As public employees and social services workers, our jobs and the clients we serve are highly impacted by politics at the local, state and federal level. By electing pro-worker candidates at all levels, we help ourselves at work and at home.
Powerful special interests and billionaires will always find ways to make their voices heard in politics. By participating in the political process and electing working class champions who share our values, we can keep valuable public health and human services funding at the County and State level that impacts us directly. When funding for health and human services goes away, so do our jobs. Well funded programs mean more jobs and better opportunities for us to serve people in need.
Politics impact us in every way imaginable. No matter how healthy or frugal Local 34 members are, our health insurance costs are part of a larger national healthcare market. Our pension plan, PERA, is negotiated by the State legislature. With enough votes, the State legislature can change our contribution percentage, how old we need to be to receive benefits, or even eliminate the program altogether! And this can happen at any time. Restrictive immigration policies can stop the American dream in its tracks for our members and the clients we serve.
AFSCME Local 34 will always be involved politically. AFSCME screens candidates running for office regularly with a West Metro and East Metro Candidate Screening Committees that are active during campaign time. This allows us to sit face to face with candidates who hope to receive the powerful AFSCME endorsement. AFSCME Local 34 also elects delegates to sit on the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation and St. Paul Regional Labor Federation.
Currently, AFSCME is calling on the 2018 Minnesota Legislature to:
- Support our freedom to join together in strong unions
- Extend opportunity to all, not just the wealthy
- Reinvest in the work we do
- Guarantee retirement security
- Staff up for safe workplaces
- Move forward on transportation
- Protect children and elders
- Ban private prisons