AFSCME Council 14, Local 34 by 751945


									                                                                     AFSCME Council 14, Local 34
          April, 2003
                                                                    Hennepin County Social Services
                                                                        and Related Employees

                                                                         Mark Your Calendars!
                                                                              Wednesday, April 9
                                                                              Local 34 Elections
                                                                     Multiple locations, hours, contested seats
                                                                    Your Vote is important to the Local!

       April General Assembly                                 From the Desk of the President, Jean Diederich
                                                            “The reason I talk to myself is that I’m the only one whose answers I
      Wednesday, April 2, 2003                                                    accept.” – George Carlin
                    5:15 pm                                Maybe it is an age thing but the older I get, the more I talk to myself as
    Health Services Bldg, Room 112                         I work through a problem on the way to a solution or the acceptance
                                                           that it is beyond my ability to affect the outcome of the situation. If
                                                           you have passed me in the hall or been on an elevator with me, you
                                                           may have heard my mumblings and wondered what was up. Along
                                                           with the rest of you, I have been trying very hard to think of methods
                                                           that the County could use to address the budget shortfalls that are
                                                           anticipated and how to convey to my legislators my displeasure with
                                                           the bind that we are in as well as trying to provide possible alternatives
         May General Assembly                              to the proposals currently on the table. Muttering can be a good thing.
        Wednesday, May 7, 2003                             So far, I have decided that I will not be leaping tall buildings or
5:15 pm—Health Services Bldg, Rm 110—note change           stopping trains but I can and have contacted my representatives to
                                                           share my thoughts and concerns. The response received has been one
Also note May E-Board meeting of the 21st will be at the   of thanks for taking the time to contact them and for the ideas given.
                  JJC, in Room 8                           This was reinforced when we participated in Day on the Hill, March
                                                           13th. Each legislator to whom I spoke stated that they paid close
 Special accommodations will be made                       attention to the correspondence from their constituents. They had
 for our physically challenged members.                    received valuable insight into the daily work done by public employees
 Please call 879-3681 or 348-0266 if                       and the probable effects that the lack of funding will have on the work
                                                           that they, the employees, do. So, keep up your good work of staying in
 arrangements need to be made.                             touch with your representatives as it is having an affect on their views.
                                                           The most recent issue of the PERA newsletter had some important
                                                           information about our pension monies. One of the proposals for
         To Contact Newsletter Editor:                     addressing the state's shortfall is to give our employers a "holiday" on
       Call or e-mail-- Wesley Volkenant                   the employer contribution towards this fund.
       612-596-6552 CP 1-East mc 630                       Continued on Page 2
                                                             President’s Message Continued from Page 1
Local 34 Officers & Stewards
                                                   As the article, written by Terri Heaton, President of the PERA Board of
President:                                         Trustees, states, cutting that contribution will create a problem down the
Jean Diederich          348-0266                   line as the less money that is invested, the less the returns will be. You
Professional Vice President:                       should make sure to take the time to read the newsletter and let both
Andrea Lennox           348-0237                   the PERA Board and your legislators know your thoughts on any changes
Para-Professional Vice President:                  to the contribution system. If you are not receiving the PERA newsletter,
Bob Velez               348-4869                   you can contact PERA at 1-800-652-9026 or 651-296-7460 or FAX,
Professional Chief Steward:                        651-297-2547.          If you wish to visit their website, it is
Cliff Robinson          348-7542          Take the time to protect your future.
Para-Professional Chief Steward:
Dennis Miller           348-6949                   Thanks to all of you who called with your questions about your seniority
Secretary:                                         date. Our Business Agent, Matt Nelson, will present all the problems
Nancy Fleming-Norton    879-3681                   with the list to the Labor Relations Department. One of the lessons from
Treasurer:                                         this process has been that the Employer does need to clarify the term
Elizabeth Portlance     596-8925                   "reinstating seniority." Too many members told me the same thing—
Membership Secretary:                              that they had been promised that they would get their seniority back
Kelley Leaf             596-6963                   when they were reinstated so they understood that to mean that their
Sergeant-At-Arms:                                  original hire date was their seniority date. The Employer can reinstate
Vicky Moore             348-7532                   previous accrual rates for benefits but, per Article 6, Sec. 1 of our
Professional Members-At-Large:                     contract (page 8) "Seniority is the employee's length of service for the
Andrea Lazo-Rice        348-3188                   EMPLOYER from the most recent date of employment, re-employment or
Evelyn Nelson           348-6389                   reinstatement." We will address this issue with the Employer when we
Para-Professional Members-At-Large:                discuss our other concerns about the list.
Laura Weikum            522-0471
Wes McGee               348-2015                   Last, but not least, the March 5, 2003 General Assembly approved the
Members-At-Large:                                  appointment of the following to the Local 34 Table Team for
Laurie Simon            348-8961                   negotiations: Jean Diederich, Andrea Lennox, Bob Velez, Kelley
Donna Dregger-Holmes    348-5165                   Leaf and Cliff Robinson. This appointment is being earlier than our
Stewards:                                          traditional appointment based on the possibility of doing a shortened
Shannon Wesley 348-9558, Century Plaza             version of negotiations this year. The nine Hennepin County AFSCME
Hai Jay Vu        596-7350, Century Plaza          locals created a steering committee for negotiations and, based on the
Mohamud Noor 596-8636, Century Plaza               issues facing us this year, agreed that meeting with the Employer to
Steve Schoch      596-9017, Century Plaza          discuss entering negotiations early would be to the benefit of all.
Diane Fossen      302-4700, Pilot City Med Ctr     Our first meeting with the Employer is scheduled for March 20, 2003.
Joe Arrington     348-0230, Juvenile Justice Ctr   As more information is available, updates will be provided.
Terry Grace       348-7308, Juvenile Justice Ctr
Christine Brown 348-6703, Family Justice Ctr       Fight on - fight hard - fight back!
JoAnn Elston      348-6977, Govt Center A15
Eleanor Kowalczyk 348-5942, Govt Center A16        Jean
Zachary Rice      821-4530, Sabathani
Monica Jochmans 348-4192, HSB 5
Lisa Durkot       596-6729, HSB 5                                  Coming in May… A Union Party
Brian Backberg 348-3096, HSB 10                                              by Andrea Lazo-Rice
Charissa Bryant 348-2249, HSB 10
Patricia Sheppo-Eyrich 348-6927, HSB 11                                  Fun, Food and Music!
Steve Heckler     287-3406, 1011 W. Broadway
Linda Etim        287-7033, 710 W. Broadway
                                                           A Union Party is scheduled for May 9th, 2003 at the
Barb Matos        998-0049, MHP                                          North Star Crown Plaza.
Jeff Meyer        348-5338, AY McDonald                         Music will be announced at a later date—
Barb Garland      879-3555, 1800 Chicago                     we are in the process of choosing a live band.
Dennis Moore      879-3560, 1800 Chicago
                                                            Admission is free for dues-paying members.
Shelley Koski     952-974-2412, Cty H School
Stephanie Cartwright 952-949-4698, Cty H Sch                  There will be door prizes and other activities.

                    Council 14 Business Representative: Matt Nelson                      651-287-0578
o                                       e-mail Matt at:

                        News from the March General Assembly—March5, 2003
   MAT (Member Action Team) presentation given by Rita During, Council 14 staff. The Executive Board has approved an all day
    training session for the officers, stewards and other persons as designated by the President to learn more about MAT. The training is set
    for April 3, 2003.

   Motion passed to recognize Lucy Olson, retiring Social Services Supervisor and former Local 34 President, with a Local 34 t-shirt and
    travel alarm clock as she retires from Hennepin County.

   Nominations for officers completed by Patrick Regan - see his report below, for a complete list of results.
   Elections held for Day on the Hill - see page 8 of the newsletter
   Council 14 Convention - see page 8 of newsletter for a list of Local 34 attendees
   Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship dinner - selected to attend were Charissa Bryant, Elizabeth Portlance, Joe Arrington, John Bowman,
    Laurie Simon, Nancy Fleming-Norton, Wes McGee, and Steve Schoch
   CBTU (Coalition of Black Trade Unionists) Convention - selected to attend were Andrea Lazo-Rice, Charissa Bryant and Wes McGee.

   Motion passed to donate five Local 34 t-shirts and five Local 34 travel alarm clocks to the Silent Auction for the Nellie Stone Johnson
    Scholarship Dinner.

   Motion passed to purchase software for the Local 34 web site computer at cost of $35.00 – Windows Trace Remover.

 Motion passed to purchase 50 berets with Local 34 Snake logo and AFSCME Local 34 at a cost of $750.00 which includes the start-up
  costs for lettering and logo.

      Nominations for Local 34 Officer Positions— Election to be held April 9, 2003
                These are the nominations for Local 34 Officers for the 2003 elections:

Uncontested Positions:
President: Jean Diederich
Professional Vice President: Andrea Lennox
Financial Secretary/Treasurer: Patrick Regan
Co-Chief Steward (Professional): Clifford Robinson
Sergeant-at-Arms: Vicki Moore
Para Professional Executive Board-at-Large (2): Joe Arrington & Elizabeth Portlance
Executive Board-at-Large (2): Charissa Bryant & Donna Dregger-Holmes

Contested Positions:
Para-Professional Vice President: Bob Velez & Dennis E. Miller

Co Chief Steward (Para-Professional): Wes McGee & Kelley Leaf

Professional Executive Board-at-Large: Andrea Lazo-Rice, Chalmers Davis, & Ibrahim Adam

Recording Secretary: Nancy Fleming-Norton & Evelyn Nelson

Positions Where There Were No Nominations:
Membership Secretary
Trustee (3 yr Term)

Central Labor Union Council Delegates (7) (note—all 7 Delegate slots were filled, so no CLU contest)
Vicki Moore, David Heins, Nancy Fleming-Norton, Wes McGee, Donna Dregger-Holmes,
John Bowman, & Elizabeth Portlance. Alternates (8): Kelley Leaf

               New to the County?                                                       Good and Welfare
                                                                     The Good and Welfare Committee was established to send
       Just transferred into Local 34?                               remembrances to dues paying members at times of happiness or
                                                                     sorrow. This includes marriages, the birth or adoption of a child,
To sign up as a full union member or for Delta                       prolonged illness or hospitalization, or the death of a member,
 Dental Insurance, or to get answers to your                         immediate family member or significant other.
  questions about AFSCME and membership
                                                                     In the case of surgery or prolonged illness, or for the
benefits, please complete this form and send it
                                                                     birth or adoption of a child, balloon bouquets, flowers
                                                                     or plants can be sent to a member.
       Kelley Leaf, Membership Secretary                             In situations involving the death of a member or a
      Family Justice Center, Mailcode 890                            death in the family of a member, memorials can be
                                                                     sent. (“Family” is defined the same as in Article 16-
                                                                     Funeral Leave- in our contract; it includes: spouse, child,
Name _______________________________                                 significant    other,    father/mother,      sister/brother,
                                                                     grandparent/child, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew, or person
Job Title ____________________________                               regarded as a member of the member’s immediate
Work Location _______________________                                In the event of members getting married, retiring,
                                                                     gaining U.S. citizenship, or for a death in the
Mail Code ___________________________                                family of a member or in the case of the death of a
                                                                     member, a card can be sent to the family.
Phone _______________________________
                                                                     Please send all requests for remembrances to one of the
                                                                     Co-Chairs for the Good and Welfare Committee. The Co-
                                                                     Chairs are Lisa Durkot, Barb Gassler, and Terri
I’m especially interested in:                                        Huston. The referrals must include the name of the
                                                                     member and the reason for your request. If the request
   I want to sign up as a full member                               is for a plant, flowers, or a balloon bouquet, you will also
   I want to sign up for Delta Dental                               need to include the person’s home phone number for
                                                                     delivery purposes.

                Are you interested in setting the Local 34 website as your Microsoft Explorer home
                 page? If so, go to the website address listed above. Click on “Tools” in the menu
                  bar at the top of your page. Select “Internet Options.” Under the “General” tab,
                find the option for Home Page, and copy the Local 34 address there. The next time
                  you bring up your Internet connection, the website will be your new Home Page.

                         Do You Have Friends Who’d Like to Receive Our Newsletter?

                                                     GET UPDATES!
    There is now a quick and simple way for you to get informed on a wide variety of issues concerning AFSCME Local 34. Just
    sign yourself up for our free on-line newsletter! Please follow the instructions below:

    > Send an email to the following address:

    > In the Subject Line or the Text, just say “Subscribe to 34 Newsletter”, and send it off

    > You will get a confirmation email sent to you within 3 days

    Note: If, at any time, you want to stop receiving these updates, all you have to do is send an email to, state “Unsubscribe” in the Subject Line or Text, and your name will be automatically removed from
    the list.
                                  From the Local 34 Website:
                        For Netscape users, you may need to press “Reload” to get the most updated version.

  After 30 years as a Hennepin County employee, Lucy Olson retired at the end of March. A
 party was thrown in her honor on Friday, March 28, 2003. Lucy is a past president of Local
 34 and has remained a steadfast advocate and friend of the Union even after her promotion
                          to Social Services Supervisor years ago.
                                     Good wishes, Lucy!

                     Minnesota AFL-CIO Scholarships & Martin Duffy Adult Learner Award
The Minnesota AFL-CIO will award five (5) scholarships in 2003 to graduating high school seniors who are union members or the
dependents of union members. The scholarship application deadline is April 20. Minnesota AFL-CIO scholarship applicants must
have at least a "B" average and must plan to attend a college or technical school that is located inside the state of Minnesota.
Scholarship recipients will be chosen by lot from the pool of eligible applicants; recipients will be notified of their awards by May 15,
2003. Please call Tim Geelan, organizing director of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, if you have questions about these scholarships. Tim
can be reached at (651) 227-7647 or WATS 1-800-652-9004. You can email Tim at

The Martin Duffy Adult Learner Scholarship Award is a scholarship awarded to Minnesota union members who are affiliated with the
Minnesota AFL-CIO or the Minnesota Teamster Joint Council 32. All scholarship funds are applicable only to Minnesota education
institutions. Deadline is April 30, 2003.

                                                                 Thank you
Dear Local 34,
On behalf of the Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Program, the sixteen student scholarship recipients and their parents, and the
Minnesota State University Student Association (MSUSA), I would like to thank you very much for your payment of $450.00 towards one
table to the 16th Annual Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship Dinner. Your generous support and contribution will enable minority students
with a labor union affiliation to obtain an education. All communities will benefit from this investment. We are pleased that you are a
partner in the future of our students and we hope that you will continue to support the Scholarship Program.
Thanks again,
Karen Matthew
Associate Director of Development
Minnesota State University Student Association

Dear AFSCME Local 34,
We would like to thank you for your pledge of financial support to make the film, Sweat: A Story of Solidarity a reality. With your help, we
will realize our vision of producing, marketing and distributing a film that we believe has the potential to change the public debate about
Nike's global operations. We also believe that the film will serve as a primer to introduce mainstream people to the broader issues of
corporate-dominated globalization and the need for an international commitment to environmental sustainability and human rights. We
hope you will continue to share in our ongoing excitement as we work towards the completion of this project.
Thank you all so very much!
James Keady and Leslie Kretzu
Co-Directors, Educating for Justice

                                                        Telephone Tree
Once again, we are putting the telephone tree together. We are attempting to make it user-friendly, in that people will
be calling co-workers from their units, or areas close-by.

We need volunteers to make telephone calls to about 10 people. Initially, these 10 people will be given a list of 10
more people with telephone numbers to call. The calls will need to be made during breaks or after work. After the
telephone tree is in place, these calls will be used to send information quickly.

This is a crucial time for all of us. Your help can make a difference. To volunteer, please contact Evelyn Nelson, mail
code 140, by interoffice mail, or call her at 612-348-6389.

   A new website, combined with an advertising campaign, is highlighting the consequences of proposed
budget cuts. Sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Minneapolis Foundation, the website

Deleted for Budgetary Reasons is a campaign encouraging Minnesotans to consider the impact of proposed budget
 cuts on our quality of life. The campaign goal is to promote genuine public dialogue about strategies for addressing
                     the budget deficit to ultimately make the best possible choices for Minnesota.

      The campaign is co-sponsored by The Minneapolis Foundation and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
                        For more information, please contact

    See the Local 34 website for directions on how to contribute to this campaign. ……………………John Herzog

From: "Working Families e-Activist Network" <>
To: "Jean Diederich" <>
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 11:10 AM
Subject: Nobody Should Go Without Health Care

All across America millions of people are speaking out about the crisis in health care. Last year, more than 41 million
Americans had no health insurance (1.4 million more than the previous year)--and some 30 million more have gone
without insurance for some period in the past two years.

Lack of affordable health care means that children and parents go without the critical care they need. Higher
unemployment, increasing health care and prescription drug costs and employers who refuse to pay their fair share
mean that being uninsured is not just a problem for the unemployed. In fact, eight out of 10 uninsured Americans are
in working families. Adding to the problem, lack of access to regular care increases costs down the road.

No child, no parent, nobody should have to go without health care they need. Please take one minute to contact your
representative. Tell them his/her neglect of this crisis is unacceptable. While we work toward comprehensive health
care reform, aid to state governments is needed to stop the erosion of health coverage provided by states to the
uninsured. Lack of action by Congress is worsening the problem as states are forced to make budget cuts that end up
hurting the uninsured.

Click on the link below now to send your fax:

                                     Council 14 Calendar
       Training: Local Mechanics
                                                    Thursday, April 17                      AFSCME Offices
        ("What do I need to know
                                                   9:00 a.m. to 4:00 pm.                      So. St. Paul
               about . . .?)
                                                   Wednesday, April 23                      AFSCME Offices
           Treasurer's Training
                                                   8:00 a.m. to $:00 p.m.                     So. St. Paul

                                                     Thursday, May 15                       AFSCME Offices
            Steward Training
                                                   9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.                     So. St. Paul


Answers to the union trivia questions are given on the AFSCME Local 34 web site at Go check it out!

1. In 1965 Cesar Chavez organized a nationwide boycott involving what type of fruit?
2. Who was Joseph Hillstrum?
3. Name the union that was the first to use the Union Label.
4. What is the "union bug"?
5. Who wrote "The Jungle”, which exposed safety and sanitation hazards of the Chicago meatpacking
6. Name the federal law that prohibits discrimination in employment based on color, sex, race, religion,
and national origin.
7. Who wrote labor's anthem, "Solidarity Forever"?
8. Which state was the first to allow local and state government employees the right to strike?
9. Who made this famous quote, "Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living"?
10. What is the name of this classic film that starred Henry Fonda as a migrant worker?
11. In 1938, what did the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act establish?
12. Where and when was the first Labor Day parade held?

                            CENTURY PLAZA WORKERS!
                            IN THE BUILDING?

                           ( OR PHONE (348-4869).

                                         In Case You Didn’t Know:
                                   Stacked-stall parking is being eliminated
      Open parking will be replacing reserved-space parking—4th Level on Monday, 6th Level on Tuesday...
                      The cost for a reserved spot is increasing by approximately 60%
                               for those who were former stacked-stall parkers!!!
     There are workers willing to mobilize and address these issues; we just need to identify them so we can
                                                 work together.

                                  Please contact Bob Velez RIGHT AWAY!

 Chief Steward Report
 by Dennis E. Miller

 This is my next to last column, as the terms of your current local union officers’ end on April 30th, 2003. I
 hope to include a final column for the May newsletter which will summarize what I consider successes, as
 well as areas where I could have done better over the past year.
 During the first twelve business days of March, I logged 127 contacts from our members, either by
 telephone or by email. This does not include personal, face-to-face contacts, or the two days when I was
 on vacation, or any meetings which I may have attended. I have attempted to respond myself, at break,
 before or after work, or over the lunch period, or by designating particular officers to respond on my
 behalf. If we did not reach you, or meet your needs, please let me know. I apologize.
 Because of the high volume of contacts, we developed a union “coverage” system in Century Plaza, in
 order to better involve stewards, and other officers in distributing our workload.
 For April, if you work in Century Plaza, and have a question of any kind, or a need for representation,
 please contact the following persons on their designated day:

 Mondays                Shannon Wesley        348-6656
 Tuesdays               Hai Jay Vu            596-7350
 Wednesdays             Dennis Miller         348-6949        or       Wes McGee 348-2015
 Thursdays              Steve Schoch          596-9017
 Friday                 Mohamud Noor          596-8636
 As usual, I am available if you have trouble reaching a particular steward of the day, of if you work at HSB,
 the Government Center, the Family Justice Center, Pilot City, etc.
 Many of the March contacts have pertained to:

    Questions regarding the seniority lists
    Building and/or personal security issues in the context of heightened national
     security concerns
    Changes in the Century Plaza parking ramp costs, especially for stacked- parking
     users, and part-time or staff who telecommute
    Discipline regarding the possible infringement of either EA “Data Privacy” or
     “Email” rules and regulations
    A high number of deaths and illnesses of family members during the past month
    Funeral leave policy
 I will attempt to summarize any potential resolutions of certain issues brought to me by members in my
 May column.
 May the higher powers which we each believe in bless and protect out troops, and the innocent people of
 Iraq. Grant us peace.

We know many of you are interested in the State’s budget crisis, and its impact on Hennepin
   County. Have you found the HCNet link on the Intranet yet? If not, here’s that link:

                       Think you can balance the budget? Try this link at

 For more, the St. Paul Pioneer Press has a great archive of news articles related to the budget crisis.
To read these stories, go to: or see
              the link from their home page at .

            Local 34 Members who were Elected or Appointed to Day on the Hill at the
                                   Legislature, March 13:

Adam, Ibrahim                  Gibson, Clifford                 Malcomson, Judy                   Regan, Patrick
Anderson, Debbie               Gibson Emrick, Lisa              McCoy, Twanda                     Remus, Lindsey
Anderson, Karen                Gordon, Alexander                McGaffey, Jessica                 Ries, Julie
Bennett, Peggy                 Heins, David                     McGee, Dee W                      Robinson, Cliff
Bourgeois, Diane               Herzog, John                     Miller, Mary                      Ryan, Alyssa
Caldwell                       Hiner, Carrie                    Mohomes, Tracy                    Schwab, Lindsay
Bowman, John                   Johnson, Lora                    Moore, Carol                      Scullark, Camarra
Bryant, Charissa               Larson, Donald                   Moore, Vicki                      Simon, Laurie
Diederich, Jean                Lazo-Rice, Andrea                Nelson, Evelyn                    Skogman, Linda
Duale, Khalif                  Leaf, Kelley                     Nelson, Vicki                     Travis, Susan
Farber, Kathleen               Lennox, Andrea                   Nowak, Bobbie Jean                Velez, Robert
Fleming, Nancy                 Lubotina, Deb                    Porter, Elvera Colleen            Wefel, Diane
Flykt, Linda                   Lussier, Audie                   Portlance, Elizabeth              Weikum, Laura
                                                                                                  Zappia, Kara

                       Delegates elected for the Council 14 Convention, March 28-29:

            Diederich, Jean—Chair of delegation                                     Leaf, Kelley
                       Bowman, John                                               Lennox, Andrea
                      Bryant, Charissa                                             McGee, Dee W
                      Davis, Chalmers                                               Moore, Vicki
                  Fleming-Norton, Nancy                                           Nelson, Evelyn
                        Grace, Terry                                            Portlance, Elizabeth
                        Heins, David                                              Regan, Patrick
                        Herzog, John                                             Robinson, Clifford
                      Kilgore, Rayman                                              Simon, Laurie
                       Koski, Shelley                                              Velez, Robert
                     Lazo-Rice, Andrea                                           Volkenant, Wesley

    Notice: In February, the Local 34 Executive Board approved a motion to have an all day training session for the officers,
   stewards and other members of our Local as designated by the president for Member Action Teams. This is a mandatory
                                                training for all officers and stewards.
     The training will be held at the Council 14 office at 300 Hardman Ave S, So St Paul, on Thursday, April 3, 2003, from
   9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Lunch will be provided. Lost time for the day and roundtrip mileage will be reimbursed by the Local.

                            You, Your Computer, and the Workplace
                          from Cliff Robinson, Professional Chief Steward, Local 34
 Remember how, when you were a kid, your mom would nag you about eating your vegetables,
 wearing your rubbers and scarf, getting eight hours sleep, taking a bath etc. and how mad you
 would get at her harping on stuff over and over again because, after all, weren't you big enough
 to take care of yourself? Of course, when you grew up you realized that mom did all that because
 she wanted the best for you and wanted you to be safe. Well, mom is back and this time she is
 nagging you about the use or misuse of the personal computer on your desk. If she has told you
 once, she has told you a million times that the computer belongs to the county and SHOULD
 ONLY BE USED FOR COUNTY BUSINESS. She has also told you more times than she can
 remember that anything you bring up on the computer is forever on the hard drive and can
 accessed by management. It is immediately apparent if you have been playing when you should
 be working or if you have been visiting places in cyberspace that you wouldn't want mom to
 know about. She also knows that your boss will not be nearly as indulgent or forgiving as she
 would be. So how about giving mom a break and stop worrying her; after all if you get into
 trouble for misusing the computer, that is one scrape from which she cannot rescue you.

                   From the “Only in Hennepin County—We Can Only Hope” Files….
In a March 2003 e-mail, Property Services outlined a series of pop machine changes in various buildings—cans were being replaced
                             with bottles. We kid you not… the e-mail went on to say the following:

           Those machines that are accessible to the public and staff should be priced at $1.25/bottle. The
                   machines that are within staff-only space(s) should be priced at $1.00/bottle.

Four questions come to mind: 1) if a bottle of pop costs $1.00 in one part of a building, shouldn’t that bottle still cost
   just $1.00 elsewhere in the building? 2) correct us if we’re wrong, but in many of these County buildings—HSB,
 Century Plaza, County Home School—aren’t we serving some of the poorest members of our community, and those
 least able to afford $1.25 bottles of pop (versus the old over-priced 65 and 70 cent cans)? 3) except for either the
 vendor giving employees a special 25 cent break in certain locations out of the goodness of its heart, or the vendor
  simply wanting to make more money off of higher-volume locations, can anyone identify a compelling reason for
    charging 25 cents more per bottle anywhere in our buildings? 4) so just why are we putting in these expensive
 bottle choices (as if any bottle of pop was actually worth $1.25—compare these convenience store/machine bottles
   to the value of liter bottles in the grocery store) provided by Viking Vending (Minnesota Vikings Food Services)?
                 Here’s a Viking Vending internet link…

 Local 34 takes note of the resignation of Dr. David Sanders as Director of the Department of
 Children, Family and Adult Services. We wish Dr. Sanders well in his new position with Los
 Angeles County, and we welcome the Acting Director of the Department, Sue Zuidema.

                                       On Attending Day on the Hill…
Needless to say it was a great day! It's amazing that AFSCME actually gets a special day to talk to our state legislators.
I could not believe the crowds of union members – someone said there were about 1100. It was a lot! That made a
good show for the union and its interests.

My group was 19A/B. John Wenner from the City of Plymouth asked the main AFSCME questions. We talked to two
house representatives and one senator.

The first question asked was about being for or against raising taxes.         Of the three, only one had not said “no” to
raising taxes.

Another question was asked regarding the state planning a proposed wage freeze for all government employees and
whether they would agree with the idea of allowing the wage issue to be decided at each local level – by each County
and City government. For instance, the City of Plymouth would decide whether wages could be increased, i.e. for cost
of living for its employees. That way it would depend on how much money each local government agency had
available. So far as I remember, none of them seemed to be against that.

We all asked questions, and all three legislators were very good at answering them. I learned a lot about the legislative
process and it was a great opportunity that AFSCME offered its members. Everything went well - the information, the
lunch, the shuttle buses back and forth to the state office bldg.

Diane Wefel

                       Have you seen this story by Brian Bonner of the St. Paul Pioneer Press?
                          MINNESOTA: Study Prompts Look at Tax Fairness

                                     More from Day on the Hill…..

On 3/13/2003 approximately 1,300 AFSCME members statewide converged on the Capitol in Saint Paul to bring the
“Public Employee” message to legislators. Nearly 50 of those came from AFSCME Local 34! I must commend and
thank all of the participants from our Local! You made a difference and sent a clear message to legislators!

A special thank you MUST go to Judy Malcomson, ADAD, for her zeal and spunk! Judy was directly responsible for over
a dozen of Local 34’s attendees!

What type of people delivered the “Public Employee” message? Here are some examples:

         A single mom who is at the top of her pay scale. She made sure to communicate how a wage
freeze would impact her directly. She has a special needs child who is also facing reduction in some
benefits thanks to Governor Pawlenty’s proposed cuts in programs. Health care costs continue to rise at
an alarming rate. If a wage freeze were enacted by the legislature, she wouldn’t be able to even
maintain her current lifestyle let alone overcome the loss in program funding for her special needs child.
         A married woman currently supporting 5 children. She AND her husband work, but she made
sure to ask legislators to put the shoe on the other foot: “How would you feel about freezing your
wages?” she queried. “What about freezing the cost of things like health care, day care, groceries,
gasoline, rent, etc.? WHAT ABOUT THAT?!?” A shrug and a, “Hmmm, I never thought about it that way
before”, was received in reply.
         A man concerned about SF 743; a bill that establishes English as Minnesota’s official language.
Sounds pretty innocent, right? Well, the details of the bill state that public services can ONLY be
delivered in English and that ANY CITIZEN of Minnesota could file a suit against the State if they witness
services being delivered in a language other than English. So much for embracing diversity…

Many other topics including ratification of the State worker contract, opposition to privatizing public services, protecting
the public safety and public education programs, and many others were talked about with legislators at length.

While we certainly win when we get face to face with legislators, YOUR UNION also wins when more people are
involved in the process! Also, YOU WIN when your Union is strong and vocal about issues that matter to you.

Thank you to everyone who participated!

In Solidarity,
Bob Velez
Paraprofessional Vice President

     AFSCME has an excellent newsletter detailing happenings on Capitol Hill. Check out the Weekly
               Reports link below, and some of the recent headlines appearing there…

                               Faith-Based Bill May be Debated by Senate Next Week

                               Mixed Signals from GOP Leaders on Bush Tax Cut Plan

                            House Passes Welfare Reform Extension on Party Line Vote

             The Crisis In Public Housing — FY 2003 and FY 2004 Public Housing Funds Inadequate

    Congress to Start Considering Personal Reemployment Accounts and Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
                                           Extension Next Week

 A Message to Local 34 Members-- The Legislature will be in session until mid-May… and perhaps beyond. You
can still have a voice with your legislators. Be they Republican or Democrat, you are their voting constituent,
and you should be heard and listened to. Take a few minutes this first week of April, and call or write your
State Senator and/or your State Representative, and let them know where you stand on public employee wage
freezes and benefit cuts, on cutting the social and corrective programs we administer, on drastically burdening
the County—our employer—by cutting LGA monies far too much. If you have ideas or opinions on how this
budget crisis might be otherwise resolved—other programs and services that might have to be scaled back or
eliminated, increased taxes, targeted taxes (such as sales tax on clothing, higher taxes on households earning
over $250,000, etc.) please share those ideas too. Our legislators have many difficult decisions to make—you
can provide them with first-hand feedback and expertise!

                           Some Related Thoughts from Cliff Robinson….
Ok, so you`re madder than hell and you’re not going to take it anymore. You’ve been victimized by an incompetent
former governor and shortsighted legislature who gave away the state’s surplus in the good times never thinking that
the good times couldn’t last forever. Then the national economy went south and huge surpluses were replaced by
equally huge deficits at the federal level and all over the country. Now you are afflicted by a new reactionary governor
who is trying to redeem a foolish campaign promise of not raising taxes to deal with the deficit, and a timid legislature
which hasn’t found the courage to confront this fiscal foolishness. And to top it all off, the governor and his
supporters are using you as the sacrificial lamb on the altar of expediency, blaming public employees for the mess
that the politicians have made of state and federal budgets.

So what are you going to do about it? And what can you do? I suggest that the most important thing that we can do is
to play the Wizard to the cowardly lions in the legislature and help them find their courage. And we can do this by
contacting our state representative and state senator by telephone, e-mail, letter, or in person to tell them your point-
of-view, and to let them know that you will be watching their votes this session. You can be sure that they are hearing
from a well-financed right wing lobby that is supporting the Governor’s no-tax-increase pledge.

If they don’t hear from us, rest assured {sorry Jesse} that the Governor will have his way with us, to use an archaic
but accurate phrase. You can encourage your friends and relatives to write their legislators as well. The content
should be in your own words, but you can reference general themes such as: the budget should not be balanced on the
backs of our poorest and most vulnerable citizens; that local government aid should not be cut, because that will result
in higher property taxes or a cut in essential services; that public employees should not be singled out for disparate
treatment because we did not create this problem; that the legislature should not interfere with the collective
bargaining process between municipalities and counties and public employee unions---to do so is to insult the citizens
who elected our local representatives and the locally elected officials who are responsible for carrying out essential

We need to tell our elected representatives that we are proud of our state and its history of progressive compassion
to our most vulnerable citizens and our willingness to pull together to solve our common problems. We don’t want
that replaced by a spirit of greed and divisive selfishness that is being promoted by a governor who is trying to lead
from the political fringe. By their actions and votes they are going to have to drag him kicking and screaming back to
the political center where most of us live and from where he can represent all the citizens of the state.

That is what you can do--But will you? It seems little enough to ask when the future of your state and possibly your
income or job is at stake. If you do not know who your representatives are or how to contact them here are two state
web sites that you can access and

                                                  America at War….
                         Liberty is Supporting your right, our right to support the President,
                                           and to support our Troops, and
                       Supporting your right, our right to speak out against the war with Iraq.
                           God Bless America, the Liberty that we share, and our Right to
                                                 Freedom of Speech!

Local 34 Elections
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve another term as the Professional Vice President of Local 34. It has been my
privilege to serve you over the last year and I look forward to another year of working with many of you on issues large and

I am eagerly awaiting the upcoming elections. This year we have a number of contested positions and I hope that all of you are
preparing to vote on April 9th for your Union’s leadership team. I would ask that each of you carefully consider the following
before you cast your ballots on April 9 th.

When our Sisters and Brothers in Council 6 went on strike in 2001, their slogan was “Doing Minnesota’s Work”. Similarly, there
are candidates currently in leadership and aspiring to leadership positions that abide by a related motto: “Doing Local 34’s
Work”. When electing your leaders. I urge you to vote for the candidates that have been doing the work of Local 34: serving on
labor/management committees, participating in contract negotiations, representing you at conventions, organizing rallies, and
attending training to expand their labor education and hone their leadership skills. Their devotion to our Local is a matter of
record. These candidates have been working diligently on behalf of the organization and have demonstrated their commitment to
our members.

I ask that you support the candidates that have all our member’s best interests in mind and at heart. True leaders must be prepared
to make personal sacrifices to properly serve the membership. Leaders must have a willingness to put aside personal differences
and allegiances and work together, respectfully, within the constitutional parameters of our Union. Our leaders must collaborate,
seek and follow advice, be open to new ideas, tactics and strategies, and effectively partner with other officers, Union officials,
workers and our employer to resolve situations. We must also be prepared to hold each other accountable for the important work
that we have been entrusted to perform.

Other characteristics of a genuine leader are accessibility and reliability. Each and every member of our bargaining unit should be
able to contact one of our stewards or officers in time of need. It is also imperative that the elected officials of our Local faithfully
carry out their appointed duties and responsibilities in a consistent and timely manner. Finally, our leadership must be able to
articulate our message. They must have the ability to listen and give voice to the concerns of our members and to persuasively
advocate with management, legislators and the Public.

The duties and responsibilities of our Executive Board Officers are many; not the least of which is to represent you, their
constituents, at the monthly General Assembly and Executive Board meetings. We are a Local of 2100 workers and decisions
regarding our budget; our activism and the very future of our Local are made at these meetings. Important work is done at the
General Assembly and the Executive Board meeting and regular attendance by your elected representatives is vital to the strength
of our Union.

Now, more than ever, our leadership must be prepared to “Do the Work of Local 34”, in order to preserve our jobs and the vital
services that we provide to the citizens of Hennepin County. I implore you, our members, to “Do the Work of Local 34” and cast
your votes for the candidates that you know to be reliable, trustworthy and accessible. We are indeed blessed to have candidates
for office that model the importance and dignity of public service and have demonstrated true Labor activism.

Yours, In Solidarity
Andrea Lennox

                   Issues of the Day—War, the Budget, Social Issues, and the Economy:

   For contrasting opinions, try visiting for the liberal point of view, and for the conservative point of view. These sites provide thoughtful
          points-of-view without the invective found at so many other political opinion sites.

           A new book we’d recommend is What Liberal Media? by Eric Alterman, with a website:

                                   What Does our Union Do for Us? Glad You Asked!
                                        Submitted by Kelley Leaf, Local 34 Membership Secretary
I had a member approach me the other day about the “value” of what she received from “the Union” in exchange for “all the money you guys
take out”. I was able to explain to her what the “value” is, and then I thought that this might be a good time to let the rest of my union brothers
and sisters in on all the things our union does for us.

First, I’d just like to remind folks that our dues structure is progressive. This means that our members who make more money pay more money.
The highest dues that anyone in Local 34 pays are $39.70 per month. Most of our members pay either $30.70 or $33.70 per month. Fair share
dues are less than this, and part time employees, whether they are fair share or full members pay a pro-rated amount for their dues based on
the actual number of hours they work. I realize that in this economy, even $30.70 can be missed, but the fact is that we get an awful lot of value
for that small amount of money.

1)        ‘Free’ dental insurance. Whether you are full-member or fair-share, everyone in Local 34 who signs up for it, gets ‘free’ dental
insurance. The fees for this do not come out of your paycheck, nor do they come out of your union dues. Our union, in partnership with our
employer Hennepin County, recognized many years ago the rising costs of dental care. Together they took a proactive role in helping our
members, and put together the dental plan that brother Bernard Grisez, our dental trustee explained in detail for the February newsletter.
Unseen by us, dental insurance costs $540/year or 26 cents/hour. Delta has raised the annual benefit to $1500 per person—great for families
with growing children! The plan is administered by the council office for our members.
2)        The Banner, the Local’s newsletter that you are reading right now. Our newsletter has grown in size and scope to become a terrific
source of current event information that affects our members and their families. The newsletter not only provides updates on the Local’s
business, but on current events, political trends, and ways to be more active in your community and advocating for our clients.
3) Have you seen our website? Our Local’s website holds a ton of information for members or anyone regarding
labor issues, political decisions that affect us and our families, opportunities for activism, and happenings within our local and worksites.
4)        Negotiations. Did you enjoy the 3% or 50 cent raise you received in January? In spite of 9/11, the downturn in the economy, and the
affects of the state worker’s strike, our union’s negotiation team was able to secure a reduction in premium for family health coverage, and a
cost of living raise (two years in a row) of 3% or 50 cents an hour, whichever was higher. These benefits went to fair-share as well as to full-
members. You can be sure that our negotiating team this year will do everything they can to keep our standard of living from going backwards,
as well as holding the line on healthcare.
5)        Management Meet and Confer meetings. Our union has established a good working relationship with most of the departments where
our members work. Our officers and stewards regularly meet with management by department to discuss issues that affect our members. Many
topics at meet and confer meetings that have achieved results for our members have been things like safety/ security issues, parking
reimbursement, training, and of course things like financial worker redesign, or behavioral health integration. Our union made sure to have input
into both of those processes.
6)        Good and Welfare requests. Have you or one of your co-workers had a dark time in your life made easier by the well wishes of your
union? Or found that your celebration of a milestone event was recognized and appreciated? Our union has a good and welfare committee that
recognizes events in the lives of our full-members and lets them know that their union cares by sending a card, or a bouquet of flowers, a
cheerful plant, or some balloons.
7)        Seniority lists. The union requests (and pays for) the seniority lists that determine what places we all hold by seniority. Your officers and
steward each have a copy that they will be happy to go over with you to make sure that your seniority date is correct.
8)        Officers and Stewards. And what about those officers and stewards? These folks work very hard on all of our behalves, in some cases
making themselves a target for vindictive management in their efforts to protect our rights. Our Officers and stewards have all the latest
information regarding negotiations, county budget issues, and staff re-organization, and make sure to get that information out to their union
brothers and sisters ASAP. Stewards are there to advocate for their brothers and sisters when discrimination rears its ugly head, or when
employees have been disciplined in a manner other then what is allowed in our contract. They handle grievances, do investigative work, and
meet with management to ensure that our members get a fair hearing. Officers and stewards hold Brownbag lunches to meet with members,
welcome new members in training orientations, and spend hours addressing member concerns and issues.
9)        Political action and lobbying via the AFSCME PEOPLE fund. AFSCME supports candidates who support labor, whether those are
“traditional” allies such as Walter Mondale, or new friends such as 1 st term Republican County Commissioner Linda Koblick. There is a special
fund for political action that is paid for by additional member contributions of up to $4.00 per paycheck (have you filled out your AFSCME People
check-off form, yet?) called the PEOPLE fund. You can ask to have a contribution taken directly out of your check, it’s easy. Our political action
group has brought lobbyist Elliot Seide here from the international union to deal with a legislature that is bent on making public employees pay
for the affects of a national recession. AFSCME’s “Day on the Hill” was just one of the efforts made on behalf of our members, along with the
“Take Back Minnesota” campaign, and the volunteer efforts of many of our brothers and sisters who are contacting legislators and saying “Share
the Pain!!!”

I was amazed at the amount of”value” that we get for our dues once I saw it put down in black and white. While it is important to recognize that
there are some things that our union can’t affect (especially items that are listed in the contract such as work re-assignment being at the
direction of the employer) there are so many areas of our lives that our does affect. People who have never found the time to become active in
the union are volunteering to meet with legislators, and help with negotiations. Our union is made up of old sisters, young brothers, African
Americans, native Americans, Christians, Muslims, atheists, GLBT members, Democrats, and Republicans. Make your voice heard! Now, more
than ever, it is important for us to stand together with pride, not only recognizing all the things that “the union” does for us, but that we are all
”the Union”!


To top