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  • pg 1                                                    AFSCME Council 5, Local 34, Hennepin County Social Services and Related Employees

                                              Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays       L 34 Banner - 09/2010
                                               of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or
                                                 less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's           Issue Contents:
                                              prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of         Page 2 – Local 34 Officers & Stewards;
                                                glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor
                                                                                                                      PERA Update
                                               devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation.
                                                         - Samuel Gompers, founder of the AF of L                     Page 3 – Notes from August GA Meeting
                                                                                                                      Page 4 – A Glossary of Labor Terms
                                                                                                                      Page 5 – Cutting County Public Defender
                                                      Why Do We Have a Labor Day?                                     Staff; Commissioner Election Statements
                                              Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working                  Page 6 – 2010 International Convention
  September 2010                              men and women. It has been celebrated as a national
                                              holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894.
                                                                                                                      Resolutions; Workers Memorial G arden
                                                                                                                      Pages 7-10 – 2010 Convention Reviewed
  General Assembly                            Labor unions themselves celebrated the first labor days in              in Historical McEntee-Lucy Conflict
                                              the United States, although there's some speculation as                 Context; ―Unions 101‖ at Daily Kos;
        Wednesday,                            to exactly who came up with the idea. Most historians                   Union Musings; Arlene Holt-Baker
     September 1, 2010                        credit Peter McGuire, general secretary of the                          Remarks; See Labor Chorus at the State
                                              Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of                Fair; State & Local Government Job Loss
          5:30 pm                             the American Federation of Labor, with the original idea                Page 11 – Cliff R obinson‘s Final Day
      Health Services Bldg,                   of a day for workers to show their solidarity. Others credit            Statement to the County Commissioners
           Room 110                           Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the                – A Must Read for All Local 34 Members!
                                              International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J.               Pages 12 – 17 – On the Political Front:
  Special accommod ations will be m ade for
     our physically challenged members.       The first Labor Day parade occurred Sept. 5, 1882, in                    Mark Dayton Wins DFL Gubernatorial
    Please call 596-1003 or 348-0266 if       New York City. The workers' unions chose the first                        Primary, Leads in August Poll
       arrangements need to be made.
                                              Monday in September because it was halfway between                       Why ―Tax the Rich‖ is Fair
                                              Independence Day and Thanksgiving. The idea spread                       Our Tom Emmer Watch – Taking Away
                                              across the country, and some states designated Labor                      Dairy Regulations, Failure of Tax Cuts,
                                              Day as a holiday before the federal holiday was created.                  Lack of Real Answers to Solve Budget
                                              President Grover Cleveland signed a law designating the                   Deficit, How Does He Want to ― Take
                                              first Monday in September as Labor Day nationwide. This                   Back‖ the State?
                                              is interesting because Cleveland was not a labor union                   You Supported Entenza or Kelliher – So
                                              supporter. In fact, he was trying to repair some political                Why Dayton? Key Campaign Points
    October 2010                              damage that he suffered earlier that year when he sent                    from Dayton – Where He Stands
   General Assembly                                            federal troops to put down a strike by the
                                                               American Railway Union at the Pullman
                                                                                                                       GOP‘s Failed Narrative, Attacks on
                                                                                                                        Dayton, Changing the Constitution?
          Wednesday,                                           Co. in Chicago, IL. That action resulted in             Senate Passes Key Jobs, Medicaid Bill
                                                               the deaths of 34 workers.
         October 6, 2010                             
                                                                                                                       List of AFSCME Endorsed Candidates
             HSB 110                                           Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the            Page 18 – Labor Day Essay, State
                                                               Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a           Demographer on Workforce Changes
                                                               cofounder of the American Federation of Labor         Page 19 – VP Volkenant Column;
      Local 34 M ailing Address:
                                                                                                                     Troubling ADA Legal Precedent
    PO Box 15222, Minneapolis MN
            55415-0222                                                                                               Page 20 – President Diederich‘s Column

Local 34 Banner                                                                  September 2010                                                          -1-
   Note: Submissions for the October 2010 newsletter should be sent to the Editor by Friday, Sept. 17. Submissions for the Nov. 2010 newsletter will be due by Oct. 15.

Local 34 Officers & Stewards              09/01/10              When‘s the last time you visited the PERA website? It‘s been a while for this
President:                                                             newsletter, so there are some interesting updates to share…
Jean Diederich              348-0266 – HSB - 880
Vice Presidents:                                                                        
Vicki Moore                 348-5939 – GC - 140               2010 Workshops
Wesley Volkenant            348-9592 – CP - 630               You can register on line for PERA's 2010 individual conferences and workshops by
Chief Stewards:
                                                              logging on to MY PERA. You can also register by calling 1 800 652-9026.
Cathy Cowden                 543-0301 – FJC - L890
                                                              Registration is on a first come-first served basis. If a workshop is full, you can
Caroly n (Johnson) Vreeman 348-8586 – GC - 160
                                                              check back periodically on MY PERA to see if a cancellation has reopened
Recording Secretary:
Rita Salone                 596-1003 – FJC - L890             registration.
Patrick Regan               348-8760 – FJC - L890             Pre-retirement Workshops
Membership Secretary:                                         Duluth—September 10
Kela Williams               596-0954 – CP - 630               St. Cloud—October 6
Sergeant-At-Arms:                                             Rochester—November 12
Andrea Lazo-Rice            348-2249 – HSB - 960              Mankato—December 10
              Members-At-Large:                               St. Paul—September 24, October 22, November 6, December 4, January 8 (2011)
Ibrahim Adam               348-2313 – HSB 961
Angel Alexander            596-1863 – CP - 630                Dollars & Sense
Jacquelin Poole            348-4246 – HSB - 961               St. Paul—October 15, November 13, January 15 (2011)
Jacqueline Coleman         543-2605 – NP - N706               For more details on these programs, check our Schedule of Services. (The
Randal Duncan              348-2368 – 1800 - 612              schedule also lists our individual conference locations for all of 2010.) Then
Sabrina Denson             596-7876 – HSB - 961               register on line with My PERA, or call 1 800 652-9026.

Zachary Rice              348-2274, Century Plaza 1                               PERA Phased Retirement Program Extended
Nancy Scarlotta           348-9452, Century Plaza 2            The experiment offering Coordinated members of PERA a way to ―phase‖ into
Fatuma Kassim             596-8457, Century Plaza 2         retirement has been extended to June 30, 2014. The legislation enacted last year
Jamoda Williams           596-8948, Century Plaza 4             was originally scheduled to sunset June 30, 2011. The extension gives PERA
Shaletha Thomas           596-8954, Century Plaza 4         additional time to evaluate the impact the program is having members, employers
Laura Wright              596-8874, Century Plaza 4                                             and funding.
Lynne Kincaid             596-8716, Century Plaza 4
Shawnice Reid            543-2699, NorthPoint Medical       Phased retirement is totally at the discretion of employers. If they choose to offer it
James Stevenson           596-9220, STS                                        to an employee, it is by mutual agreement.
Jim Edin             763-221-4443, STS
Phillip Gray             348-5771, Juvenile Justice Ctr      Coordinated members over age 62 can begin receiving a pension while bypassing
Terry Grace              348-7308, Juvenile Justice Ctr       the formal termination of employment and mandatory 30-day break in service.
Aboubker Ouassaddine      543-0373, Family Justice Ctr        They are also not subject to PERA‘s normal earnings limits. However, they must
Kathy Kelly               348-6593, Family Justice Ctr      agree to reduce their hours worked by at least 25 percent and work less t han 1,044
Dana Meyer                596-0214, Family Justice Ctr                                        hours per year.
Miguel Salazar            348-6800, Family Justice Ctr
Susan Frame               348-0293, Govt Center A15                          Fund Directors to Study Retirement Plan Alternatives
Monica Jochmans           348-4192, HSB 5
Penny Wile                348-7133, HSB 9                      The fund directors of PERA, the Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS) and
Nafisa Farah            596-1705, 6601 Shingle Creek           the Teachers Retirement Association (TRA) have been charged with developing a
Kristine Heckler        752-8332, Crystal Drop-in Ctr.         study of various retirement plan alternatives for public employees in the state of
Elena Izaksonas           521-3056, 4th Precinct Station       Minnesota. Part of this year‘s omnibus pension legislation, the directive calls for
Ed Kusleika        612-919-2884, ACF – HomeMonitor               the joint study to be delivered to the Legislative Commission on Pensions and
Pamela Shones          763-413-3113, 1800 Chicago                                      Retirement (LCPR) by June 1, 2011.
Maureen Glover            348-4492, 1800 Chicago
Dennis Moore              879-3560, 1800 Chicago               The study will look at defined benefit plans (the current structure of the statewide
Jeff Meyer                348-5880, 1800 Chicago                  plans), as well as defined contribution plans, hybrid plans and cash balance
Sheila Lipsco             348-4204, 1800 Chicago                  plans. It is to include an analysis of the ―feasibility, sustainability, financial
Mara Hill                 596-7161, 1800 Chicago                impacts and other design considerations of these retirement plans,‖ describing
Martha Dille         612-964-1778, Grain Exchange                                      their advantages and disadvantages.
Barbara Olson          543-1325, MHP – Grain Exchg.
                                                               The funds will be seeking input and comments from stakeholders as the study is
                                                              developed, and this input will be part of the final report. Individuals with questions
           Audie Lussier, Osman Farah, Vacant
                                                                  or comments may contact Mary Most Vanek, PERA's executive director, at
                  Delta Dental Trustee
                   Monica Jochmans

                                                            Barack Obama, April 2, 2009, London: ―We exercise our leadership best when we are listening.‖

 Local 34 Banner                                                              September 2010                                                                  -2-
  Council 5 Business Representative:                          Highlights from the August General Assembly—August 4, 2010
  Matt Nelson          651-287-0578                    Offi cers attending were: Jean Diederich, Wes Volkenant, Cliff Robinson, Patrick Regan, Cathy
                                                    Cowden, Angel Alexander, Ibrahi m Adam, Vicki Moore, Andrea Lazo-Rice, Sabrina Denson, Jacqueline
  e-mail Matt at:                                                                         Coleman and Randal Duncan                                       Excused Absence: Rita Salone and Kela Williams Absent: Jacquelin Poole
                                                        The Local presented retiring Chief Steward Cliff Robinson with a book of thank you s tatements
  Council 5 Contact Information:
                                                        and a gift certificate to Jax Café.
  300 Hardman Avenue South,                             From the Midwest School for Wo men Workers last month, we received a handout ―Challenging
  South Saint Paul, Minnesota 55075-2469                the Anti-Worker Agenda‖ by Judy Ancel, which included an essay by Macalester College
  (651) 450-4990 Fax: (651) 450-1908                    professor, Peter Rachleff, entitled ―Neoliberalism: Context for a Ne w Workers‘ Struggle‖, which is
                                                        online here: .
                                                        Steward Lynne Kincaid shared that Century Plaza has become a workplace based on fear and
  To Contact the Newsletter Editor:                     reprisal. She offered up ―A Call to A ction.‖ It‘s a powerful union statement; we plan to print it
  Call or e-mail—                                       here in the next issue; here‘s a taste: "I have found frontline workers wi th little to no
  Wesley Volkenant - 612-348-9592                       desire/ability to engage management over basic work issues such as health/safe ty, job
                                                        classification/wage structures, stressful workloads, unfair/punitive supervision, increased
  For Distribution concerns, contact:                   management control/inti midation with the use o f technology... Local 34 can't afford to practice
  Rhonda Griffin at 612-543-0353                        bystander unionism - the failure o f our union to take on the restructuring o f our workplace while
                                                        management is making all the de cisions, is detri mental for our union me mbers. The surrender
  Internet Web Site Developer:                          o f decisions abou t work to management creates disaster for working people and the fu ture of
  John Herzog – 952-492-5233                            collective action...‖ Lynne has also agreed to become our new MAT Coordinator, to assist us in
                                                        organizing and in mapping the workplace – tasks that have been set aside since Bob Velez‘s
                                                        retirement this spring. Lynne will be working to get stewards better connected with me mbers
            UPCOMING LOCAL 34                           and to help talk with our Fair Share fee payers.
            MEETING SCHEDULE                            President Jean Diederich requested an additional $150, which was approved, to pay for
                                                        backpack supplies. By refusing to use Target (contr ibutors to MN Forward, which supports the
                  September                             anti-public employee candidate, Tom Emmer) the cost went up considerably. As she reports
  1st General Assembly - HSB 110                        elsewhere, the President reported on E-Board Retreat discussions, on the efforts of McEntee and
  15th E-Board – HSB 917 – 5:30pm                       Saunders to get Bill Lucy re moved from the AF L-CIO Exe cutive Board before the end o f his term,
                                                        and on her Presidents‘ meeting with Administrator Richard Johnso n. They discussed the
  26th – 28th – MN AFL-CIO Convention                   likelihood of a smaller Levy increase this year and ho w use o f SLWOP is ex ceeding the expected
  30th – 2nd – Council 5 Convention                     progress towards a goal of $2 million this year. And, she reported from HR‘s Bob Smutka that i f
                   October                              you do pro mote this year, yo u will get a step increase at the end o f the probationary period, even
  6th General Assembly - HSB 110                        as nor mal step increases are frozen in 2011.
                                                        Chief Ste ward Cathy Co wden reported she will be unavailable week of August 31 st due to
  20th E-Board – HSB 917 – 5:30pm                       surgery, and reported on the termination of a probationary employee and two permane nt
                                                        employees due to performance issues.
September 2010            October 2010
                                                        Business Representative Matt Nelson reported on the County‘s ‗ludicrous‘ plan to recommend
S M T WT F S            S M T WT F S                    Preferred One to the County Board as our new Claims Administrator without input from the
         1 2 3 4                       1 2              Labor-Manage ment Health Care Committee before arriving at that decision , and he shared
5 6 7 8 9 10 11         3 4 5 6 7 8 9                   personal thoughts of Cliff Robinson, who mentored Matt after he started with the County in
12 13 14 15 16 17 18    10 11 12 13 14 15 16            1979, and who worked with Matt on grievance mediation and arbitrations through the years.
19 20 21 22 23 24 25    17 18 19 20 21 22 23            Vice President Vicki Moore stressed the importance of the August 10 Primary and voting!
26 27 28 29 30          24 25 26 27 28 29 30            Treasurer Patrick Regan reported that we‘ve spent @51% o f the Local‘s budget through July, that
                        31                              our July income was about $9650, that our assets continue to be very healthy, and that our
                                                        Membership and Fair Share numbers are steady – 1601 Full Members vs. 276 Fair Share.
         Upcoming AFSCME Training                       Delegates were elected to the MN AFL-CIO Convention, Septe mber 26- 28: Do nna Ro nning, Kela
                                                        Williams, Ibrahim A dam, Katie Farber, John Herzog and Elena Izaksonas , plus President Jean
            Basic Steward Training ($50)                Diederich , with Alternates: Wes Volkenant, Rhonda Gri ffin and Kay Po well. The Local pays for
        October 12-13, South St. Paul Office            lost time and mileage to-and-from the Bloomington Sheraton – both for that Conve ntion and the
          Financial Responsibility Training             AFSCME Council 5 Convention, September 30-October 2. As of August 12, the delegates elected
         September 16 – Radisson – Duluth               or appointed by President Diederich to attend are: Cliff Robinson, Vicki Moore, Wes Volkenant,
                Secretary‘s Training                    Katie Farber, John Herzog, Carolyn Johnson, Dorothy Brown, Lindsay Schwab, Alex Gordon, Kathy
        September 14 – South St. Paul Office            Kelly, Kelly Geis, Rhonda Griffin, Shawnice Reid, Jacqueline Coleman, Andrea Lazo -Rice, Sabrina
                                                        De nson, Cathy Co wden, Ibrahi m Adam, Angel Alexander, Heather He mmer, Phillip Gray, Linda
                                                        Flykt, Sally Hoo ver, Patrick Regan, Sheila Lipsco, Dana Meyer, Lynne Kincaid, Kay Po well , and
                     Who We Are                         President Jean Diederich.
    AFSCME’s 1.6 million members provide the            PEOPLE contributions approved: $500 to targeted race in SD 25 - Kevin Dahle; $100 to Senator
   vital services that make America happen. With        LeRoy Stumpf (SD 1); $200 each to SD 3 (Loren Solberg) and HD 3B (To m Saxhaug ) as part of
   members in hundreds of different occupations         their 5th Annual Solberg & Saxhaug Golf Scramble; $100 to the Senate DFL Caucus Fundraiser.
     — from nurses to corrections officers, child       The Local approved $500 to the August 14 Festival of Fathers event‘s tents (not petting zoo).
                                                        Angel Alexander presented her interest in showing Michael Moore‘s ―Capitalism: A Love Affair‖
       care providers to sanitation workers —           in October – the Local approved up to $200 for a movie night at the Central Labor Union.
   AFSCME is the voice of the dedicated workers         Heather Hemmer apprised the Lo cal about Next Wave e fforts, including a movie night, social
     who take care of America, and is a leading         actions, Facebook efforts, and plans for the Co uncil 5 Convention. The Lo cal approved $500 to
           advocate for all working families.           coordinate Next Wave efforts under Heather‘s and Sabrina Denson‘s leadership.

Local 34 Banner                                                      September 2010                                                              -3-
         Are You New to the County?                                                    For Our Stewards and Members Who Need Assistance:
        Just transferred into Local 34?                                                AFSCME Officers Handbook: A Glossary of Labor Terms
        To sign up as a union member or to get answers to          Agency Shop: A union security contract clause requiring e mployees covered by the contract, but who
       questions about AFSCME and membership benefits,             decline to join the union, to pay a service fee equal to a percentage o f, the union dues. The intent of
             please complete this form and send it to:             this fee (so metimes called ―fair share‘) is to compensate the union, which, by law, must give full and
          Kela Williams, Membership Secretary                      equal representation to all bargaining unit members, regardless of me mbership status.
              CP – mail code 630 – 612-596-0954                    AFL- CIO: The American Federation of Labor-Congress o f Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), whi ch is a
                                                                   federation of over 50 labor unions (including AFSCME) in the United States.
   Name                                                            Bargaining Unit: A group of employees in a given workplace that has sufficient co mmonality of
   _______________________________                                 interest to constitute a unit for purposes of collective bargaining. The National Labor Relations Board
                                                                   (NLRB) or similar federal, state or local agency usually defines a bargaining unit.
   Job Title                                                       Card Check: Process through which workers demonstrate their desire to form a union, usually by
   ____________________________________                            signing a form; the employer must remain neutral.
   Work Location                                                   Certification: Official collective bargaining recognition by a labor relations board that an employee
   ____________________________________                            organization is the exclusive representative for all the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit.
                                                                   Collective Bargaining: A method of determining terms and conditions of employment through
   Mail Code _________                                             negotiation between representatives of the employer and the union representing employees.
   Phone _________________                                         Collective Bargaining Agreement, or Contract: A formal written agreement over wages, hours and
                                                                   conditions of e mploy ment entered into by an e mployer and the union representing the bargaining
                I’m especially interested:                         unit employees.
   □      I want to sign up as a member                            Duty o f Fair Representation: The union‘s obligation, as the exclusive bargaining representative of a
                                                                   group of e mployees, to represent fairly all employees in the bargaining unit in grievance handling as
   □      I want to sign up for Delta Dental                       well as contract negotiations.
                                                                   Exclusive Representative: The certified employee organization that has the right to be the sole
        To receive Delta Dental Insurance                          collective bargaining agent of all employees in an appropriate bargaining unit.
       information: contact Cindy Pince at                         Free Rider: An employee who fails to join the union that has negotiated the contract over hi s or her
             Council 5– 651-287-0564                               wages and working conditions, all the while benefiting from that contract.
                                                                   Fringe Bene fits: Employee vacations, holidays, insurance, me dical benefits, pensions and other
 Are you interested in setting the Local 34 website                economic bene fits that are provided under the union contract; these are in a ddition to direct wages.
as your Microsoft Explorer home page? If so, go to                 Grievance: A procedure described in the contract to remedy work-related problems such as abuse of
the website address listed on the front page. Click                employee rights or contract violations.
on ―Tools‖ in the menu bar at the top of your page.                Grievance Arbitration: A dispute resolution process whereby a neutral third party — the arbitrator —
   Select ―Internet Options.‖ Under the ―General‖                  hears a grievance and makes a decision that is usually both final and binding on both parties.
  tab, find the option for Home Page, and copy the                 Interest Arbitration: A procedure used to settle matters in contract disputes between the union and
Local 34 address there. The next time you bring up                 manage ment in some bargaining units covering spe ci fic occupation groups that, by statute, are
                                                                   prohibited from striking. These occupations are usually related to public safety.
 your Internet connection, the website will be your
                   new Home Page.                                  Labor Board: Quasi-judicial agency set up under national or state labor relations acts. Its duties
                                                                   include defining appropriate bargaining units, conducting elections to determine if workers want
                                                                   union representation, certifying unions to represent employees, and hearing and adjudicating
 Do You Have Friends Who Would Like to                             complaints by either the union or the employer charging unfair labor practices.
                                                                   Pay Equity: A term addressing the idea that fe male-dominated jobs or professions that have been
        Receive Our Newsletter?                                    traditionally undervalued, based on levels of responsibility and required education, should be raised
There is now a quick and simple way for you to become              to pay levels of comparable jobs traditionally held by men.
informed on a wide variety of issues concerning
                                                                   Picketing: Workers carrying signs and/or distributing literature protesting working conditions or
AFSCME Local 34. Just sign yourself up for our free                employer actions. Picketing occurs during a strike or as an ―infor mational‖ picket. The purpose of the
on-line newsletter! Please follow the directions below…            tactic is to put pressure on the employer by informing the public and other workers about unfair
 Send an e-mail to the follow ing address:                        working conditions.
                                      Representation Election: A labor board or agency vote conducted to determine whether a majority of
 In the Subject Line or Tex t, state ―Subscribe to 34             the workers in a previously established bargaining unit want to be represented by a given union.
   Newsletter‖, identify w ho you are, and send it off.            Scab: A person who continues to work, or who accepts employme nt, while workers are on strike. By
 You w ill receiv e a confirmation e-mail w ithin a w eek; y ou   filling workers‘ jobs, scabs may weaken or break the strike.
   should hav e the latest issue attached, so y ou can             Se niority: Preference accorded employees, based on length o f service with an e mployer, in such
   determine if y ou w ill be able to receiv e – and read – the    areas as layoff, recall, promotion, transfer, vacation accrual, scheduling, shift assignment, etc.
   e-mail new sletter attachments.                                 Service Fee: A monetary assessment o f non- me mbers in a bargaining unit to help de fray the union‘s
                                                                   costs in negotiating and administering the contract (see Agency Shop ).
Note: if at any time y ou w ant to stop receiv ing these
updates, all y ou hav e to do is send an e-mail to the address     Strike: A concerted act by a group of employees who withhold their labor for the purpose of affecting
listed abov e, state ―Unsubscribe‖ in the Subject Line or          a change in wages, hours or working conditions.
Tex t, and y our name w ill be remov ed from our lis t. For        Unfair Labor Practice: An employer or union practice forbidden by the National Labor Relations Board
Netscape users, you may need to press ―Reload‖ to get              or state and local laws, subject to court appeal. It often involves the employer‘s efforts to avoid
the most recent version. You can also access us from our           bargaining in good faith. Other examples may include manage ment‘s failure to provide relevant
Local 34 Website at:                  information the union has requested for either bargaining or grievance handling purposes or
                                                                   manage ment‘s repeated failure to implement grievance settlements or arbitration awards. Some
                                                                   state laws may use the term ―prohibited practices.‖

Local 34 Banner                                                                     September 2010                                                             -4-
                                                                                 Hennepin County News

                                                          Our bro thers and sisters in Hennepin AFSCME Lo cal 2938 are impacted by the proposal being
              Good and Welfare                             made by Chie f Public Defender Bill Ward, described in the ar ticle below. While there is no
 The Good and Welfare Committee was                      immediate similar impact envisioned in HSPHD, the strategies for meeting the County’s need to
                                                       reduce i ts budget for 2011 – wi th a likely smaller-than-usual property tax increase anticipated from
 established to send remembrances to dues                                    the County Board – are impacting all of our Departments.
 paying members at times of happiness or
 sorrow. This includes marriages, the birth or
                                                       Hennepin County Seeks Further Cuts in Staff of {Public} Defenders
 adoption of a child, prolonged illness or
                                                       County public defender's office is short a dozen lawyers, but latest budget plan would
 hospitalization, or the death of a member,            encourage more to retire.
 immediate family member or significant other –
                                                       By KEVIN DUCHSCHERE, Star Tribune - Last update: July 31, 2010
 as defined in the Contract.
                                                       William W ard, Hennepin County's chief public defender, says he's at least a dozen lawyers short
 In the case of surgery or prolonged illness,          of the level that his nonstop, high-pressure office should be at. Yet there he was last week
 or for the birth or adoption of a child, flowers      before the Hennepin County Board, talking about a retirement incentive program that would put
 or plants can be sent to a member.                    the office even further behind. Hennepin County is asking departments to reduce their 2011
                                                       budgets by 5 percent. So the public defender's office plans to offer $400 tax-free for every year
 In situations involving the death of a member         of service to veteran county employees who retire or resign this fall. The payments can be used
 or a death in the family of a member,                 to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. County commissioners are expected to approve the
 memorials can be sent. (―Family‖ is defined the       program.
 same as in Ar ticle 16 – Funeral Leave – in our       The problem is that if the program succeeds in thinning out the ranks, it will leave the
 contract; it includes:                                office with even fewer attorneys at a time when the caseloads trend is rising. That's because
 □    spouse,                                          only the state now hires public defenders, and the state has frozen hiring to deal with its
 □    child,                                           expected massive deficit. Diminishing the ranks of an office that handled 54,000 cases last
 □    significant other,                               year and now has 116 lawyers -- who already carry double the caseload recommended by the
 □    aunt/uncle,                                      American Bar Association -- is a sobering prospect. Ward calls it insane. "We're being asked to
 □    father/mother,                                   do more cases with less people, and it's impossible," he said.
 □    sister/brother,                                  No guarantees
 □    grandparent/grandparent-in-law,                  Hennepin County's public defender's office, the state's largest, is something of a hybrid. While
      grandchildren,                                   other district offices have been solely operated by the state since 1999, Hennepin
 □    niece/nephew, or                                 County continues to make a gradual transition from county to state ownership. About 57
 □    a person regarded as a member of the             percent of its workers remain on the county payroll, the rest paid by the state. The county
      member‘s immediate family).                      provides a third of the Hennepin public defender office's $21.4 million budget. County officials
 In the event of members getting married,              are eager to further draw down that commitment and increase the state's share.
 retiring, gaining U.S. citizenship, or for a          The retirement incentive program would be open to Hennepin public defenders with at
 death in the family of a member or in the             least eight years experience. Ward said he's confident most takers would be those
 case of the death of a member, a card can             closing in on retirement. A similar incentive program three years ago, before Ward joined
 be sent to the family.                                the office, failed to spark any retirements, he said. Veteran public defenders paid by the state
                                                       make $117,000, while fresh hires are paid $52,000. Commissioners, noting that the
 Please send all requests for remembrances to          state stood to save money if the retirement incentive works, asked Ward if he thought
 the co-Chairs for the Good and Welfare                the state would replace the people leaving. "I can't give you that guarantee," he said.
 Committee - Lisa Durkot (MC 965) or Merry             Besides the hiring freeze, the state public defender's office had to reduce its full-time attorney
 Brigham (MC L890). The referrals must                 complement by 27, which it did through attrition. "It's a huge concern. The state better live up
                                                       to its responsibility of providing public defenders," Commissioner Mark Stenglein said.
 include the name of the member and the
 reason for your request. If the request is for a      The Hennepin office has already seen two senior attorneys retire this year, and another
                                                       may leave soon. Moreover, five attorneys will take "salary savings" leaves of
 plant or flowers, you will also need to include
                                                       up to a year starting this month. To close the gaps, Ward said he has two choices: work with
 the person’s home phone number for delivery           the courts to extend the amount of time to handle cases, or contract with lawyers from outside
 purposes.                                             the office. Ward said that doesn't mean he can sign any attorney off the street to handle his
                                                       office's complicated and fast-paced work. "I'm not going to practice on the poor," he said.
     Sign Up for the PEOPLE Fund                        Commissioner Peter McLaughlin: Priorities – Develop Wind Power Alternatives, Improve education
 The AFSCME People Fund is AFSCME‘s political            for all children, Complete and Exp and Transi t Al ternatives, and Make Hennepin a Cool County.
      action fund, and is used to support our            http://www.peter
      endorsed candidates. If many members              Commissioner Gail Dorfman: I seek reelection as your Cou nty Co mmi ssioner, be cause our work is
    voluntarily pledge as little as $2. 00 a payroll     far from done. We face significant challenges in Hennepin County, challenges that will take hard
       period, our ability to get our endorsed           work, experience, an understanding of our co mmunity, and fie rce de termination to overco me. I do
  candidates elected, will be greatly enhanced. At       no t run fro m these challenges, but am more committed than ever to continue the work we've
  $4.00 per pay period, a contributor receives an        begun, to see it through. http://www.commissionerdor
       AFSCME green jacket. Please contact              Commissioner Mark Stenglein: Espe cially in today's uncer tain econo mic climate, it is prudent to
 Jacqueline Coleman at 543-2605 to sign up now!          continue building par tnerships - with the private sector, foundations, other governmental agencies
                                                         and neighborhood organizations - to improve opportuni ties and mold a communi ty that we can all
                                                         believe in.

Local 34 Banner                                                          September 2010                                                            -5-
                                                          More from the 2010 AFSCME International Convention

                                                      The August newsletter identified some of the resolutions considered this year. One correction from that
  Workers Memorial Garden                           issue: the number of delegates in Boston was 3711, not 371. This issue, we‘ll identify the Health Care and
  Submitted by AFSCME Council 5 on August 3, 2010             Economic Affairs resolutions considered by the 39th AFSCME International Convention…       The H ealth Care Committee submitted eleven resolutions, one of which failed as noted last
  Minnesota has a new memorial on the State           month (Reforming Health Care Reform) and two were not brought forth for consideration
                                                      (Elimination of Unfair Taxation on Domestic Partners M edical Benefits and Health Care
    Capitol grounds, this one a labor-sought
                                                      Committee). Eight of the Health Care resolutions were adopted; t hey dealt with: Preparing
garden that honors workers who lost lives on          AFSCME Health Care Workers for Health Information Technology in the Workplace
the job. It was the dream of David Roe, former        (provuiding education resources to help members prepare for health information technology
  president of the                                    changes); Preservation of Antibiotics for M edical Treatment Act of 2009 (PAMTA – H.R.
  Minnesota AFL-                                      1549/S.619) (the act would withdraw routine use of seven classes of antibiotics vital to
      CIO, who                                        human health from use on farms); as amended –People Over Machines – Lock Up ‗Doc in
tirelessly pursued                                    the Box‘ (AFSCME will oppose the inappropriate use of telemedicine in prisons and other
 the project for 25                                   public institutions); as amended – Tell the President to End the Fair Labor Standards
                                                      Exemption for Home Care Workers (AFSCME supports ending the companionship exemption
 years. This week,
                                                      and calls for Medicaid adjustments in reimbursement rates, and tax code c hanges to provide
Roe was joined by                                     care subsidies for private-pay services); Lyme Disease: Treatment and Prevention (support
   former Vice President Walter Mondale and           passage of H.R.1179 and S.1352 re: Lyme Disease and increase the worker o pportunities for
hundreds of labor and community leaders for           diagnosis and treatment of the disease); Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (calls for
       the dedication of the memorial. Its            AFSCME to continue to support health care reform, support maximization of Medicaid
    centerpiece is a 20-stone wall with hand          reimbursements, access funding in workforce programs to fully develop the health care
   etchings that include a poem by Langston           workforce, and protect public employee administrationof state responsibilities from the
 Hughes about the hands that made America.            health care reform legislation); The ADA and R easonable Accommodation (explore
                                                      possibility of trained union advoc ates to assist workers with ADA accomodation issues and
 The Minnesota Workers Memorial Garden is             require independent trained worker advocates be involved in determining reasonable ADA
                               on the State           accommodations); and M edical and Worker‘s Compensation Leave Should Count as Time
                                   Capitol            Worked for FMLA Coverage (is concerned with the limitations brought on by the FMLA rule
                               grounds just           that a worker must have worked at least 1250 hours the previous calendar year, and would
                                  east of a           count time spent on medical or worker‘s comp leavev toweards the 1250 hour minimum).
                                                     The Ec onomic Affairs Committee brought forward nine resolutions, and each of them was
                                                      considered and approved by the Convention. They range from pensions and Social Security
                               World War II           to budgets and taxes. The first deals with The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility
                                 veterans.            and Reform and calls on AFSCME to oppose any Commission efforts to cut Social Security or
                                    Other             Medicare and to encourage the Commission to thoroughly pursue revenue options, as
                               memorials on           Americans should be reminded that they depend on these vital services and programs, which
                               the grounds            can only continue with the revenue needed to pay for them. Another concerned the AFSCME
                                   honor              Jobs Campaign, which calls for passage of the Local Jobs for America Act, support for
                                veterans of           extended COBRA and unemployment benefits for unemployed workers, additional state and
                                                      local fiscal relief, and furthering AFSCME‘s ‗Make America Happen‘ campaign. In an
                                the Korean
                                                      amended Solve Budget Crises across the United States and Save the Middle Class , AFSCME
                               and Vietnam            will seek to tax the rich at all levels of government so American jobs and services can be
 wars as well as a monument to fallen police          saved. Fair Taxes and Economic Recovery calls on President Obama and Congress to enact a
       officers and women's suffrage.                 progressive federal budget, pass spending bills that fully fund public services, to allow the
 The designer was inspired by David Roe and           Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010, and to create legislation that closes tax loopholes benefitting
                                                      big corporations and the wealthy. Aiming at Wall Street, Financial Services Reform backed
these powerful words from ―Freedom‘s Plow‖
                                                      Wall Street financial reform legislation calling for a crackdown on reckless behavior, greater
 by Langston Hughes: ―Free hands and slave
                                                      transparency, safety for the insured, uniform credit rating criteria, and pension protection.
hands, indentured hands, adventurous hands,           The Convention examined two pension-related resolutions, adopting Pension Fund Activism,
  white hands and black hands held the plow           which seeks to ensure retirement funds are safe and sec ure – and invested wisely, while
     handles, axe handles, hammer handles,            encouraging more AFSCME reptresentation on public pension boards. The Convention also
  launched the boats and whipped the horses           approved Promoting and Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Plans, which calls for proactive
    that fed and housed and moved America.            and aggressive defense of our members‘ pensions through proposals that protect our
   Thus together through their labor, all these       benefits throughappropriate financing, as all Americans should be provided with greater
              hands made America.‖                    retirement security. More focus on retirement security brought approval of resolutions on
                                                      deferred compensation and social security.           In Worker Representation on Deferred
 Former Vice President Walter Mondale joined          Compensation Plan Boards, AFSCME resolved to lobby and support legislation to ensure
labor and community leaders August 3 for the          worker representatives are included as plan board members or trustees in deferred
dedication ceremony. He praised David Roe‘s           compensation plans, and in Strengthening Social Security, as amended, AFSCME adopted
  tenacity in raising $423,000 in state, federal      language to lobby President O bama and congress to create reforms strengthening Social
                                                      Security, and to join concerned organizations in developing suc h a strategy.
     and private donations to pay for the
                    memorial.                           In the next two issues, we‘ll look at the Legislation and Resolution Committees‘ actions.

Local 34 Banner                                                       September 2010                                                              -6-
      New Labor Blogger at Daily Kos:                                               Many o f you read the reports that your Local 34 me mbers brought back to you last month fro m the
                                                                                   Boston Conve ntion. Brother Stephen Edwards, President of Local 2858, in Illinois Council 31, who is
            ―Unions 101‖ by ―norwood‖                                                one o f the more passionate – and fair-to-say-radical me mbers o f the convention body – wrote the                                         following Conve ntion report – which is flavored by his politics and his sense of AFSCME history – but
                                                                                    which is an i mportant point-of-view that should be shared in our Local. I am using the cross-posted
         From: ―Words Have Meaning‖
                                                                                                                 version at the Socialist site.
(Inter-connected     labor-based     words…
―Solidarity‖ to ―Weingarten Rights‖ to                                             AFSCME Convention Report: Public Sector Must Turn Towards Struggle
―Steward‖ to ―Right-to-Work States‖ etc.)                                          August 2, 2010 Steve Edwa rds, Pres ident of AFSCME Loca l 2858 ( Chicago) a nd member of So cialist Alternative‘s National
                                                                                   Com mittee http://www.socialist alternative .org/news/article14.php?id =1415
Here are three of the terms: Workers - Anyone
who works for a living. If you are not                                             Socialist Editor’s Note: This substantial historical account and report from the recent
independently wealthy, if you rely on a paycheck                                   AFSCME convention, while quite long, is extremely important for the upcoming battles over budget cuts in
to pay the bills and grow your savings, then you                                   this time of capitalist crisis. Giving a history of the union, an account of the Convention, a way forward for
are a worker. If you are a worker and you are not                                  the struggle and the text of the resolutions put forward by Local 2858, this article should be read with
pro-union, then you are a traitor to the...                                        interest by trade union activists and socialists.
Working Class - "The working class and the
employing class have nothing in common." So                                        With 1.4 million current members and 200,000 retirees, the
says the preamble of the constitution of the...                                    American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Wobblies - The Industrial Workers of the World, or                                 Employees (AFSCME) is one of the biggest unions in the U.S.,
IWW, or Wobblies, are a legendary international                                    representing as the name implies, public workers at every
union of workers which you can join. Formed in                                     level except for employees of the Federal government.
1905 by socialists and anarchists, the Wobblies                                    AFSCME members are therefore at the center of the struggle to preserve and defend
continue to organize oppressed American workers
                                                                                   working class living standards, as State and local governments, mostly led by Democrats
to this day, including Starbucks baristas and                                      and aided and abetted by the billionaires who own the media, are going after our jobs, pay
bicycle messengers…
                                                                                   and especially our pensions and other benefits. After the humbling of the once mighty auto
     There were interesting responses to this diary:                               and other unions over the past 30 years, our benefits, once correctly seen as mediocre, are
While unions are important and necessary, it leads to                              now targets for cutbacks. The corporate media‘s spin on the story is that other workers are
an assumption that the government doesn't have to                                  now being taxed to pay for them - never mind the fifty years of tax breaks for the rich and
support and protect all workers, because they can                                  big business which led up to the fiscal crises now faced by government at all levels.
rely on the unions to do it. Where does that leave
                                                                                   Livable pay and working conditions, job security, health insurance and reasonable
non-unionized workers? Shouldn't all workers have
those protections? Shouldn't unions be fighting for                                pensions are the way of life that many workers took for granted after the giant industrial
the rights of all workers?                                                         battles of the 30s and 40s, and the mass actions of the 60s and 70s which extended the
                                                                                   benefits of unionization to wider layers. All of these are now under attack, from the Right-
Answer: Non-unionized employees are supposed
to be covered, in the U.S. at least, by OSHA and                                   wing Republicans who want us to go back to paying the doctor with a chicken, all the way
EPA. As you can tell by all of the recent headline-                                up to Democratic President Obama who has applauded the mass firing of public school
making workplace accidents, they do not do a very                                  employees as a way to make them "accountable" for the problems facing our children's
good job of regulation/enforcement. Starting                                       education.
programs         such       as      OSHA's      VPP                                Unfortunately for all of us, labor organizations in the U.S. are mostly led by people whose
(     is   one    way                                lifestyles resemble those of the rich and famous a lot more than they do ours. These
companies use to skirt regulations.                                                leaders are further insulated from reality by their own top-down organizational methods,
As to the rest of your questions, non-unionized                                    which are designed to discourage awkward questions and other kinds of discussion and
workers, especially in right to work states, have                                  debate. Gerald McEntee, President of AFSCME, gets more than half a million dollars a year
two choices, do the work or be fired. Unions fight                                 of salary in expenses - which go for crazy luxuries like using chartered jets instead of
for the right of all workers, even though it might                                 commercial flights, money that could be better spent in half a million ways.
not seem like it. Don't believe it?                                                The Union‘s History
Think off all the benefits people just take for                                    AFSCME went from a hundred thousand members in the early sixties to a million by the
granted now, but union men and women died                                          end of the seventies but not without brutal internal battles. In the 1950s the union had
fighting for. Just three off the top of my head: 40                                sunk to the level of a subservient staff association which took money from the State
hour work week, paid overtime, and the Family and                                  Department to break strikes in countries emerging from colonialism (hence the title
Medical Leave Act.                                                                 "International" in the name of the union). It took New York-based organizer Jerry Wurf
Companies DO NOT provide these benefits out of                                     decades of organizing and arguing, to overturn this rotten leadership, and the battle to
the kindness of their hearts.           Fighting for                               clean up the union was inseparable from wider struggles:
legislation that would make unions not necessary
                                                                                         "The body supply for the early (Civil Rights) Freedom Rides came from District Council
is just not realistic, even though it would be nice.
                                                                                         37. When white thugs moved in to beat up blacks who used a chain of hamburger
Companies are in business for one reason, to
                                                                                         joints in New York, we took out our heaviest and fattest laborers, and legally and
make money, and they will do it, quite literally,
                                                                                         properly saw to it that black people had access to this chain. When they needed
over your dead body. At least with a union, you
                                                                                         bodies to pic ket airlines because they wouldn’t hire blac k staff, our union in New York
might have a chance to fight for your rights/safety.
                                                                                         led this."
Without a union? Good luck.                                                              [From Joseph C. Goulden, Jerry W urf: Labor‘s Last Angry Man]
                                                                                   Continued on the next page – right hand column

Local 34 Banner                                                                                         September 2010                                                                          -7-
Further Labor Musings/Comments - DKos                                                                      When a group of Black sanitation workers
Question: What can w e do to fight the corporate                                                           struck against a racist city administration in
takeov er of politics? Answer: Unionize!                                                                   Memphis, Tennessee in February 1968, Wurf
Corporations have fought tooth and nail to break up                                                        at first believed the timing was wrong
unions throughout the industrialized world. The reason                                                     (garbage piling up in the streets rots faster in
has always been to deny workers rights and power to                                                        the summer time), but when he saw the anger
resist their march to profit. They always scream “union                                                    and determination of the strikers, he
corruption” even as it pales in signific ance to corporate                                                 famously threw the full force of his then-
corruption. Unions gave us:                                                                                300,000 member union behind the strike -
     The end of Child Labor                                                                               despite the fact that it was illegal.
     Shortening of the work week and day
                                                               Subsequently, Martin Luther King led a march and called for a general strike of the entire
     Paid Vacations
                                                               city. The march was broken up and attacked by the police, with some marchers
     Fight for Fair Pay
                                                               responding violently, and when King returned to lead a second march in April he was killed
     Safety in the Workplace
     Battle for Healthier Workplaces
                                                               by an assassin's bullet. One outcome of this horrible tragedy was that the City Council,
     Support in the Civil Rights struggles
                                                               heeding public pressure, forced the Mayor to recognize the union. So:
Hence, we see the continued demonization of unions by               "AFSCME Local 1733 grew to become the largest single union in the city, as
the monied classes and the mainstream media, where                  employees in various city departments, both blac ks and whites, organized. The victory
the propaganda endlessly portrays unions as the threat              of the strike also spurred public-employee organizing throughout the South and the
to employment. How do we fight back? Unionize!                      country, as AFSCME bec ame the f astest growing and one of the largest unions in the
…. LaFeminista, July 18, 2010                                       nation. [Jerry] Wurf said it represented the triumph of the principle of labor, civil rights
                                                                    and c ommunity alliances, and he hoped it would lead to unionization of the South . Out
Comment from ―Webranding‖: In the ―Traditional Media‖,
The Ed Show on MSNBC is the only place I see union                  of this struggle also came a heightened visibility for black workers. William Lucy, one
leaders. Not only after seeing a mine blow up, but just             of the organizers in the strike, became secretary-treasurer of AFSCME, and head of the
union leaders giv ing their input. Personally , ev ery one I        Coalition of Blac k Trade Unionists." [Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working Class
know is for unions 24/7; it’s literally a foreign concept to        History, Eric Arnesen, ed]
be anti-union….
                                                               A wave of organizing ensued. Public employees around the world were inspired by the
From Arlene Holt Baker, who will be speaking to the            struggle of the Memphis sanitation workers. In the U.S., postal workers successfully struck
AFSCME Council 5 Convention this year, as she                  against the Federal law that prohibited them from striking, overturning the law in the
addressed the lessons of the Shirley Sherrod mess,
July 21, 2010:
                                                               process and winning full reinstatement for all strikers without penalty, recognition for their
                                                               Union and a contract with pay raises. This victory inspired others, and within a decade
―What happened to Shirley Sherrod happens to so
                                                               AFSCME had more than tripled in size. But outside the public sector, without the backing
many American workers every day. They are fired or
disciplined without cause or due process and have              of the AFL-CIO leadership, the mass organization of the South did not occur.
no recourse. They don’t have a voice on the job or             Tragically, Jerry Wurf died in 1981 at the early age of 62. Bill Lucy, the Memphis-born
an avenue to speak out for their rights. Most                  organizer who was the man on the spot in 1968, was now Secretary-Treasurer of the
Americans work in jobs covered by the idea of                  International Union and was widely expected to succeed him; but that's not the way things
―employment at will.‖ This doctrine allows                     went. Here's how JET magazine reported it on January 28th 1982:
employers to fire workers at any time, for any
                                                                    "Confidential: The national AFL-CIO union that Dr Martin L KIng gave his life to help has
reason, or for no reason at all…. Every worker has a
                                                                    spurned a Black man as its president. When President Jerry Wurf of the State, County
right to a voice in the workplace. It’s time we began
protecting that right by passing the EFCA.‖                         and Municipal Employees died in mid-December, next in line was Secretary-Treasurer
                                                                    William Lucy, one of the highest Blacks in the labor movement. But in a feverish last-
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 60% fewer                    minute maneuver, White members drafted outsider Gerald W. McEntee, a Philadelphia
union elections from 1997 to 2009, and a decline in                 regional director, who out polled Lucy 483,000 to 449,911 in a bitter racial
workers eligible to vote for union representation                   confrontation. Dr King was killed in Memphis while trying to organize sanit ation
from 224,262 to 69,832 in that period. This has                     workers, a segment of the million-member union..."
impacted on labor‘s ability to call strikes. In 1952,
there were 470 ―major strikes‖ (involving 1000 or              Bill Lucy has remained an important figure in the labor movement, not only as AFSCME's
more workers). In 2009, there were just five. Key              Secretary-Treasurer but as a founder and most visible leader of the Coalition of Black
factors opines DKos diarist Mike Elk: union-busting,           Trade Unionists from 1972 to today. He was also a founder in 1984 of the Free South
outsourcing and union leader incompetency.
                                                               Africa Movement. But Lucy never again challenged McEntee for the Presidency of AFSCME.
In reply, California nurse and union activist, ―Chico          No doubt this was done in the name of unity, and because McEntee had the power of
David RN‖ wrote: There is a radical school of
                                                               incumbency: but this unity has come at a heavy price. Whatever political differences
thought that feels that the Wagner Act, which
codified and bureaucratized labor relations to a               continued to exist between them were kept behind closed doors, never to be allowed to
considerable degree, was actually better for                   filter down to the membership. AFSCME Conventions saw less and less debate and more
management than for the unions. They think that                and more time dedicated to promoting the Democrats (McEntee is a member of the
the pre-NLRA approach of doing everything by                   Democratic National Committee). Meanwhile AFSCME membership, which was 1.3 million
group action and worker militancy was far more                 in the mid-80's has only grown to its present 1.4 million (usually cited as 1.6 million but
empowering than today’s contracts and highly-                  true only if retirees are included) as a result of enormous efforts, millions of dollars spent
codified grievance procedures. Too many workers                on organizing - and the Clinton-era prison building binge.
think of the union like their public utility – you pay
your fee and get services in return. – July 8, 2010            Continued on the next page – right hand column

Local 34 Banner                                                                 September 2010                                                           -8-
See Labor Chorus at the State Fair                     Divisions at the Top
The Twin Cities Labor Chorus will perform              Two years ago, some of the differences within the AFSCME International Executive Board
                                                       surfaced in a letter from seven International VP's, sharply criticizing McEntee for spending
three times during the 2010 Minnesota State
                                                       Union money in attack ads against Barack Obama (McEntee favored Hilary Clinton but the
                                                       International Executive Board had not considered or approved negative ads against any
 Saturday, Aug. 28, 4 p.m.                            Democratic Party candidate).
 Tuesday, Aug. 31, 6 p.m.
                                                       The letter was leaked to Time magazine which is how many activists found out about its
 Labor Day, Sept. 6, noon.                            existence, ( But at the
All the performances take place at the AFL-            Convention a few months afterward, no mention was made of it. The differences were
CIO Labor Pavilion, at the corner of Dan Patch         papered over once again in a nauseating show of pro-Democratic Party unity.
Ave. and Cooper St. On Labor Day, the                  So when, in the run up to the 2010 Convention, it became apparent that Lucy was retiring
chorus will also join the labor contingent in          and that there would be a contest between his preferred successor - ironically a white
the daily parade through the fairgrounds.              man, Danny Donohue, a former rank and file member and the elected leader of AFSCME's
The chorus also will perform Sept. 26 at 2:30          biggest affiliate, CSEA (New York State) - and McEntee's long-time personal assistant Lee
p.m. at the Minnesota AFL-CIO convention in            Saunders, an African-American with no history of running for elective office - some rank-
Bloomington.                                           and-filers hoped that the differences would at last began to break out into the open. This
                                                       happened, but the two sides campaigned in a way that made their differences (though
                                                       real) seem hard to identify; the divisions emerged in a very uneven way.
                                                       For example, McEntee's undemocratic way of running the Convention - at once glitzy and
                                                       bullying, at times almost thuggish in his manner - never evinced much protest before,
                                                       certainly not from anyone on the International Executive Board. But his tangibly churlish
                                                       attitude to the retirement speech from Bill Lucy, including cutting off the time allotted to
                                                       tributes to this 57 year veteran of our Union, and his unconcealed determination to see his
                                                       own candidate win, created in response, massive demonstrations of anger, both organized
                                                       and spontaneous, from the Convention floor.
                                                       These began with protests against his staff calling Convention Center security against
                                                       Donohue supporters passing out literature on Monday morning, to further protests against
 Local 34’ s Katie Farber – at right – performs with   his use of Lee Saunders' campaign color - yellow, a curious choice in terms of Labor history
            the Twin Cities Labor Chorus               - on Tuesday morning's Convention newsletter, to angry and poorly answered questions
                                                       about the use of what amounts to a proxy voting system in which many delegates had
Labor Chorus Goes Viral?                               already signed over their votes to the leader of their Local delegation. The nominating
Live performances of the Twin Cities Labor             process on Tuesday afternoon which took over two hours to complete - for only two vacant
Chorus now are available on You Tube.                  positions and a total of five nominees - because the Convention floor erupted with the fury
The chorus recorded six songs live in the              of two thousand delegates protesting a series of outrages against the electoral process.
studio while taping an episode of ―Voices of           For example, during the nominations, McEntee at one point vacated the chair to go down
Experience,‖ the cable television show                 on the floor, wearing a yellow Saunders T-shirt to nominate his favorite. He went way over
produced by the Minnesota State Retirees               the five minutes allotted to him and this was allowed by the temporary chairperson. The
Council AFL-CIO. The complete show is still            same for almost all of the flowery, professionally crafted speeches seconding the
in production, but the musical segments can            Saunders nomination. The President of the Union then resumed the chair, astonishingly
be viewed individually, thanks to the help of          still wearing the yellow T-shirt bearing the name of his preferred candidate, and continued
the Labor Education Service at the University          wearing this shirt as he took the nominations for the other candidates. This sparked a
of Minnesota. The songs can be found at:               prolonged roar of protest from Danny Donohue's supporters, but President McEntee
                                                       continued to wear his preferred candidate's election
                                                       material as he conducted the rest of the nominations. It is
                                                       not easy to convey the impression that this explosion of
                                                       disunity left, on all present. AFSCME conventions will never
                                                       be the same again.
                                                       The Saunders campaign went into the election with all the
                                                       advantages of the support of the International's appointed
                                                       staff - and dark rumors of threats to cut off organizational
                                                       support from those District Councils that need them the
                                                       most if they voted the wrong way - and the expectation that
                                                       they would win by a margin of 200,000 votes (out of the 1.3 million represented at the
New members are Always Welcome:                        Convention). Donohue's supporters had to remind delegates that the vote was by secret
Union members who want to join the Labor               ballot conducted by the American Arbitration Association and that delegates who had
Chorus can get rehearsal schedules and other           signed over their votes to their Local leadership could rescind that permission simply by
information by sending an email to                     showing up first at the polls - at 6am on Thursday morning.                               Concluded on the next page – right hand column

Local 34 Banner                                                         September 2010                                                  -9-
     State and Local Government Jobs                                Result: When the votes were counted, Saunders won - but only by 3,700 votes – less than
              Take a Beating                                        half of one percent of the total number cast. This was greater than the number of
        By CATHERINE RAMPELL August 6, 2010                         challenged ballots and no election protest was filed, but that evening, supporters from
 http:// 06/state -and-local-   both sides agreed that McEntee's repellent behavior from the platform was mainly to
                 gover nment-jobs-take -a-beating                   blame for the narrowness of this victory. The Donohue camp has made it clear that they
Most of the net payroll loss in July can be                         will be running again - probably for the Presidency as well as the Secretary-Treasurer
attributed to the end of temporary federal Census                   position when they both come up for re-election in 2012.
jobs. But state and local governm ent payrolls also
took a beating last month. State and local                          What were the issues, and what will they be in 2012?
governments eliminated 48,000 jobs in July. This
                                                                    Overshadowing the too-diplomatically defined differences between the candidates - such
may not be surprising, given the dire fiscal straits
                                                                    as Saunders' emphasis on selecting where to spend organizing dollars, Donohue's
so many states are in. But until very recently, state
                                                                    emphasis on the need of the International Union to devote its attention and resources to
and local governments were among the safest
places to work. For example, month after month                      the struggles we are experiencing in the field (implying some redistribution of dues back to
the job separations rate — which refers to the                      Locals and Councils) - and the question of continuing to support any candidate the
number of people who depart voluntarily or                          Democrats serve up, or as implied by the Donohue campaign, supporting Republicans or
involuntarily from an industry, relative to all                     (possibly) independents where circumstances so indicate - lie the looming budget-driven
employment in that industry — had been extremely                    battles against layoffs, furloughs and other pay cuts, and the even bigger fights that will
low in state and local government, compared to                      develop as contracts have to be negotiated in the post-Crash of 2008 world.
every other industry.                                               Behind all this is the question of Union democracy. McEntee has been in power as the
Indeed, many governments were adding jobs well                      President of our union since 1981 and many members believe he has gotten far, far too
into the recession. While private payrolls fell                     used to it. This is what led to the behavior that nearly cost Lee Saunders, his personal
almost immediately after the recession began,                       assistant, never previously elected to any post, the election for Secretary-Treasurer.
public sector payrolls grew steadily during the
deepest darkest depths of private-sector job                        We need democracy in a working class organization so that we can openly discuss and
losses. Indeed, July was the first month in which                   debate the way forward, to figure out at all levels of the Union, not just in staff-controlled
state payrolls fell just barel y below their pre-                   and scripted "workshops," how to mobilize workers in defense of their class. At this
recession l evel; that is, there were 99. 9 percent as              Convention as at others in the past, members and allies of Socialist Alternative moved
many state workers in July 2010 as there were in                    resolutions calling for the rich to have to pay for their crisis, and for unions to dump the
December 2007, whereas in all the intervening                       Democrats and campaign for candidates that genuinely support us.
months state employment w as more than 100                          Democratic and accountable structures give workers control of their own organizations,
percent of its pre-recession number. Additionally,                  and this can be crucial in contract battles or other struggles. The more members are
federal government employment (is actually higher
                                                                    involved, the better chance workers have of winning. As the public sector comes further
today than it was when the recession began,
                                                                    under attack, the mobilization of the ranks will determine whether we win or lose. Unions
whether or not you include the temporary
decenni al Census hires. There were 109. 5 percent
                                                                    need a fighting strategy of mass demonstrations, pickets, community outreach and when
as many federal government jobs in July 2010 as                     necessary, strikes. We need to know who are friends are and who are enemies are. Our
there were in December 2007.                                        friends are the ordinary people who use the services provided by the public sector: the
                                                                    students, the families with child care, the welfare recipients, and the patients. The
To understand these patterns, consider where the                    politicians cutting our services are not our friends, and we need to replace them with
funding for all these different government jobs is
coming from. State and local finances — and thus,
                                                                    independent candidates who take a firm stance against budget cuts.
state and local employment — are l argely
dependent on state and local tax revenues. State
and local tax revenues depend on what is going on                   The Political Logic of Job Losses
in the private sector: whether people are buying
(sales taxes), whether companies are making
                                                                    Matt Yglesias puts a finer point on the political history behind, and electoral implications
money (corporate incom e taxes), and so on. There                   of, the July jobs report:
                                                                      The losses came from the public sector. And they were foreseeable. And they were
is a l ag, though, between the time things go south
                                                                      foreseen by the President of the United States and the Speaker of the House of
in the private sector, and the time when state                        Representatives and the Majority Leader of the United States Senate and the majority of
governments finally incorporate those tax revenue
                                                                      House members and a majority of Senators. And the President of the United States and
declines into their new budgets. Hence, state and
                                                                      the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the United
local government layoffs seem to be lagging                           States Senate and the majority of House members and a majority of Senators voted for
behind private sector ones.                                           bills that would have prevented that.
How, then, have federal government workers‘ jobs
                                                                      But bec ause in the Senate a minority of members can get their way, action wasn‘t taken.
managed to rem ain so safe?               The federal                 Consequently, we have a horrible jobs number. Which would be bad enough, but the way
government is not quite as sensitive to a business-                   the American political system works, the minority party that prevented the majority from
cycl e-related drop in tax revenues, since it doesn‘t                 addressing the crisis will accrue massive political benefits as a result of the collapse.
have a strict balanced-budget requirement, as
most states do. That means the federal                              Conservatives won‘t admit it today, but what we‘re looking at is a major breakdown of the
government can borrow funds to make up a                            logic of the American political system.
budget deficit, and use that money to maintain or                   By Ezra Klein | August 6, 2010 -
even grow its work force.

Local 34 Banner                                                                          September 2010                                                                         -10-
                                                   I will give you one example. I represented a social worker who had provided good
  Cliff Robinson: Parting                          service to the county for over twenty years. This person was involved in an automobile
 Words for the Hennepin                            accident which resulted in significant and chronic neurological issues and made it
                                                   increasingly difficult for this individual to maintain an acceptable quantity and quality
      County Board of                              of work. The response of the supervisor and manager was to impose progressive
Commissioners – On Behalf                          discipline starting with written reprimands, several suspensions without pay and
                                                   finally discharge. Each instance of discipline was accompanied by a very demeaning
    of the Membership!                             and threatening letter. Each successive discipline made the worker more anxious and
                                                   unable to improve performance and thus became a self-fulfilling prophesy. This is
     With his permission, this newsletter is       very typical of my experience with many employees over the years. I realize that there
  reprinting an e-mail sent by retiring Local 34   will be situations where employees can no longer adequately perform their jobs and
   Chief Steward Cliff Robinson to the seven
                                                   ultimately must be separated from county service. When this happens, a process that
elected County Commissioners on his final day
                                                   leaves the employee w ith his/her personal dignity and sense of self worth should be
 as a County employee – 44 years – August 13,
 2010. These are important thoughts on behalf      developed. However there are others who could be assisted to improve their
of the membership he has served for over forty     performance to an acceptable level. Using progressive discipline in these instances is
  years. Originally, the officers and stewards     a cop- out for supervisors and managers who do not have the skills or the motivation
 were provided a copy, which was also CC’d to      to do their jobs. The ill effects of misusing progressive discipline goes far beyond the
   our Business Representative, Matt Nelson.       individual worker and creates morale problems for other workers who fear being
                                                   singled out for similar treatment.
                                                   The second issue is related to the first; it is the ineffectiveness of the county board's
My name is Clifford Robinson. I am retiring on     Diversity and Nondiscrimination Policy. This policy is a wonderful statement of human
August 13th after forty four years of service      rights. Unless the intent and goals of this policy are carried out by all employees,
with Hennepin County, forty years of which has     especially those with supervisory or administrative authority it will remain essentially
been as a child protection social worker. For      a dead letter. The policy requires employees and others to treat each other with
many years I have served as a chief steward        respect. The treatment given to those employees with performance issues is an ything
for AFSCM E Local 34. It is out of that            but respectful and is a direct violation of this policy. Of equal concern are those
experience that I am writing you. I am going to    supervisors who misuse their authority and who target members of their unit for
tell you about two workplace issues which,         abusive and disparate treatment. When this kind of behavior is allowed to continue it
because of your positions you may not be           is very destructive to employee morale and affects the quality of their work. The
aware, but which you are ultimately                clients that we serve then pay a price. We have used the complaint process in this
responsible.                                       policy to represent our members with virtually no success. I believe the reason for this
                                                   is that the individual charged with administering this policy has insufficient authority
                                                   to conduct independent investigations and is too close to the departments to be
All staff who pass the initial probation period
                                                   objective. If the Board wants its human right policies to be observed the complaint
are considered competent to do the job for         process must be revised and strengthened. I suggest that the office of affirmative
which they are hired. However some                 action director be removed from human resources and placed directly under the
employees because of physical or mental            county administrator or the Board itself. The director must be given authority to
illness can not maintain an adequate level of      compel cooperation from department managers and department managers need to
performance. In far too many cases the             be told that the affirmative action director speaks for the county administrator or the
response of supervisors and managers is to         board.
use progressive discipline as a means of either
improving performance or              separating   I don't want to leave you with the impression that I believe Hennepin County to be a
employees from county service. The use of          bad place to work. I have found most supervisors and managers to be well meaning
progressive discipline in cases other than         and hard working people who do their jobs with competence and integrity. The same
willful misconduct is inappropriate, clumsy and    can be said of the staff. The policy regarding employees with performance issues I
unethical. In child protection we see many         believe to be a creation of the HR Department, the Labor Relations Department or
parents whose only response to controlling         both. It needs to change. Social Darwinism in a progressive county like Hennepin is an
their children is to punish them. Those parents    ugly thing. The problems caused by the handful of supervisors who abuse their power
are required to attend parenting classes to        are all out of proportion to their number. It should never be tolerated.
learn more appropriate techniques for dealing
                                                   The kind of change that I am advocating will never happen without clear leadership
with their children. I am not implying that the    from the board. I suggest that you talk to other union leaders who will substantiate my
staff are children but the differential in power   statements and will be more than willi ng to work cooperatively with county
between children and parents and staff and         management and the board to develop a culture of positive leadership at all levels of
managers is the same.                              county government.

Local 34 Banner                                                   September 2010                                                  -11-
                                                                        On the Political Front
                                                 Primary                                                         United for Dayton
                                                  Night                                   Submitted by AFSCME Council 5 on August 11, 2010
                                                 Results:                                          http://afsc
                                                August 10              AFSCME-endorsed Mark Dayton won the
                                                                       Democratic primary for governor by more than
Former Senator Earns Comeback Bid                                      6,000 votes Tuesday night. Wednesday, he stood
          in Minnesota                                                 side by side with party and labor leaders united to
With ex-senator Mark Dayton's wee-hours win in                         beat Tom Emmer in November.                  Dayton
Minnesota's Democratic gubernatorial primary, we                       congratulated his DFL opponents, Margaret
can declare a trend: In this week's big primary                        Anderson Kelliher and Matt Entenza, for running
races, Democrats tended to sti ck with                                 ―positive and respectful and honest‖ campaigns.
establishment candidates while Republicans                             Dayton said, ―What binds us together is our
preferred the insurgents. Dayton nosed out state                       principles….We know it's not possible to c ut $6
House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher to win                        billion from the state budget without c osting jobs,
the nomination. Former state representative Matt                       hurting schools and raising property taxes.‖ Dayton also thanked his union s upporters –
Entenza, who spent $5 million of his own money                         AFSCME Council 5, Teamsters Joint Council 32, United Steelworkers, and the Police and
on the race, came in third.                                            Peace Officers – for believing in him and getting his voters to the polls. Now, our hard work
                                                                       continues for 83 more days with the help of many partners. The M innesota AFL-CIO will
For Dayton, the campaign represents a personal as                      endorse for governor Aug. 16.
well as a political comeback. In an interview late
last year with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Dayton                    On the Nov. 2nd ballot, Dayton will square off against Independent Tom Horner and
acknowledged that he is on medication for                              Republican Tom Emmer, who promises to ―cut government by a third‖ and eliminate our
depression. A recovering alcoholic, he said he                         guaranteed pensions. By threatening our jobs and our retirement, Emmer has motivated an
began drinking again before leaving the Senate in                      army of AFSCME volunteers to help Dayton win.
2007. He said he sought help that year at a                            For Minnesota‘s first-ever August primary, our volunteers made more than 100,000 c alls to
rehabilitation center and has been sober ever                          identify and persuade voters, plus another 50,512 calls to get them out to vote for Dayton.
since.                                                                 That effort, combined with our billboards and radio commercials, really made the difference
In November, he'll face state Rep. Tom Emmer, the                      in northeastern Minnesota, where voters carried Dayton across the finish line in a very close
Republican nominee, and Tom Horner of the                              election that was called at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Dayton‘s narrow margin of victory was
Independence Party -- the same party that brought                      found in St. Louis County, where he won 7,184 more votes than Kelliher. With nearly 4,000
you Gov. Jesse Ventura. The three are vying to                         Council 5 voters in that county, we helped bring home the win.
replace Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a                                 ―Mark has always been a great friend to northeastern Minnesota and they remember him,‖
Republican who is not seeking re-election but who                      said Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, Dayton‘s running mate from Duluth.
is starting to act like a potential 2012 presidential
Minnesota has not elected a Democrati c governor                       Primary Map Shows
in two decades, but it has the nation's longest-
running streak of voting for Democratic                                Dayton Advantage
presidenti al candidates. Not since Richard Nixon                      by Briana Bierschbach
                                                                       Published: August 13, 2010 -
was running in 1972 have Minnesotans given their
electoral votes to a Republican.                                       0/08/primary-map-shows-dayton-
                                                                       By Tony Angelo
Dayton Leads Emmer by 9 points in First                                Blogger Tony Angelo, who
    Post-Primary Gubernatorial Poll                                    runs stat-head site minn-
     By Derek Wallbank | Published Fri, Aug 13 2010                    Donkey, confirmed what we ekwallbank/2010/08/13/20562/dayton_lea
  ds_emmer _by_9_points_in_fir st_post-pr imar y_gubernator ial_poll
                                                                       all knew to be true via a
                                                                       map: DFLer Mark Dayton
DFL gubernatori al nominee Mark Dayton leads
                                                                       won the most votes in
Republican Tom Emmer by 9 percentage points in
                                                                       greater Minnesota, giving
the first statewide survey completed and rel eased
                                                                       him a narrow edge to win
after the Tuesday's primaries concluded. Dayton
picks up 45 percent in Rasmussen Reports' survey                       the nomination in the
of likely voters, with Emmer at 36 percent and                         August 10 primary.
Independence candidate Tom Horner at 10 percent.                       The map shows House
A further 10 percent are undecided. The survey                         Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher taking metro and some southern Minnesota
shows an improvement from a month ago for                              counties. The only county she took north of the Twin Cities area was Clay County. It also
Dayton, who l ed Emmer by 4 points in a July                           shows former state Rep. Matt Entenza winning Lyon and Nobles County. Entenza‘s
Rasmussen survey. Rasmussen now rates the race                         hometown of Worthington is in Nobles. Dayton took home the rest of the almost entirely
"Leans Democratic," a change from its earlier                          blue map, including just about all of northern and central Minnesota.
"Toss up" rating.

Local 34 Banner                                                                             September 2010                                                 -12-
From a Daily Kos response column on the             Star Tribune Commentary: Richard Miller: Tax the Rich More.
conservative viewpoint of government:
―I could never quite get my brain around the idea
                                                    (They Can Take it.)
of ―small government‖: as espoused by those on      Dayton's campaign cry is really quite reasonable when you look at how state taxes
the right, especially those like Rush or Beck or    have changed over the years.
                                                    By R ICH ARD R. MILLER Last update: August 1, 2010 h ttp://
Coulter who wield the phrase like a cudgel. Every
time I hear it, I ask myself, ―With 350 million     Raise taxes on the rich. Is it a slogan from the past, a job-killing blunder, a plan destined
people to deal with, just how damn small do you     for f ailure? The more former U.S. Sen. M ark Dayton has persisted with this theme in his
think government can get before everything          campaign for governor, the more I've wanted to learn why.
comes apart at the seams?‖                          Last week I read Dayton's tax plan, which led me to the Minnesota Department of
Liberal: ―We‘re all in this together.‖              Revenue's website and a document called the "Minnesota Tax Incidence Study." That study
Conservative: ―Every man for himself.‖              analyzes how much Minnesotans in various income groups pay in state and local taxes as
                                                    a percentage of their total incomes. The study includes income, property, sales, gas,
From MN Progressive Project, Jul y 31, 2010 and     excise, liquor, cigarette, insurance and other taxes, and shows which groups are paying
the St. Petersburg Times‘ Truth-o-Meter:            the bill for the state and loc al government services we get.
―Republicans believe that taxes in the U.S. are     In 1990, Minnesotans as a group paid 11.8 percent of their incomes in total state and
higher than anywhere else. Based on this            local taxes. At that time, lower-income families paid slightly less and higher-income
supposition they argue that we need to lower        families paid slightly more, as a percentage of income, in taxes to fund everything from our
taxes to become competitive.‖        Presidential   schools, universities, health c are, roads, and city, county and state government. The 10
Wannabe Tim Pawlenty told a luncheon of DC          percent of the population who earned the most paid 11.7 percent of their incomes
journalists, ―I don’t think the argument can be     for state and local taxes. The richest 1 percent of households paid 11.2 percent.
credibly made that the United States is             The vast majority of Minnesotans paid between 11.3 percent and 12 percent. A
undertaxed compared to our competitors.‖ The        pretty fair system.
Times, however, found that the United States is     In the most recent year studied (2006) Minnesotans as a group paid 11.2 percent of
on the low end in terms of tax burden – 28% of      income in all state and local taxes. So taxes overall as a percentage of inco me dropped
GDP in 2007, compared to an average of 36% in       from 1990 to 2006. But I was shocked to see that median-income families paid 12.4
the 30 compared nations – with only South Korea,    percent in taxes, while those in the top tenth in income paid only 10 percent. So in a
Mexico and Turkey, lower.                           16-year period, as taxes as a percent of income went down overall, they rose
                                                    significantly for middle-income Minnesotans and dropped even more significantly for the
                                                    It gets worse. In 1990, the top 1 percent paid 11.2 percent in taxes, and in 2006, the very
                                                    wealthiest paid only 8.9 percent in taxes. And, according to the Revenue Department
                                                    study, the trend only gets worse. Next year, middle-income families will pay 12.8 percent
                                                    in taxes and the very wealthiest will pay 8.8 percent. In other words, over the last 20 years
                                                    Minnesota has gone from basically a flat tax that was slightly progressive to a hugely
                                                    regressive tax system that clearly favors the wealthy. It is stunning that the very richest
                                                    among us get by with paying so much less, proportionately, than the entire group does. Those
Our Tom Emmer Watch:                                most able to pay get by with the lowest tax rate. It's shocking and shameful.
According to MN Political Roundtable, August 1,     For the last 20 years, the state has had two Republican governors and an independent. We've
2010, Tom Emmer has come out against                been told that taxes scare off the rich. And Gov. Tim Pawlenty really pandered to the
regulations on the food industry, despite           wealthy. He sure took care of them. Three governors have let what was a very fair tax system
statistics from the Centers for Disease Control     become grossly distorted in favor of those among us who are most able to fund the common
showing foodborne disease causing 76 million        good. Dayton is the only candidate telling us that the emperor has no clothes. We ought to
illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5000       listen to him before it gets even more
deaths in the United States each year.              embarrassing.
Previously, in response to an MPR call about        Richard R. Miller, Edina, is a former member
                                                    of the Minneapolis City Council and is a
clean water, Emmer pledged to reduce w ater
                                                    retired Wells Fargo executive.
regulations – which he considers bad.
Unfortunately, reducing regul ations m ay provide   From T he Cucking Stool Blogspot , came
more harm than good for those who want their        this additional inf ormation:
food and water to be safe.                          Here’s a chart from an earlier post of
In FY 2009, the Minnesota Department of             mine (it’s the US as a whole; Minnesota
Agriculture conducted 10,317 dairy inspections,     does a little better than this):
9000 meat and poultry inspections, 4591 retail      This is the most unequal wealth
food establishment inspections and 517              distribution since the Great Depression.
manufacturing and food processing facility          It isn’t merely unfair, it’s moronic to
inspections.      So, why is Emmer protecting       think you c an have functioning
speci al interest groups over consumers? One of     democracy or a thriving economy with inequalities like this. Others — including me — have
the MN Forward contributors is Davisco Foods,       written about these tax incidence statistics, but Miller’s essay is about the best I’ve seen.
an important producer of cheese and other foods.

Local 34 Banner                                                         September 2010                                                                     -13-
         Our Tom Emmer Watch Continued:                  Although AFSCME endorsed Mark Dayton in late-2009, many of you may have
Jeff      Rosenberg        at       MN      Publius      been Matt Entenza or Margaret Anderson Kelliher supporters. So Why Dayton?
(        writes:
―One of Tom Emmer‘s favorite ways to talk about                                                        Jeff Rosenberg at MN Publius (
the nebulous ‗reform‘ he proposes as a way to                                                                 puts it succinctly: Mark Dayton will do a
magically find $7 billion in savings without                                                             tremendous job against Tom Emmer armed with
cutting services, is to point out that we have both                                                      two simple tools: A real plan to solve the budget
a Departm ent of Health and a Department of                                                              and a real plan to restore Minnesota’s economy.
Health and Human Services. His implication is
that they must be full of duplicative services, and                                                    Why Mark Dayton Will Make a Great Governor
that we can just eliminate one department with no                                                 As I‘ve been saying for a while, though I voted for
negative consequences. The problem with this                                                      Margaret Anderson Kelliher, I‘m very happy having
argument is that if he‘s really serious about not                                                 Dayton as our nominee. Both have been excellent
cutting services – which I sincerely doubt – then       candidates. Here‘s why I think he‘ll be a great Governor. It comes down to the two big issues
his concern should be with individual agenci es         facing our state: the budget and the economy.
and the services they provide. Within those two         Making taxes progressive again. It seems only fair to me that the wealthiest Minnesotans pay
large departments, there are many individual            at least an equal percentage of their income in taxes as the middle class, as Dayton has
agenci es. How many of them simply duplicate            proposed. It‘s hard to see a valid argument that the richest among us should s omehow have to
the work of another agency, in another                  pay less. We don‘t have to ―soak the rich‖ — we can drastically reduce the deficit simply by
department? Not many.‖                                  asking them to pay the same percentage of their income as you and I do.
Elsewhere, Rosenberg notes, ―Tom Emmer loves            Experience with economic development. Mark Dayton was once the state‘s economic
to talk about ‗taking Minnesota back.‘ But as Al        development commissioner. He knows how to build the state‘s economy, and he has a real plan
Franken asked at the DFL Unity event, whom              to rebuild our state‘s competitive advantage, as opposed to Tom Emmer‘s ― magical‖ plan —
exactly does Emmer think it needs to be taken           more on that later today.
back from? Tim Pawlenty? The fact is, there             Fixing the deficit immediately. One thing that made me a bit uneasy about Kelliher‘s proposals
hasn‘t been a DFL governor for almost two               was that she left a significant sum to be dealt with via ―deferments,‖ i.e. shifts and accounting
decades. We‘ve had a DFL legisl ature at times,         gimmicks, which Tim Pawlenty has relied on for years, and which I have opposed vociferously.
but Pawlenty almost always won his battles with         Mark Dayton will set our budget back on track in his first budget and stop forcing our schools to
them. So we‘ve had Republican control in                pay for our inability to balance the state budget.
Minnesota for a long time.
At MN Progressive Project, Bill Prendergast wrote
of Emmer‘s debate dodge of his position                   A Strong Start for Dayton: NRA ―F‖ Rating Backfires in MN Governor‘s Race
opposing gay marriage, ― Emmer‘s a right-                                       by Craig Stellmacher - The UpTake – August 15, 2010
winger: he routinel y takes conservative talk radio
positions and pushes the paranoi a thing that           Normally an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association would not play well in front of a
                                                        crowd of outdoors and gun enthusiasts. That was not the c ase on Saturday when Republican
endears him to his base. Doing that, in the
present state GOP climate, enabl ed him to              candidate for Minnesota G overnor Tom Emmer tried to use the NRA's rating against DFL
                                                        candidate for Governor Mark Dayton. Dayton struck back, pointing out the NRA rating was for
bludgeon his way to the nomination… But times
                                                        his opposition to legalizing armor piercing "cop killer bullets". "How many of you use own cop
are tough all over the state: the voters want to
                                                        killer bullets and use them against police officers? Raise your hand.", said Dayton. "Nobody,
hear real answers about real solutions… passing
                                                        Representative Emmer, nobody. Nobody."
on the gay marriage thing is cowardly – but the
‗right‘ allows their favorites to do that…. As for
Emmer‘s claim that the same-sex marriage issue                              A Brutal Gubernatorial Campaign Ahead:
isn‘t something that a Minnesota governor should                      Minnesota GOP Ad Attacks ‗Erratic ‗ and ‗Panicky‘ Dayton
weigh in on: that‘s just a lie… it‘s certainly in the                                        Eric Kleefeld | August 11, 2010
purview of a state governor to take a position on       http://tpmdc.talkingpoints -gop-ad-attacks-erratic -and-panicky-dayton-video.php
a civil rights issue.‖                                  The Minnesota primary has only just ended, but the state Republican Party is already out with              an attack against the Democratic nominee, former U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton, slamming him for
More from Rosenberg at, ―If           his performance in Washington -- and his personal demeanor.
cutting taxes is so great for business, then            "He was absolutely positively, one of the worst Senators in America," the announcer says,
where‘s all the business? After all, taxes in the       referring to an "honor" that was bestowed on Dayton and several other Senators by Time
US are at their lowest level in 60 years. Similarly,    magazine in 2006. "And Mark Dayton agrees -- Dayton gave himself a failing grade. Time
here in Minnesota, we have gone from being              magazine called Dayton 'erratic' after he closed his office, fe aring a nonexistent terrorist threat.
among the highest-taxed states to the middle of         Dayton's behavior was called 'a strange aberration,' 'perplexing,' 'panicky.'"
the pack. Isn‘t that supposed to be good for            This ad is mostly true. The Time cover with Dayton's photo and the word "erratic" is a mock-up,
business? That‘s what Tom Emmer claims, but I           but otherwise it's fairly accurate. In the years since he left office, Dayton has openly discussed
sure don‘t see any evidence that he‘s right.            his struggles with alcoholism, saying that he had relapsed before the end of his Senate term,
Conservatives will claim we‘re still over-taxed,        and has also disclosed that he has been medicated for depression.
despite historic low rates. They can complain           Then again, as we've all been figuring out, Republican nominee Tom Emmer isn't exactly all
that taxes drive business away, but then they           that together, either. The TPM Poll Average gives Dayton a lead of 42.9%-32.4%-10.2% over
lower taxes and nothing improves!‖                      Emmer and Independence Party nominee Tom Horner.

Local 34 Banner                                                           September 2010                                                               -14-
          Barack Obama, February 12, 2009, Washington DC: ―While each of us must do our part, work as hard as we can, and be as responsible as
                we can – in the end, there are cer tain things we canno t DO ON OUR OWN. There are certain things we can only do together,‖

Our Tom Emmer Watch Continued:                                The GOP False Narrative Strategy
Tom Emmer's Minnesota                                         by Dave Mindeman - Posted: 08/12/10 - http://www.
By: Rachel_Nygaard - Thu Aug 12, 2010               There is a continuous series of narratives that Republicans like to propagate. They perpetuate
emmers-minnesota                                              them with no evidence and even when they have been factually refuted. Yet, they repeat them
Touting the slogan that he will 'take back the state',        over and over again and a certain segment of the electorate will believe it for various reasons.
                                                              These narratives never cease and they never die. Some examples:
many wonder who exactly he is taking the state
from? Back from the 24 straight years of                      1) Jobs are leaving MN for other states.
Republican leadership? Or just back from                      MPR took on the GOP billboard c ampaign along the Minnesota/South Dakota border.
Governor Tim Pawlenty? Do Emmer's policies give               The party claims the friendlier tax climate in South Dakota, where there is no corporate or
an idea of how he wants to ‗take back the state'?             regular state income tax, is and could continue driving Minnesota bus inesses to move there. But
Education: As representative he voted against                 the actual number of jobs leaving Minnesota for South Dakota is difficult to measure, said Art
funding K-12 and higher ed, against background                Rolnic k, former director of research at the Minneapolis Fed and now a senior fellow at the
checks for coaches and against both anti-bullying             University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.
policies. In his 'truth about costs' video he makes the       The GOP would have us believe that taxes are the only consideration for businesses. The reality
assertion that 80% of cost increases for education            is that taxes - or lack thereof - is actually a tradeoff. South Dakota has no corporate tax, but
have been in teacher salaries. He even makes the              they have a much smaller economy.
analogy that in the private sector employees get raises
                                                              But, Rolnick said Minnesota has a bigger, stronger ec onomy than S outh Dakota -- the per c apita
based on the employees value to the company and the
                                                              income is 10 percent higher than in South Dakota and Minnesota is one of the top states for the
companies profits for the year. This does not sound
                                                              number of Fortune 500 companies. It also has a highly educated work force and can attrac t
like Tom Emmer will inv est in our children's futures.
                                                              businesses looking for a place that will attract good workers.
Environment: Emmer is against capping
greenhouse gas emissions, against funding for
natural resources and even against clean water.               2) Minnesota is a Welfare Magnet.
Women in the workplace: With the notorious 'waiters           When the economy is in trouble, a tried and true GOP axiom is to blame those welfare cheats.
make 100K' gaff, Emmer is clearly out of touch with           They flock into Minnesota to take advantage of our generosity to the poor and drain our
reality. Many women work in service jobs because it           resources. Except ......
gives them the flexibility to juggle their home lives. Will   The state demographer's office has attempted since the 1980s to determine whether there is
Emmer support women struggling to make ends meet?             statistical evidence to substantiate the belief that Minnesota's social safety net makes us
For someone who claims to be so 'pro-family' his              suckers for freeloaders. Many continue to believe it, but most smart people, including the
record doesn't show it. Subsidized day care? voted            governor, know it falls into the c ategory of urban myth.
no. Health insurance for poor children? voted no.             Pawlenty, Seifert and Emmer have all paraded out Minnesota's poor as the "enemy". They are
Will we ever even hear about pay equality or paid             "robbing us blind". One of Seifert's favorite ploys is to trot out a chart showing where welfare
maternity leave from the GOP? I'm going to go with no.        recipients will spend their money via their EBT cards. I guess Marty assumes the poor should
Reproductive rights: Absolutely against. Women                never leave the house....or look for jobs. Pawlenty goes to that well often, too:
don't have the right to c hoose in Tom Emmer's                According to Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung, the Department of Human Services says
Minnesota. Emmer is also against sex education and            almost 14 percent of public assistance seekers were from outside Minnesota in 2007.
family planning services.
LGBT: Emmer does not believe that gay couples                 But that number, without knowing how many public assistance clients left Minnesota, does not
should be able to have children through surrogacy.            make us Welfare Shangri-La. One sided statistics. Taking a point and finding numbers that go
One of his most disturbing qualities comes from his           along with it. It‘s the Republican way.
friends who call for the execution of homosexuals.
Taxes: Cut, cut, cut. The issue is, we've had years of        3. Increasing Taxes on the Wealthy Will Hurt Job Creation .
this mantra and MN doesn't have a better economy              This one really irks me. When Mark Dayton proposed his "tax the rich" methodology for new
than when it started, schools and hospitals are not           revenue, the GOP went delirious. They are convinced that repeating their "it will hurt small
better off and property taxes have gone through the           business" claim will just be accepted. The facts don't support any of this. Only 2% of taxpayers
roof. We need a balances approach. Making                     who f all into the "rich" category get income fro m a small business. And anyone who would
government more efficient and increasing revenue so           operate a small business and allow profits to fall into personal income is probably not that
the middle and lower class of MN can get some much            smart a business person anyway.
needed relief.                                                Actually increased taxes on the wealthy and tax cuts on the middle class would be the best
Immigration: Emmer is for an Arizona-like law for MN.         approach to the economy. The rich are more cautious spenders as consumers. They do not
Health Care: Emmer is pretty squishy on this point,           need to spend. Lower income people really have no choice. They spend because they need to
but his big idea is purchasing health insurance across        and that is, in actuality, the essence of demand.
state lines. Bottom line: bad idea.
So, where exactly does Tom Emmer want to take                 Three very dubious claims from the GOP… Yet you will hear them over and over and over again.
Minnesota? Back to a time where women and                     It's an easy thing to throw out there. People probably want to believe that somehow lower taxes
minorities don't see the same liberties that we have          really is an answer to everything. Who doesn't want tax cuts? But this state has to get back to
today. Where schools and hospitals are crumbling.             responsible budgetary policy. It's time to end the platitudes....and get to a little truth for a
Where the natural beauty of MN is polluted. This is not       change.
the legacy that we want to leave to our children. We
cannot afford to make our Minnesota Tom Emmer's

Local 34 Banner                                                               September 2010                                                        -15-
The Senate‘s Bold Step Forward                                REPORT: The GOP‘s Agenda to Change the Constitution
                                                              By Ian Millhiser on Aug 5th, 2010
                   August 4th, 2010                 
This message comes from AFSCME President Gerald W.            Since President Obama took office, Republicans have shrouded their
    McEntee and Secretary-Treasurer Lee A. Saunders           agenda of opposition by wrapping it in the flag and the Constitution.   Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) even went so far as to label her radical anti-government views
                         forward .
                                                              ―constitutional conservatism.‖ Yet, for all of their constitutional pablum, the GOP‘s agenda is
                                                              nothing less than a direct assault on America‘s founding document. Time and time again,
The U.S. Senate has taken a bold step forward                 Republicans have called for basic constitutional freedoms and fundamental aspects of our
     in the effort to protect jobs and bolster                constitutional government to be repealed either by amendment or by activist judges:
America’s economic recovery. The Senate, by                   REPEALING CITIZENSHIP: Numerous GOP lawmakers, including their Senate leader and the
   a 61 to 38 margin, overcame the filibuster                 most-recent Republican candidate for president, are lining up behind a ―review‖ of the 14th
opposing H.R. 1586, which provides significant                Amendment‘s grant of citizenship to virtually all persons born within the United States. Such a
        aid to states and school districts.                   proposal literally revives the vision of citizenship articulated by the Supreme Court‘s infamous
                                                              pro-slavery decision in Dred Scott v. Sanford.
This is an enormous step in the right direction               REPEALING CONGRESS‘ POWER TO REGULA TE THE ECONOMY: The Constitution‘s ―Commerce
 for AFSCME members fighting to protect our                   Clause‖ gives national leaders broad authority to regulate the national economy, but much of
jobs. And at the end of the day, all Democratic               the GOP has embraced ―tentherism,‖ the belief that this power is small enough to be drowned
senators voted to protect those very jobs. And                in a bathtub. The most famous example of tentherism is the ubiquitous frivolous lawsuits
                                                              claiming that health reform is unconstitutional, but these lawsuits are part of a much greater
   with two courageous exceptions, Olympia
                                                              effort. In his brief challenging health reform, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli claims
      Snowe and Susan Collins of M aine,                      that Congress is allowed to regulate ―commerce on one hand‖ but not ― manufacturing or
Republican senators voted to lay off thousands                agriculture.‖ Cuccinelli‘s discredited vision of the Constitution was actually implemented in the
               of public employees.                           late 19th and early 20th century, and it would strike down everything fro m child labor laws to
                                                              the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters.
     Over the last several months, AFSCME
                                                              REPEALING CONGRESS‘ POWER TO SPEND MONEY: The Constitution also gives Congress power
 members like you have called, e-mailed, and                  to ―provide for the common defense and general welfare,‖ a broad grant of authority to create
    faxed your senators — and recruited your                  federal spending programs such as Social Security. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), however, recently
 friends and co-workers around the country to                 called upon the Supreme Court to rewrite the Constitution‘s clear language and repeal parts of
 secure this victory. You urged the Senate to                 the budget he doesn‘t like. A Texas GOP official even went so far as to claim that the federal
   do the right thing and avoid prolonging the                highway system is unconstitutional. Should this GOP vision of the Constitution ever be adopted,
                                                              it could eliminate not just Social Security, but also Medicare, Medicaid, federal education
  economic crisis that confronts public service               spending and countless other cherished programs.
  workers in every community in this country.                 REPEALING CONGRESS‘ POWER TO RAISE MONEY: The Constitution also gives Congress broad
   And your voice — along with thousands of                   authority to decide how to distribute the tax burden. Thus, for example, Congress is allowed to
    other AFSCM E members — was heard in                      create a tax incentive for people to buy houses by giving a tax break to people with mortgages,
                 Washington, DC.                              and it is allowed to create a similar incentive for people to buy health insurance by taxing
                                                              people who have health insurance slightly less than people who do not. Nevertheless, the
Because of your ongoing actions we were able                  frivolous assaults on health reform would eliminat e this Constitutional power. Many Tea Party
   to move this critically important bill forward.            Republicans go even further, calling for a full repeal of the 16th Amendment, the amendment
  Under the leadership of Sen. Harry Reid and                 which enables the income tax. Paying taxes is never popular, but it would be impossible to
 with the persistence of Senate Democrats and                 function as a nation if America lacked the power to raise the money it needs to pay our armed
you, the Senate has thrown a lifeline to millions             forces, among other things.
   of Americans who are being hit hard by the                 REPEALING EQUALITY: The Constitution entitles all persons to ―equal protection of the laws,‖ a
                                                              provision that formed the basis of Judge Vaughn Walker‘s decision y esterday that California
  worst economy since the Great Depression.                   cannot treat gay couples as if they are somehow inferior. Immediately after this decision was
    The Republican filibuster was our biggest                 announced, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) called upon Congress to ―act
    obstacle. But, we still face a vote in the                immediately‖ to overturn it — something that it could only do through a constitutional
House and we will need your help to ensure                    amendment.
    victory there. As we look to the elections,               REPEALING FUNDAMENTAL RIGH TS: As Judge Walker also held, marriage is a fundamental
   Americans have a clear choice: Democrats                   right protected by the Constitution‘s Due Process Clause. The GOP‘s anti-gay amendment would
                                                              repeal this constitutional protection as well.
  who will do what it takes to save and create
                                                              REPEALING ELECTION OF SENATORS: Finally, a number of GOP candidates have come out in
       jobs and get our economy moving, or                    favor of repealing the 17th Amendment, the provision of the Constitution which requires direct
  Republicans who are all too willing to watch                election of senators, although many of these candidates also b acked off their ―Seventeenther‖
     the economy stall for their political gain.              stand after it proved embarrassing.
 Thanks again for all that you’ve done to help                From MN Poli tical Roundtable, July 29, 2010 – A reminder o f w hat has been accomplished since
                                                              1/20/09: Passage o f the Lily Ledbe tter Act (fair pay)… SCHIP coverage for over 4 million mo re
   pass this critical bill and save more than                 children by 2013… new Credit Card Rules… Health Care Re form… Bank Regulation Refor m…
 900,000 public and private sector jobs. We’ll                imple mentation of the TARP program… restoration of the auto industry…. $2. 6 billion in ARRA
 be sure to keep you updated on what’s next.                  (sti mulus) fu nds in direct assistance to Minneso tans… re fundable tax credits for Minneso tans…
                                                              increased Food Suppor t (SNAP) funds….

Local 34 Banner                                                                September 2010                                                        -16-
 AFSCME Endorsed Candidates                    State Representative:
               As of August 12, 2010                                                           Carolyn Laine, District 50A
                                                  Dave Olin, District 1A
                                                                                               Kate Knuth, District 50B
                                                  Bernie Lieder, District 1B
 Governor:                                                                                     Zak Chlebek, District 51A
                                                  Brita Sailer, District 2B
  Mark Dayton                                                                                 Tom Tillberry, District 51B
                                                  Tom Anzelc, District 3A
                                                                                               Adam Best, District 52A
 2010 US Congress (6th District):                 Loren Solberg, District 3B
                                                                                               Paul Gardner, District 53A
  Tarryl Clark                                   John Persell, District 4A
                                                                                               Mindy Grieling, District 54A
                                                  Meg Bye, District 4B
                                                                                               Bev Scalze, District 54B
 Secretary of State:                              Tom Rukavina, District 5A
                                                                                               Leon Lillie, District 55A
  Mark Ritchie                                   Tony Sertich, District 5B
                                                                                               Nora Slawik, District 55B
                                                  Mary Murphy, District 6B
                                                                                               Julie Bunn, District 56A
 Auditor:                                         Tom Huntley, District 7A
                                                                                               Marsha Swails, District 56B
  Rebecca Otto                                   Kerry Gauthier, District 7B
                                                                                               Jen Peterson, District 57A
                                                  Bill Hilty, District 8A
                                                                                               David Page, District 57B
 Hennepin County Commissioner:                    Tim Faust, District 8B
                                                                                               Diane Loeffler, District 59A
  Mark Stenglein, District 2                     Greg Lemke, District 9A
                                                                                               Marion Greene, District 60A
                                                  Paul Marquart, District 9B
  Gail Dorfman, District 3                                                                    Frank Hornstein, District 60B
                                                  John Ward, District 12A
  Peter McLaughlin, District 4                                                                Karen Clark, District 61A
                                                  Rob Jacobs, District 14A
                                                                                               Jeff Hayden, District 61B
                                                  Larry Hosch, District 14B
 State Senate:                                                                                 Jim Davnie, District 62A
                                                  Anne Nolan, District 15A
     LeRoy Stumpf, District 1                                                                 Jean Wagenius, District 62B
                                                  Zachary Dorhold, District 15B
     Rod Skoe, District 2                                                                     Linda Slocum, District 63B
                                                  Gail Kulick Jackson, District 16A
     Tom Saxhaug, District 3                                                                  Erin Murphy, District 64A
                                                  Tom Heyd, District 16B
     David Tomissoni, District 5                                                              Michael Paymar, District 64B
                                                  Jim Godfrey, District 17A
     Tom Bakk, District 6                                                                     Ellis- Defeated, District 65A
                                                  Cindy Erickson, District 17B
                                                                                               Carlos Mariani, District 65B
     Roger Reinert, District 7                   Terry Morrow, District 23A
                                                                                               John Lesch, District 66A
     Tony Lourey, District 8                     Kathy Brynaert, District 23B
                                                                                               Tim Mahoney, District 67A
     Keith Langseth, District 9                  David Bly, District 25B
                                                                                               Sheldon Johnson, District 67B
     Taylor Stevenson, District 12*              Robin Brown, District 27A
     Bruce Hentges, District 15**                Jeanne Poppe, District 27B
     Rick Olseen, District 17**                  Douglas Wunderlich, District 29A         Anoka County Attorney:
     Kathy Sheran, District 23                   Tina Liebling, District 30A                 Brad Johnson
     Kevin Dahle, District 25**                  Katie Rodriguez, District 32B
     Dan Sparks, District 27                     Leann Kunze, District 34A                Ramsey County Commissioner:
     Mike Germain, District 37                   Sandy Masin, District 38A                   Janice Rettman, District 3
     Ron Case, District 42                       Mike Obermueller, District 38B              Toni Carter, District 4
     Ann Rest, District 45                       Will Morgan, District 40A                   Rafael Ortega, District 5
     Paul Meunier, District 49*                  Ann Lenczewski, District 40B                Jim Mcdonough, District 6
     Don Betzold, District 51**                  Kevin Staunton, District 41A
                                                  Paul Rosenthal, District 41B             Ramsey County Attorney:
     Becky Siekmeier, District 52
                                                  Maria Ruud, District 42A                    John Choi
     John Marty, District 54
                                                  Audrey Britton, District 43A
     Chuck Wiger, District 55
                                                  John Benson, District 43B                Ramsey County Sheriff:
     Katie Sieben, District 57
                                                  Steve Simon, District 44A                   Matt Bostrom
     Linda Higgins, District 58                  Ryan Winkler, District 44B
     Scott Dibble, District 60                   Sandra Peterson, District 45A            Washington County Commissioner:
     Patricia Torres Ray, District 62            Melissa Hortman, District 47B               Birttnen was defeated in Primary
     Sandra Pappas, District 65                  Jerry Newton, District 49B
     Ellen Anderson, District 66
        ** Seats in danger per
     * Potential Gain for DFL per         Per Senate Districts the DFL will likely lose: 4, 15, 16, 17, 28
                                                       Toss-up seats in November: 22, 38, 47, 40, 30, 56, 53, 10, 25, 31, 50

Local 34 Banner                                            September 2010                                                       -17-
   Demographer: Drastic Changes                              Guest Essay – The Meaning of Labor Day
    Coming in State Labor Force                              Ernie Fazio – Long Island Metro Business Action (LIMBA)
  By Joe Kimball | Published Thu, Aug 5 2010                 I had the honor and privilege of serving as an official in a labor union when I was 24 years old. It
emographer_drastic_changes_coming_in_state_labor_force       was a low level position to be sure, but it gave me the opportunity to see how a real labor union
                                                             operates. I was impressed with the knowledge and professionalism of the others, particularly
Big changes in the work force are fast                       the president of the union.
approaching for Minnesota businesses, as
                                                             The labor movement defined the new expectations of wages and working conditions in
shortages hit the state because of the aging                 America. It has been argued that the labor movement created the vast middle class that most
population, State Demographer Tom Gillaspy                   of us in America brag about. I agree with that opinion. Some will say that industry itself created
said in Mankato. And he said immigrants,                     the middle class because as management sought out innovation to improve productivity, they
including many from Africa, will be needed to                created the means to pay higher wages. There is some truth in that, but we know that business
help ease the shortage, according to the                     does not increase wages just because they are making money. The equal truth is that wages go
Mankato Free Press, which wrote:                             up when there is negotiating strength in the work force. Management has an ever increasing
   Gillaspy said many in their early 60s will                need for productivity, and part of that should ultimately benefit the labor force.
   delay retirement, the huge loss of older                  The symbiosis between a good union and good management is much more peaceful than some
   people from the workforce will leave a worker             would have us believe. In other words unions are neither the enemy nor the friend of business.
   and skills shortage. ―If it were just that we’re          It is more like a c omponent of the process. As one union president put it, ―We must be mindful
   going to have more geezers, it wouldn’t be an             of the needs of viability and profitability of the company while we balance our own needs.‖
   issue,‖ Gillaspy said. But at the same time,              Today we are several generations removed from the dark days of labor when labor leaders were
   there are many fewer young people to move                 jailed, or fired upon by goon squads, because they violated the property rights of industry. The
   into the workforce.‖ Gillaspy said combating              argument was then that the labor force had no right to organize and disrupt the operations of
   the historic change will require focus on                 business. Of course any employee could withhold his service and leave the job, and as the
   retention, recruitment and retraining. ―We                conventional wisdom stated, when employers lost enough workers they may increase wages to
   need to retrain workers, even if they’re in               keep employees. And that theoretically is how labor could advance. It didn't happen. Wages
   their 60s.‖                                               only advanced when the unions could organize a broad strike.
                                                             In places like M exico, we are still relying on business to enhance labor advancement,
He said Minnesota's largest immigrant population
                                                             but Mexico is not at all sympathetic to labor unions. As a result the people are as poor as ever
is now coming from Africa, the only state with               and in some people‘s opinion, worse off than they were before NAFTA, when we out -sourced
that distinction, and those African immigrants are           vast amounts of manufacturing jobs to that country.
predominantly well-educated. He said about 8
                                                             A working middle class is absolutely essential to a functioning democracy. And organized labor
percent of the state's current work force is
                                                             is the key to maintaining a working middle class. As long as the working population is at or
foreign-born and that will grow, the paper said:             near poverty, they do not have the means to participate in democracy. They do not have the
   Gillaspy said businesses and communities                  time, energy, or the money it takes t o be part of the discussion. For those of us that think of
   not only need to help in training and                     ourselves as middle class, I tell you we are threatened. As our numbers grow smaller our power
   educating immigrants, but in making them                  is also smaller. The remaining powerful interests are business and government. When the
   welcome. He said a highly skilled engineer                middle class is sufficiently diminished then the result is fascism. Fascism has been defined as
   from another country may help keep a                      when business runs the government. In case you haven't been looking, that transition is taking
   company located in Mankato. ―But if their                 place in America.
   spouse is at the grocery store and hears a                The symbiosis of business, Government and labor is not inh erently evil. These forces are
   derogatory remark because they look                       constantly in need of being balanced. When labor was too strong, there were aberrations that
   different, that’s a deal breaker.‖                        were not considered good for the country. The same is true of business and government.        America‘s growth and prosperity relies on each of these entities being roughly in parity, when it
          pher-warns-of-looming-labor-shortage               comes to wielding power. This process is, or should be, always fluid. The struggle for justice and
                                                             fairness is never ending, and in the end we all are richer for the process. If any of the forces
For further reading and research:                            become overly dominant, then democracy itself is threatened.
               Having respect for all contributors that help make this democracy succeed is important, but
  MinnesotaLaborForceProjections20052035.pdf                 today I want to tip my hat to all the good people in the labor movement and those people
            whose hands we shake that are calloused and hardened by their honest work. God Bless
  cle-Demographics.pdf                                       America's working people!
  ers/pub_display.cfm                                               AFSCME Local 34 is on Facebook!
                                                                Become Facebook friends with us by visiting
                                                                  our page and making a friend request.

Local 34 Banner                                                               September 2010                                                         -18-
                                                                                                                        - Wes Volkenant
A Troubling ADA Precedent                                               It was good to see a number o f you fro m Lo cal 34 out at French Regional Park on the 8 th for this
Under the ADA, a qualified individual whose disability
                                                                        year‘s picnic. We got to hear from Mark Dayton and Mark Stenglein, a number of us walked away
required easy access to restrooms might typically
                                                                        with door prizes, and despite the 95-degree heat, a good time was had by all. I was elected to attend
have to be accommodated by assignments to places
                                                                        the Council 5 Convention that starts later this mo nth. I‗ve expressed my i ntentions to run for the
with such access. For example, a court reporter                         Council 5 Executive Board, to fill the slot vacated by Cliff Robinson in August. If elected, I would be
suffering from incontinence might have to be                            representing ―County Se ctor‖ me mbers. And, I‘ve also de cided to pursue one o f my long-held dreams
accommodated by giving her work that could be                           – to seek elective o ffice. I am running this fall for one of t wo City Council seats in Andover. If you live
performed without disrupting court sessions. But                        in Andover, I hope you‘ll consider voting for me; for the rest of the membership, please wish me well!
suppose the employer simply eliminates the job in
question, creating another job description whose                        As we go to print, it remains a mystery who our insurance clai ms administrator will be in 2011 –
duties include rotating through numerous places,                        Preferred One or HealthPartners. P1 had initially won the County‘s reco mmendation, but at the
some of which have no convenient access to a                            August 17 Board meeting, the Co mmissioners authorized pursuit o f contract negotiations with both
bathroom? Is rotation an essential function of the job                  co mpanies, and to report back Septe mber 7. A lthough we‘re being assured that Pre ferred One will
such that the formerly qualified person is now not                      result in a fairly seamless process, with all our current do ctors, clinics, cov ered costs etc. (at least for
qualified, and therefore need not be accommodated?                      2011), your labor representatives have strongly supported HealthPartners for the familiarity and
                                                                        continuity amidst all our changes.
That was the situation in Gratzl v. Office of Chief
Judges, (7th Cir. 2010). Illinois eliminated plaintiff‘s                The rest o f this mo nth‘s report is based on the report I gave to the General Asse mbly o n Augu st 4th.
―specialist job,‖ in which she was assigned to a                        Happy Labor Day, 2010! (Look for me at Target Field that day – Twins vs. the Royals!)
particular site; instead, it merged all of the reporters                I met with the HCMC HSR2 group on August 4th to discuss difficulties they‘ve been facing with their
in one "new" position to balance the workload among                     soon-to-be ex-Supervisor. We identified a couple of concerns I intend to raise at HSPHD Meet &
them. In Gratzl‘s new position, she was required to                     Confer, we discussed their having a ―transition‖ meeting including their Program Manager, and we
work in live courtrooms, leading her to request                         discussed so me possible ROWE options they might consider bringing to the ROWE team or to Carolyn
reasonable accommodations for her problem.                              Johnson, specifically.
But the opinion's main thrust is not merely that the                    August 3rd, the Executive Board met in its sort-of-annual Retreat, this year at Jean‘s Diederich‘s lovely
employer had provided reasonable accommodations                         new ho me. Although our two main topics o f discussion centered around Lo cal 34‘s mapping process
and plaintiff had no right to her preferred one. Rather,                (and ne w MAT Coordinator) and changes and updates in our Lo cal‘s Constitution and Standing Rules,
the Seventh Circuit suggested that her employer had                     we also spent ti me discussing our appreciation for the Local‘s volunteers (such as our Good &
an unlimited ability to change Gratzl‘s job functions                   Welfare team), discussing the best means of reaching our members quickly and timely, and how to
so long as it was not discriminatorily motivated. It did                better coordinate our representation of independent entities within the County – such as MHP and
not need to maintain her position when it no longer                     NorthPoint (and our HSR unit at HCMC).
found it appropriate, and it could change her job                       July Meet & Confer. Lorena Ochoa from Project Diversity and PivotPoint‘s Deborah Anderson,
description whenever and however it wanted without                      addressed ―it‖; ―it‖ is not IT; ―it‖ is an inclusive teams project for HSPHD that seeks to make us a
regard to her disability. One moral of the story: so
                                                                        healthier workplace by eliminating harmful behaviors.
long as there's not discriminatory intent, an employer
has a free pass to redefine the essential functions of                  Rex Holzemer updated us on CSDM and Regional sites. Phase 2 of CSDM was focused on getting the
a job, even if that means the individual will not be able               administrative and managerial changes in place. Work has not changed yet for line staff, although
to perform the new tasks.                                               this month, there may be different managers in place for us and there may be a bit of reshuffling of
                                                                        staff. But integrating Phase 3 changes for staff may be a 2-3 year process, in coordination with
Previously, the Tenth Circuit, in Hennagir v. Utah
                                                                        regionalization. The current timeline for regionalization is:
Dep’t of Corr. (10th Cir. 2009), came to a similar
conclusion, holding that, for ADA purposes, a job‘s                         Currently – expand the HSR units for the NW Regional site, so all area clients are served, and to start
essential functions should be viewed from the date                           bringing North Minneapolis staff into the process
the tasks were assigned to the employee, not from the                       In 2011 (maybe 2012), get into the NW Regional site, and hopefully the Lincoln School site for the
employee‘s hire date. Part of the problem might be                           North Mpls. Regional location
the 1992 EEOC ADA Technical Assistance Manual,                              For South Mpls, there should be an interim location – perhaps out of Sabathani or Powderhorn
which explicitly stated ―The ADA does not limit an                          In 2012, they intend to open a South Suburban location (talk along the 494 corridor )
employer's ability to establish or change the content,                      By 2013 (or 2014) exit Century Plaza (once 2-3 sites are open) and open downtown hub site out of a
nature, or functions of a job.‖                                              consolidated location such as HSB
                                                                            Aim for a West suburban site in 2014 (looking ahead at a community operation at the junction of 101
This seems like a pretty big loophole, especially given                      and Co. Rd. 6)
the difficulty of showing intent to discriminate, and,                      By 2015, move into a South Mpls. site full time
after the ADA‘s expansion of the definition of
                                                                        Chris Yates‘ last meeting with us also included some other updates. We did not address much on the
―disabled,‖ employers will be looking for more ways
                                                                        Child Support Report Card syste m in Casey White‘s area, but after the meeting, I opened so me e -
to avoid the accommodation duty. This one seems
                                                                        mails that provided me with more questions for Rex, Mark Lee and Barry Bloomgren.
tailor-made: change job descriptions and thus,
essentially, eliminate disabled employees from any                      We finally had discussion o f the new WIC Public Health Nutritionist positions being created out of
jobs they want – and they won‘t be held liable for                      most o f the Senior Co mmunity Health jobs. Both classes will exist, using the same pay sch edule.
                                                                        There will be different hiring criteria, however, as the ne w WIC positions were created for
disability discrimination! Arguably the decision is
                                                                        reimbursement purpose s to reflect credentialing issues. And we learned a ne w Psychiatrist job class
consistent with the ADA's recognition that, to be
                                                                        has been created that we believe should accrete to our Professional Unit – Local 2864. There‘s
qualified, an employee must be able to perform the
                                                                        nothing new on merging Child Care FCAS into the HSR classi fications, but Jeni Stewart fro m HR
essential functions of the job, with or without
                                                                        suggested her Department is taking a broader look at the FCA classification and the associated job
accommodation. Still, there seems something
troubling about Gratzl 's endorsement of what is, in
effect,     an end run around the duty of                               HSPHD hadn‘t moved ahe ad on concerns about HSR 1 responsibilities raised by steward Lynne
accommodation.                                                          Kincaid at the previous meeting. I have referred Lynne to Deb Truesdell for potential ROWE concerns
http://l awpr ofessor pr of_blog/2010/08/r eorgan   re: HSR 3s and 1s in A DS units, and the Department agreed to update us as th ey look at the i mpact
izing-away-the-duty -of-r easonable-accommodation.html                  of having HSR 1s take EA/EGA applications.

Local 34 Banner                                                                           September 2010                                                                 -19-
Congratulations to our new Chief Steward, Carolyn
Johnson!!! She was elected at our August 18,            The phone banks are member-to-member, explaining why we support
2010 Local 34 Executive Board meeting to fill the       Mark and why it is important to us as public employees to get a candidate who recognizes
vacancy created when Clifford Robinson retired.         and respects the work that we do, who is willing to work with all working people to achieve
Carolyn brings to this position her years of service    better working conditions, create more jobs, address the health chasm faced by the cuts in
to the local as one of our stew ards, her skills as a   MNCare and GAMC, and help keep education for our children affordable. We also have
problem solver and the enviable ability to see the      plenty of AFSCME endorsed candidates at the Federal, State, County, City and School
big picture as well as the small brush strokes          Board levels who could use our support to be elected/reelected this year. The
creating the picture. Please join me in welcoming       opportunities are endless. If you do not know how to hook up with a campaign, give me a
Carolyn to her new role as Chief Steward.               call and I will help you.
Why do we do that? is a question I am frequentl y       The Hennepin AFSCME Picnic on Sunday, August 8, 2010, was a success in spite of being
asked about a motion passed or action taken by          held on the hottest, most humid day of the year so far - 96 degrees with a 104 degree heat
our local. A case in point is the contribution our      index. We had plenty of food - whoever brought the homemade chocolate chip cookies is
local has made for a good number of years to the        a winner in my eyes! - and many delicious salads - on top of the hot dogs, potato salad,
County's annual Backpack Challenge, providing           baked beans, beverages and brownie bites provided by the Planning Committee, chaired
backpacks and school supplies for children who          by Molly Malecki and Ann Baird from Local 2822. A huge round of thanks go to them and
would otherwise not have them for the beginning         their committee for all their hard work which made this event as much fun as it was. A
of the school year. Following is a story that           wonderful addition this year - ICY COLD snow cones in a variety of flavors. This was
illustrates why the membership approves this            definitely the year to introduce them to the picnic as they helped us maintain a level of
contribution each year:                                 coolness that was missing with the temperature. Mark Dayton, candidate for Governor,
When I was going through the check-out line at          and Mark Stenglein, candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner in the 2nd District,
KMart, the cashi er commented on the volume of          attended the event. We all got a chance to speak to both Marks. In spite of the heat,
supplies I was purchasing and asked if I had a lot      games were played, doorprizes were given out, food was eaten, faces were painted, people
of kids? I let him know that our union always           were astounded by the deft acts of the magician and folks got a chance to sit back, relax
sponsors backpacks for the Hennepin County              and enjoy conversations with fellow union members. If you would like to see pictures of
Backpack Challenge to gets supplies for children        the picnic, here is a link to a photo album:
who otherwise could not afford them. He looked at
me and said, "Thank you." He then went on to tell
me that he and his brothers were recipients of the      Our union dental benefit is one topic that I am often called about – mostly about when
program when they were younger and how grateful         you can add a spouse or dependent child. This is just a brief reminder that you can add
his mother was that she could get the backpacks         your new family member as soon as that person joins your family. Our dental program
for them. He said she made them take very good          covers not only you but also your spouse and any dependent child(ren) at no cost - it is one
care of the backpacks so that they did not need         of the benefits our members decided was important to provide to the membership years
new ones every year. While he was telling me this,      ago. I would like to note that if you are adding a child to your family, add them as a
the cashier in the next lane over told us the she       dependent at the same time as you are adding them to your health insurance plan. Even
and her siblings also got backpacks from this           though most babies and small children do not need a dentist visit, once they have been
program. They both told me that I should make           added, you don't need to worry about missing an open enrollment and having to wait til
sure to let the members of our union know how           the next year. My suggestion is to contact our Dental Trustee, Monica Jochmans, our
good they felt being able to go to school with the      Membership Secretary, Kela Williams, or me, to find out what you need to do to complete
supplies they needed and the backpack to put            the addition process. It is quick, it is painless and it is one less thing to worry about.
them in. Most times you never know what the
ripple effect is going to be of an action taken. We     APEX is still causing scattered problems for our members. If you have an issue that you
now know what the effect was for two people and         have not been able to resolve, please let me know as I am still keeping to track of the
their families!                                         types of problems and how long it takes to get resolved. From what I have seen in the
                                                        past two months, they are pretty much unique to the individual and quickly dealt with as
The importance of voting was never more evident         soon as they are brought to the attention of the troubleshooters in Human Resources. I
than in our recent Primary Election. Our AFSCME         would like to thank the folks on the APEX Team who have been working hard since the "go
endorsed candidate for Governor, Mark Dayton,           live" date in October of last year. They have spent many long hours researching why
won the DFL primary by less than 7000 votes. That       problems with our paychecks happened and found ways to create fixes for them as they
means that AFSCME Council 5, representing close         cropped up. My suspicion is that it was a pressure cooker atmosphere as they spent time
to 43,000 members around our state, was                 and energy to make sure that once a problem was identified and a fix found, that the
instrumental in helping him make it through the         same problem did not crop up again. So, kudos to Team APEX. We look forward to the
Primary. Now we need to gear ourselves up to            ongoing speedy resolution of any new glitches that occur - and may they be few and far
work even harder to get him elected as our              between.
Governor. How can you help? We will have phone
banks every Tuesday and Thursday at the Council         Labor Day is just around the corner as well as the State Fair. I hope that you all take time
5 office from now until the November 2, 2010            to enjoy both events, especially Labor Day, as that is a day to recognize you - the worker
General Election. We will most likely also have         who keeps making this county a safe, healthy community.
phone banks somewhere in Minneapolis - that
information is not available at the time I write this   Thank you,
report.                                                 Jean

Local 34 Banner                                                         September 2010                                                    -20-

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