 8:00 p.m.,  Harrison Neighborhood Association, 503 North Irving Avenue, Minneapolis. RSVP for this event.

Make Your Voices Heard! Union retirees and other seniors plan to show up in force at an August 29 meeting of the Democratic National Committee in Minneapolis to demand that party leaders do more about older adults’ concerns, especially the need to strengthen Social Security, improve Medicare and assure a dignified retirement for all, including coming generations. When: Saturday, August 29, 10:00 a.m. - Noon. Where: Hilton Hotel, 1001 Marquette Avenue South. ~ AFL/CIO

Labor Movie Night

The next Labor Movie Night is scheduled for August 12, 6:00 p.m. at the United Labor Centre, 312 Central Ave SE with the viewing of ”Citizen Koch”!

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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Disciplined for Being Sick  Know your rights

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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 8/3/2015

AFSCME members!

We hope you and your loved ones are well and enjoying our beautiful Minnesota summer. We also want to remind you that this coming Monday August 3 is the next Education and Engagement and Outreach Meeting for all 6 AFSCME Locals in Hennepin County. The meeting will be held at the Health Services Building which is located at 525 Portland Avenue in Minneapolis. This is a very important time for our Union as we are preparing to negotiate the next labor contract with our employer. There are a lot of members that are working hard for OUR Union, but there is more work to be done and we need more help. Please join us on Monday for whatever amount of time you can spare and help us work on the next labor contract.   


We also want to invite you to attend the Hennepin County Commissioner’s Board Meeting the very next day Tuesday August 4 at 1:30 on the 24 Floor of the Hennepin County Government Center. During this meeting there will be Union Members speaking to the County Board to share information about current workplace concerns. These members are speaking on behalf of every one of our Union Members and we ask that you attend this meeting to show support to them and WEAR GREEN. The meeting begins at 1:30 but we ask people to gather @ 1:15 on the 24th Floor of the HC Government Center. We respect that everyone is very busy, but this is OUR Union and we must ALL work together. 


The Education and Engagement and Outreach Committee of Locals 1719, 552, 34, 2822, 2864, 2938.


Local 34 News Updates!

Local 34 Vice-President’s Report - Laura Ross! This has been an eye-opening month for me as a new VP. I have spent a good bit of time with members in various areas, not only learning the positives of their work areas, but interviewing people who are about to start the appeal or complaint process. Of the new people coming into Child Protection, a couple of them haven’t made it out of the induction unit, and a couple more have quit. With the news of 90—100 new CP workers being hired, it will be interesting to see how they will be able to hire so many qualified people, when there is talk in the community about the difficulties faced, and the pay scale is better in surrounding counties. This will make for interesting discussion coming into the contract negotiations!

The next Local 34 General Assembly meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 5, Health Services Building, Room 110, 5:30 pm.

Hennepin County Negotiations with AFSCME for the 2016-2017 contract begin on August 10.

A series of public meetings have been scheduled regarding Hennepin County's 2016 budget and property tax levy. There will be presentations from county staff to the county board about the proposed budget, followed by public comments on the proposed budget. Read the August Local 34 newsletter for specific dates and times.

Currently there are 36 active stewards in Local 34 - we have 9 available positions. Contact our Chief Stewards if you might be interested.

The next meeting for AFSCME MN Next Wave is scheduled for September 12, 11:00 a.m. at the Council 5 office in St. Paul.

The AFSCME Council 5 picnic takes place Sunday, August 16 at Battle Creek Regional Park in Maplewood. Bring potluck items or a dessert to share! To learn more: Contact Duane Gatzke at 651-472-2787 or  

AFSCME Veterans Signup!

We are working to identify which of our leaders and members are veterans of U.S. Military service so that we may communicate with you about issues that matter to veterans. Please fill out this form so that we can get in touch

Minimum Wage in Minnesota! 

On August 1, 2015, the minimum wage will increase again for Minnesota employers. Here’s what employers need to know about the minimum wage increase that will soon take effect: Large employers – whose gross annual volume of sales made or business done is $500,000 or more – will need to pay a minimum wage of at least $9.00 per hour. Small employers – whose gross annual volume of sales made or business done is less than $500,000 – will need to pay a minimum wage of at least $7.25 per hour.  

Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: A Tale of Two States!


Now that he’s officially running for President, let's take a look to see just how disastrous Scott Walker has been for Wisconsin’s economy. While Walker was busy busting unions and redistributing wealth to the richest 1%, Minnesota Governor Dayton was investing in education and expanding collective bargaining. Read more!

Union Momentum Catching Public Eye! 

Headlines across the country are pointing out the momentum that our union, AFSCME, and others are gaining. Why? Because Americans are fed up with the deck being stacked against them and they’re seeing how unions are the answer – bringing better pay, benefits and even happiness! We’ve signed up more than 140,000 new members during the past year. Read more about a big threat that’s looming with the Supreme Court and learn how you can help make a difference. Read more!

What’s Outrageous? 

Apparently living wages. Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis, who gets approximately $4,889 an hour, says $15 an hour for low-wage food industry workers is outrageous. “Absolutely outrageous.” But lest you think of Travis as some greedy cretin from a century or two ago who doesn’t believe in living wages for workers, he wants to set you straight. He would be perfectly OK with $12 an hour, since he thinks that’s a more realistic living wage. Problem is, Dunkin’ Donuts pays workers an average of $8.99 per hour. So in Dunkin’ Donuts CEO Nigel Travis’ world, $4,889 an hour for the boss is just fine, while paying workers $15 an hour is somehow bad. He says it would prevent Dunkin’ Donuts from hiring new workers. Nigel could fix that problem himself. He could drop his pay to $150 an hour and use the rest to hire 315 more workers.

Stomp out the Rights Of Average People! 

Another day in America and another billionaire is trying to use political power to stomp on worker rights. This time it’s Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner. He’s proposing legislation to kill collective bargaining for public workers and to freeze their wages for five years. He also wants to get workers to switch their pension plans to something that pays them less in retirement. The Illinois legislature is controlled by Democrats so Rauner’s attack on public worker collective bargaining in Illinois isn’t likely to succeed. The Illinois AFL-CIO says “Instead of continuing his one-man political campaign to stomp out the rights of average people, Governor Rauner should be working with legislators of both parties to find real solutions and revenue for the critical programs Illinois families depend on.”

Hennepin County should care about the workers the way we care about our communities!

Join Us! On July 21st, the County Commissioners told us they would not let us speak. Over 60 members from the six Hennepin County locals turned out to be a powerful presence. We requested a mere 12 minutes for 4 speakers, but the Board said they did “not have the mechanism” to allow that. Instead we were told to come to the next open forum at the  County Commissioner Board Meeting on Tuesday August 4, 1:30 pm on the 24th Floor of the Government Center. Please Join Us on August 4th to have our message heard loud and clear. Commissioners need to hear about the personal and public cost of inadequate staffing and excess workloads as well as our concerns about workplace respect, safety, forced use of personal phones and other concerns. Some members from many of the six Hennepin County locals will be doing three minute presentations. All are welcome to make a three minute presentation to the board, to show we are interested in the upcoming contract negotiations and to request their support of us so that we in turn may be able to do to our best to serve Hennepin County. Most important is to be there, to show that we care about our work conditions and that we are engaged! Please wear green!! Please pass this on to other coworkers. Thank you! EE&O Committee of the six Hennepin County Locals

Education, Engagement, and Outreach! Our contract campaign is already starting with events planned by our EE&O Committee. We welcome all members to join us as we work on those plans and come up with ideas to involve folks at every work site. Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 3rd, 5:30 PM in HSB L14/L15. Food is provided so you can feed your creativity as you come up with a game plan. Any questions that you have about EE&O should be directed to Norm Meier, Chair. He can be reached at 612-348-5735.


The County works because we do, and we do good work.  

Supplemental Negotiation Proposal! Our Local 34 members who attended the Master Committee meetings met mid-July to craft our Local 34 supplemental proposal – taking all the ideas and suggestions offered by you that are specific to our job classes and the work that we do. That supplemental proposal, along with the supplemental proposals from the other locals, will then be added to the general proposal for the finished document.  

2015 Contract Negotiations Schedule! August 10th - (Union’s first proposal), August 24th - (Management’s first proposal and debate begins), September 3rd , September 14th , October 8th , October 15th, November 2nd, November 16th.  

Table Team! Our Local 34 Table Team, the folks who will represent us in negotiations, were appointed at our General Assembly meeting. Our Table Team members are Jean Diederich, Alex Erickson, Kenneth W. Garnier, Tywanna Gray, Kathy Kelly, Maggie Keating and Brenda Louise.

Negotiation Changes! County Benefits Manager Jeremy Zajicek is leaving the County and Labor Relations Director Bill Peters will be retiring as of September 11, 2015, and will not be leading this year’s Negotiations with AFSCME. This means that in the Fall, the AFSCME Business Representatives will be new, the County Board Chair will be new, and the County’s Labor Relations Director will be new - should be an interesting Fall!

Look for the Contract Survey! A 2015 contract negotiations survey is coming to a work site near you soon. We will be talking to our fellow members about issues that are important to us as we work on our contract proposal. We are asking for home email and phone numbers so we are able to spread any news, get notices of actions, ask for feedback, etc., in a speedy fashion. Please take the time to fill out the survey when we stop by.

Have a great day and thank you for visiting our union's website!