Local 34 by liwenting


									                                                                                                                             Next Local 34

Local 34                                                                                                                   General Assembly
                                                                                                                               Meeting is

Banner                                                                                                                        Wednesday,
                                                                                                                              January 5 –
                                                                                                                            5:30pm, HSB L15
January 2011                                                                                                                  Mark Your

                                                                                                                             Following GA
                                                                                                                              Meeting is
                                                                                                                            February 2, 2011

   Workplace bullying is a form of malicious conduct where one or more employees with organizational power,
   deliberately and repeatedly, practice or perpetrate at least one of the following behaviors against a worker:
                                            VERBAL ABUSE such as derogatory remarks, insults, humiliating slurs.
                                            THREATENING CONDUCT - conduct that a reasonable person would find
                                             threatening or intimidating.
                                            SABOTAGE - gratuitous sabotage or the undermining of a worker's work
                                            MISINFORMATION - deliberately falsified or unfounded negative information
                                             about a worker.
                                            WITHHOLDING INFORMATION - deliberately withholding needed information
                                             from a worker.
                                            ABUSE OF AUTHORITY by painfully manipulating a worker.
                                            DELIBERATE AND REPEATED - any similar deliberate and repeated behavior.

   10. STEALING CREDIT                 9. YELLING, SCREAMING                     8. EXCLUSION or “ICING OUT”
     7. DISCOUNTING or DENIAL OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS                              6. INSULTS and PUT DOWNS
      Do any of these sound like tactics you face every day? For more on Workplace Bullying, turn to Page 14…
   There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with
                 respect, kindness and generosity. – Nathaniel Brandon, Psychotherapist and Philosopher

    The Table of Contents for this issue is located on the next page. Among the Headlines in this Issue:

Table of Contents
January, 2011                                            Notes – December 15, 2010 E-Board Meeting and
 Workplace Bullying – Page 1                              HSPHD Meet & Confer (Not in the Print Version)
 Review of December Executive Board Meeting                The E-Board and HSPHD Meet & Confer met on December 15th –
and HSPHD Meet and Confer – Page 2                        after the print version of the Local 34 newsletter was prepared.
 List of Officers & Stewards, Contacts, Good &                             Here are some of the highlights:
Welfare Information – Page 3;                            The Board approved a motion to elect up to 34 delegates to the
 Rita Salone Promoted – Leaves Local 34,             2011 Day on the Hill, Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at the February GA,
Upcoming Meeting Schedule, and Highlights of the      paying one day Lost Time, mileage and parking.
December 2010 GA Meeting – Page 4;                       The Board approved a motion to provide three Stewards with
 Labor Law – Minnesota law on Hours Worked,          Bullyism Train-the-Trainer training from Judy Carlson of Council 5,
Cussing in the Workplace and Can Your Employer        paying one day Lost Time and mileage. The Chief Stewards will
Waterboard You? – Page 5;                             appoint the stewards for training.
 AFSCME Council 5 Training Schedule for 2011,           The Board tabled renewal of membership with the Minnesota
AFSCME Celebrates Mark Dayton’s Victory,              Fair Trade Coalition until the Treasurer determines if the $300
                                                      renewal was paid earlier this year.
February Class on Social Networking Announced
                                                         The Board voted to purchase a $490 table for 8 at the Nellie
and AFSCME Lands Home Health Aides – Page 6;
                                                      Stone Johnson Scholarship Dinner at the St. Paul Prom Center on
 Tim Pawlenty: Public Sector Unions are a            March 24, 2011. Eight Local 34 attendees will be elected at the
Burden on Taxpayers; Public Employee Unions           February GA meeting.
Under Attack from Chamber of Commerce –                  The Board discussed a thought-provocative article from Steward
Pensions, Cost – AFSCME Responds; Pew Poll on         Lynne Kincaid that we received just prior to the meeting. Dealing
Deficit Spending Choices – Pages 7 and 8;             with our contract language concerning 14-day schedule posting
 Chamber of Commerce Plans to Reform                 requirements, which is being tested under ROWE – especially in
Government in Minnesota – the Republican              Century Plaza HSR units, this article will be available in the
Blueprint – Page 9;                                   February issue of the newsletter.
 Dayton Remarks on Winning, Obama Gives                 Member Leah Hicks has offered to work with the Local on a
Federal Workers 2 Yr. Pay Freeze, and What if Tom     mentorship program, and 2nd VP Volkenant (for 2011) has been
Emmer Had Won – Ohio Goes Republican and Scott        asked to be the Board’s mentor to Sister Hicks.
Walker Could Kill Public Employee Unions in              Chief Steward Vreeman reported on the ROWE Champions of
Wisconsin - Page 10;                                  Change program and Member-at-Large Poole reported back on the
 Food for Thought – How Cities and Counties in       Human Rights Conference, which included a speech from Coach
MN Contemplate Merging and Sharing – Page 11;         Herman Boone.
 Dayton Faces $6.2 Billion Deficit, Tim                 A request from a Sr. Social Worker to appeal denial of
                                                      arbitration for a 5-day Suspension to Council 5’s Executive Board
Pawlenty’s Legacy and a Statement of What
                                                      was firmly approved.
Conservatives Stand For – Page 12;
 Redistricting 2011, Dayton and Medicaid                HSPHD Meet & Confer:
Expansion, and Dayton’s New Staff – Page 13;             Property Services will be following up on a complaint of
 Bullying: Who are the Targets and Who are the       women’s privacy being violated in the 8th Floor restroom at HSB. A
Bullies? – Page 14;                                   security concern for the 2nd floor restroom will be further examined
 VP Wes Volkenant’s Column on the Hennepin           by Management.
County Budget and Local 34 Processes of Retaining        How to resolve Christmas Holiday Pay for 24-7 and former 24-7
Legal Representation and Filing Class Action          hour staff will be looked at by Bill Peters (Labor Relations) Mark
                                                      Lee will follow-up on an issue around APEX Weekend Shift
Grievances – Page 15;
                                                      Differential, and Management is still trying to resolve pay issues for
 Thank You Notes from Workday Minnesota and
                                                      two Sr. SWs who returned to CPSW positions.
Martin Luther King Jr. Project and VP Vicki Moore’s      Jeni Super reported on the completion of a Department study of
Column on Wellness Activities for 2011– Page 16;      non-Child Care FCAs – there are at least 25 different functions, only
 President Jean Diederich’s Column on the            some of which can easily move into the HSR series.
AFSCME Women’s Conference and Eliot Seide’s              Rex Holzemer reported on HSPHD 2.0 (CSDM as our integrated
Reply to Gov. Pawlenty Bashing of Public Employee     business model), on the Regional sites plans – the Northwest site
Unions; CEO Health Insurance Perks; LES Seeks         got Board approval – groundbreaking in March for early-2012 –
Applicants for the Union Leadership Program, and      and temporary plans for Sabathani move ahead for 2012, too, and
Signing up for PEOPLE and Membership Services –       he reported back on the finalized 2011 budget – as Departments
Pages 17 and 18                                       react to the Board’s decision to cut the property tax levy by 1%.

                                                           2          Local 34 Information
                                                                               Local 34 Information
Local 34 Officers & Stewards - 01/01/11                         Good and Welfare
President:                                                                                                      Who We Are
Jean Diederich               348-0266 – HSB - 880          The Good and Welfare Committee                   AFSCME’s 1.6 million
Vice Presidents:                                               was established to send                  members provide the vital
Vicki Moore                  348-5939 – GC - 140            remembrances to dues paying                services that make America
Wesley Volkenant            348-9592 – CP - 630            members at times of happiness or
Chief Stewards:                                                                                          happen. With members in
                                                                       sorrow.                              hundreds of different
Cathy Cowden                 543-0301 – FJC - L890
Carolyn Vreeman             612-396-3257 – GC - 160        This includes marriages, the birth or      occupations — from nurses to
Recording Secretary:                                                                                  corrections officers, child care
                                                          adoption of a child, prolonged illness
Vacant until April 2011 Election
                                                           or hospitalization, or the death of a           providers to sanitation
Patrick Regan               348-8760 – FJC - L890          member, immediate family member               workers — AFSCME is the
Membership Secretary:                                     or significant other – as defined in the    voice of the dedicated workers
Kela Williams               596-0954 – CP - 630                           Contract.                   who take care of America, and
Sergeant-At-Arms:                                                                                       is a leading advocate for all
Andrea Lazo-Rice           348-2249 – HSB - 960           In the case of surgery or prolonged                 working families.
Members-At-Large:                                          illness, or for the birth or adoption
Ibrahim Adam                348-2313 – HSB - 961            of a child, flowers or plants can be        To Contact the Newsletter
Angel Alexander            596-1885 – CP - 630                sent to a member. In situations                    Editor:
Jacquelin Poole             348-4246 – HSB - 961           involving the death of a member or              Wesley Volkenant –
Jacqueline Coleman          543-2605 – NP - N706           a death in the family of a member,
Sabrina Denson              596-7876 – HSB – 961                                                             612-348-9592
                                                            memorials can be sent. (“Family” is          cwvolkenant@msn.com or
Kathy Kelly                 348-6593 – FJC – L890
                                                            defined the same as in Article 16 –        Wesley.Volkenant@co.hennepin.
Stewards:                                                    Funeral Leave – in our contract; it                   mn.us
Zachary Rice            348-2274, Century Plaza 1         includes: spouse, child, significant
Nancy Scarlotta         348-9452, Century Plaza 2                                                      For Newsletter Distribution
Fatuma Kassim           596-8457, Century Plaza 2          other, aunt/ uncle, father/ mother,
Halima Said           596-1761, Century Plaza 2                sister/ brother, grandparent/                concerns contact:
Jamoda Williams         596-8948, Century Plaza 4         grandparent-in-law, grandchildren,                Rhonda Griffin at
Shaletha Thomas         596-8954, Century Plaza 4               niece/ nephew, or a person                   612-543-0353
Lynne Kincaid           596-8716, Century Plaza 4
Shawnice Reid         543-2699, NorthPoint Medical
                                                               regarded as a member of the
Ed Kusleika             919-2884, STS                         member‟s immediate family).             Internet Web Site Developer:
James Stevenson         596-9220, STS                                                                        John Herzog –
Jim Edin             763-221-4443, STS                      In the event of members getting                  952-492-5233
Phillip Gray          348-5771, Juvenile Justice Ctr         married, retiring, gaining U.S.           http://www.afscmelocal34.org/
Terry Grace             348-7308, Juvenile Justice Ctr     citizenship, or for a death in the
Aboubker Ouassaddine 543-0373, Family Justice Ctr         family of a member or in the case                 Council 5 Business
Dana Meyer              596-0214, Family Justice Ctr
Miguel Salazar          348-6800, Family Justice Ctr       of the death of a member, a card                  Representative:
Susan Frame             348-0293, Govt Center A15               can be sent to the family.                     Matt Nelson
Monica Jochmans         348-4192, HSB 5                                                                       651-287-0578
Penny Wile              348-7133, HSB 9                        Please send all requests for              matt.nelson@afscmemn.org
Laura Wright            543-0293, Little Earth Omniciye    remembrances to the co-Chairs for
Nafisa Farah            596-1705, 6601 Shingle Creek       the Good and Welfare Committee -
Kristine Heckler       752-8332, Crystal Drop-in Ctr.
                                                                                                      Council 5 Contact Information:
Elena Izaksonas         521-3056, 4th Precinct Station
                                                             Lisa Durkot (MC 965) or Merry              300 Hardman Avenue So.
Pamela Shones         763-413-3113, 1800 Chicago           Brigham (MC L890). The referrals            South Saint Paul, Minnesota
Maureen Glover          348-4492, 1800 Chicago                must include the name of the                     55075-2469
Sheila Lipsco           348-4204, 1800 Chicago               member and the reason for your                  (651) 450-4990
Dennis Moore            879-3560, 1800 Chicago                          request.                          Fax: (651) 450-1908
Jeff Meyer              348-5880, 1800 Chicago
Mara Hill               596-7161, 1800 Chicago            If the request is for a plant or flowers,
Martha Dille            612-964-1778, Grain Exchange                                                    Local 34 Mailing Address:
                                                              you will also need to include the              PO Box 15222,
                          Trustees                           person’s home phone number for                  Minneapolis MN
            Audie Lussier, Osman Farah, Vacant                       delivery purposes.                       55415-0222
                     Delta Dental Trustee
                      Monica Jochmans

                 Rita Salone, Local 34
                 Recording Secretary, is                             Highlights – December 2010
                 Promoted to Human                                    General Assembly Meeting
                 Services Supervisor                     All Officers were Present; Special Guest – Becky Sirovy, Local 3400
                 Position in Child Support
                                                        The Local passed a motion to send up to 10 interested persons to the
At the December 1 Local 34 General Assembly          AFSCME Women’s Conference in Orlando, Florida, March 18-20, 2011.
meeting, Rita Salone, Recording Secretary since      Attendees will be elected at the January 2011 General Assembly, with one-
                                                     day’s lost time, three days’ per diem, airfare, hotel, registration and
May 2007, announced her resignation, as she was
                                                     transportation expenses to be covered. AFSCME also announced that an
about to embark on a new phase of her Hennepin       AFSCME Next Wave Conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, July 7-9.
County career, as a Supervisor in the Child
Support Service Area of HSPHD. The membership            The Local accepted the resignation of Recording Secretary Rita Salone,
                                                     effective December 1, as she received a promotion to Supervisor .
extended its congratulations and well-wishes to
Sister Salone.                                           John Herzog introduced an upcoming Local 34 internal membership
                                                     survey, using Survey Monkey, through the Local 34 web site. The
President Jean Diederich announced that the          approximately 10-minute survey will ask about benefits, bullying, the
position will remain vacant until a successor is     newsletter, workplace relationships and treatment, and satisfaction with
sworn in, in May 2011. With officer nominations      the Local. The Local approved the purchase of twenty $20 Cub gift cards
                                                     for use as randomly-drawn prizes for survey participants.
beginning in February, and elections in April, the
Local will not appoint anyone with such a short         The Local affirmed an E-Board e-mail vote authorizing VP Volkenant to
period of service ahead.                             purchase Microsoft Publisher for use with the local’s newsletter. VP
                                                     Moore’s motion at the November E-Board delegating responsibility to
Recording Secretary Sister Salone‟s immediate        Volkenant to research options, led to the discovery of a Thanksgiving-
predecessors include Chalmers Davis, who retired     related sale price at Amazon.com of $104.97, about $45 under usual prices,
from the County a year ago, and passed away just     which the E-Board quickly approved.
recently, and Anita Selin, who, as a Planning           LaQuita Williams was appointed Nominations Chair for the Local’s
Analyst, is now an activist in Local 2864. So,       2011 election cycle; nominations begin in February.
without recently-experienced predecessors to serve      John Herzog updated members on the MSSA November Delegate
as caretakers in the position, President Diederich   Assembly, which included resolutions on Child Support changes and a
asked other officers to serve as note-takers at      proposal to shift case management to county of residence. 2011 MSSA
General Assembly and E-Board meetings until a        delegates were elected: John Herzog, Kay Powell, Heather Hemmer, Kathy
successor takes office in May.                       Kelly, Katie Farber, Elena Izaksonas and Rhonda Griffin.
                                                        Becky Sirovy of Local 3400- Child Care Providers – received a large
Members in good standing (one year with Local        number of toys from the Local which were being donated by AFSCME to the
34) who are interested in serving as Recording       annual Toys for Tots campaign. GA attendees also enjoyed an excellent
Secretary for the 2011-2012 term can contact         buffet dinner, which this year was organized by Andrea Lazo-Rice and
President Diederich for more information, can        Sabrina Denson, with the assistance of Alexander Gordon. Sister Lazo-Rice
consult the Local‟s Constitution and Standing        also made sure that the balloting on the Memorandum of Understanding
Rules, and can get nominated at either the           concerning reduced co-pays for usage of HFA, HCMC and North Point, was
                                                     conducted properly. The MOU was approved by the membership.
February or March General Assembly meetings.
                                                         Angel Alexander submitted the recommended 2011 Budget for Local 34
                                                     – it was approved, with a total of $194,550 vs. $201,380 for 2010.
                                                        Halima Said of Century Plaza was re-appointed Steward. The quarterly
    Upcoming Local 34 Meeting                        Stewards training/meeting was set for December 14th .

           Schedule                                     The Local approved giving Local 34 polo shirts to retiring Council
                                                     5Business Representatives Jill Kielblock and Cindy Nelson, both former
                                                     Local 34 members. Matt Nelson announced that Steve Marincel, long-time
   January 5 – General Assembly – 5:30pm –
                                                     Local 2822 and 552 BA – and contract negotiator for Hennepin AFSCME
   HSB 110                                           will be retiring March31, which may lead to shake-ups in Council staffing.

   January 19 – Executive Board – 5:30pm –              President Diederich reviewed the processes for class action grievances
   HSB 961                                           and requests for legal representation (see Page 12). She also reported that
                                                     our 2011 Fee Payer amount is 85.91%, which Matt Nelson said must be
                                                     85% by law.
   February 2 – General Assembly – 5:30pm –
   HSB 110                                              Membership Secretary Williams reported on concerns with PEOPLE
                                                     cards, which John Herzog suggested putting on the web site. VP Moore
   February 16 – Executive Board – 5:30pm –          reported on receiving concerns about the 2012 County Wellness program’s
   HSB 961                                           requiring of two activities – it will be discussed further with Jill Hamilton.

Frequently Asked Questions – Hours
How many hours do I have to work to be considered a full-time employee?

Minnesota law does not define employees as full or part time, rather Minnesota
Rules 5200.0170 defines a workweek. A workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours, seven consecutive 24-
hour periods. For the purpose of overtime calculation Minnesota Statutes 177.25 states hours worked in excess of 48 hours in a
workweek must be paid at one-and-one-half times the regular rate of pay.

                    Can my employer require me to work overtime and fire me if I refuse to work overtime?
                    The employer has the authority to establish the work schedule and determine the hours to be worked. There
                    are no limits on the overtime hours the employer can schedule. Employees who refuse to work the scheduled
                    hours may be terminated. Advance notice by an employer of the change in hours is not required.

                  Doesn't my employer have to give me a break?
                  The state law requires employers to provide restroom time and sufficient time to eat a meal. If the break is less
                  than 20 minutes in duration, it must be counted as hours worked. Time to use the nearest restroom must be
                  provided within each four consecutive hours of work. Meal time applies to employees who work eight or more
consecutive hours (see Minnesota Statutes 177.253 and 177.254).

What about nursing mothers?
An employee must be provided reasonable unpaid break time to express breast milk for her child. Breaks already provided may
fulfill this requirement. Employers are not required to provide this time if doing so would seriously disrupt operations. The
employer must also make reasonable efforts to provide a private area for this purpose, other than a toilet stall.

Do I get time off work for school visits?
Every employee is entitled to take up to 16 hours unpaid leave a year to attend their children's school conferences, classroom
activities, child care or other early childhood program. Employees may use vacation time.

For more information
If you don't see your question answered here, or want more information about any of these subjects, contact the Department of
Labor and Industry, Labor Standards unit, at dli.laborstandards@state.mn.us, (651) 284-5070 or 1-800-DIAL-DLI (1-800-342-5354).

Workplace Waterboarding
If you're looking for a new intentional infliction of emotional distress example, the Utah Supreme Court, in
Hudgens v. Prosper, just allowed a suit to continue alleging IIED, among other claims. The facts underlying
this claim? The plaintiff claimed that during a work retreat, a supervisor--as part of a "motivational exercise"--
waterboarded the plaintiff (i.e., made other employees hold the plaintiff down while the supervisor poured
water over his nose and mouth). Jeffrey Hirsch, Workplace Prof Blog

                        Does Cussing Create a "Hostile Work Environment"?
                        Posted by Robin E. Shea on November 08, 2010 - Employment & Labor Insider.com
                        Does garden-variety cursing, not directed at an individual, create a hostile work environment? There are hostile
                        work environments, and then there are "hostile work environments" -- the type that create employer liability for
                        workplace harassment. Excessive cussing can certainly create the first type of hostile environment, in the sense
                        that it can make the workplace unpleasant, hurt morale, and create stress, but it doesn't usually create
                        legal liability for harassment.

To create liability for discriminatory harassment, the cussing usually has to have some additional element. Cuss words based on an
individual's race, sex, or other protected characteristic are a problem. Cuss words that are directed at an individual aren't good, either.
And of course, obscene language that is sexual in nature can most certainly create liability for sexual harassment.

All that said, excessive cussing in the workplace is something to be discouraged. Employees often perceive an unlawful hostile
environment when the boss cusses too much, and are more prone to file lawsuits. Even though these lawsuits are eventually dismissed,
why would any employer want to go through this trauma if it's possible to avoid it?

                                                                                 Dayton Wins!

Basic Steward Training (two days)
                                                                                                  Public workers
Designed for new stewards and stewards who want a refresher
                                                                        have reason to celebrate! Tom Emmer’s
                                                                        concession has cleared the way for Mark
•   Talking to Members One-on-One                                       Dayton to be sworn in on Jan. 3 as the
•   Union Building                                                      first AFSCME-endorsed governor in two
•   Mobilization & Workplace Action                                     decades. Dayton recognizes that frontline
•   Roles, Rights and Responsibilities of a Steward                     workers are part of the solution, not the
•   Duty of Fair Representation                                         problem. His victory has complete
•   Investigatory Meetings                                              legitimacy now that each and every vote
•   Grievance Process, Investigation & Presentation
                                                                        has been legally recounted in a fair and
Metro, Council 5 Office                                                 transparent process. Our union was first
Tuesday & Wednesday, January 11 & 12                                    to endorse Dayton in October 2009 and
Wednesday & Thursday, February 23 & 24                                  we supported him all the way. Dayton’s
                                                                        partnership with public workers will
                                                                        continue to be strong as we work together
Chief Steward Training                                                  to build a better Minnesota where
                                                                        everyone can prosper.
Specifically for chief stewards elected or appointed within their
                                                                        Related: MN Progressive Project – What
•   Building a Strong Steward Structure                                 was the Republican Recount Strategy?
•   Recruiting Stewards
•   Teaching and Mentoring
•   Conducting Effective Steward Meetings
Metro, Council 5 Office
                                                                        Welcome, Home Health Aides!
Thursday, January 27                                                    By a landslide vote of 97-18, home
                                                                        health aides who work for Transition
                                                                        Health Care joined AFSCME with a NLRB
Secretary's Training                                                    election victory Nov. 17. Many of the 128
                                                                        workers in the new local are immigrants
This is just for Local Union Secretaries. Learn exactly what            or refugees from Africa. They provide
information should be included in the minutes, discuss leadership       senior    care    at  six  assisted-living
duties and network with other local union recording secretaries.        communities      that  Lang   Nelson     &
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM                                                      Associates operates in five Twin Cities’
Metro, Council 5 Office                                                 suburbs. Council 5 member organizers
Thursday, February 3                                                    from Local 744 at the Minneapolis
                                                                        Veterans Home and Local 977 at
                                                                        Hennepin County Medical Center were
Financial Responsibility Training                                       key in connecting the home care workers
                                                                        to the union.
For anyone in the local who signs checks or conducts audits.            http://afscmemn.org/welcome%2C-
Formerly Treasurer's Training. Taught by the International Union        home-health-aides%21
and Council 5 staff.
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Metro, Council 5 Office                                                 LES Looks at Facebook and Beyond
Tuesday, April 5                                                        The Labor Education Service at the
                                                                        University of Minnesota will offer a hands-
                                                                        on skills class for workers who want to
Registration: Members must be registered by a local officer. To         use    Facebook,     Twitter,   Unionbook,
register contact Jackie O'Shea, 651-287-0524, or 1-800-652-9791,        YouTube, Flickr and other free networking
ext. 524, or email: jackie.oshea@afscmemn.org.                          tools as part of their union work. The
Time: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, unless otherwise noted.                       class, “Social Networking for Unions,”
Cost: Basic Steward Training is $50 per person. This includes $20 for   takes place Feb. 5 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
the manual and $15 per day for lunch. All other prescheduled            Tuition is $50. To register, contact LES at
training is $20 - $15 for lunch and $5 per participant for materials.   les@umn.edu.

                                                              Response from AFSCME Council 5 Director, Eliot Seide:
                                                              AFSCME CRITICIZES CHAMBER FOR REPORT ON PUBLIC-SECTOR
                                                              The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce released a report today attacking
                                                              government employee compensation. AFSCME Council 5, Minnesota’s
                                                              largest public employee union, responded by challenging the chamber to pay
                                                              its fair share of taxes.
                                                              “Tax breaks for the rich are what’s really threatening the sustainability of
                                                              public services,” explains Eliot Seide, director of AFSCME Council 5. “The
                                                              chamber doesn’t want to pay its fair share of taxes and that’s why it’s trying to
                                                              blame the deficit on public employees. We’re not the problem.”
MN Chamber Says State Workers' Pay Out
                                                              “Cheap-labor conservatives like to pit private workers against public workers.
of Line                                                       Their real agenda is strip the entire working class of wages, benefits and
by Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio - December 9, 2010
                                                              pensions. That way, rich employers can pocket more profits from our labor.
The unions representing state workers are blasting a new      Our union is trying to stop the chamber’s race to the bottom. We strive for a
                                                              Minnesota where all labor is rewarded with wages that can raise a family,
business-backed study that questions the current
                                                              health care if people get sick, and a retirement that’s dignified.”
compensation of public employees. The Minnesota
Chamber of Commerce says the wages and benefits of            Here are facts the chamber ignores:
public employees are far out of sync with the private          § The wealth of Minnesota millionaires has doubled under the Pawlenty
sector and must be reined in. The group plans to push for     administration, as their state and local tax rate has decreased by 4 percent.
changes during next year's budget debate.                     Meanwhile, the wages of most public workers have been frozen.
                                                              § AFSCME members earn $38,000 a year, on average. They’re struggling
Tom Hesse, the chamber's vice president for government
                                                              paycheck to paycheck, just like average Minnesotans.
affairs, says public employee compensation should be
                                                              § Public workers in Minnesota earn 4 percent less than private-sector
on the table in the 2011 session when lawmakers try to
                                                              employees, when matched by education and experience. That‟s because
erase a projected $6.2 billion budget deficit. "Many          public workers have sacrificed wages for better benefits.
employers over the last two or three years have
                                                              § Minnesota’s state workforce is the 10th leanest and one of the most productive
implemented wage freezes, have changed the                    in the nation. Minnesota has 71 public workers for every 10,000 residents,
contributions to 401ks for a certain period of time,"         according to the U.S. census. We’re tied with conservative Florida.
Hesse said. "So, there are a lot of things that the private   § If Gov. Pawlenty fired all state employees, the cost savings would erase
sector has done that the public sector could maybe learn      only 21 percent of the state budget deficit.
from in how to get through difficult budget times." The
                                                              § Minnesota Chamber president David Olson’s concern about public
chamber study recommends changing to a system that            compensation is hypocritical. As a trustee of the Minnesota State Colleges and
pays public employees based on performance rather             Universities, he paid bonuses totaling $415,875 to 33 top administrators who earn
than years of service.                                        six-figure salaries. Phil Krinkie, president of the Taxpayers’ League, and Mike
But Jim Monroe of the Minnesota Association of                Veckich, chair of the Emmer recount team, are also MnSCU trustees appointed
Professional Employees accuses the chamber of pushing         by Gov. Pawlenty.
a broader anti-labor agenda with the goal of privatizing       § Public pensions are modest. The average AFSCME retiree has pension
government. "Some of these issues need to be                  benefits of about $13,000 a year.
discussed. The people of this state need to understand        § Minnesota’s pension systems pay out more than $2.5 billion, add $3.3 billion to
that there are two sides to the issues," Monroe said.         the state economy, and create 22,500 additional jobs.
"And I think this gives us as we start through this            § State and local taxes collected on public pensions exceed public
process the opportunity to point out the factual              employer pension contributions by $80 million a year.
inaccuracies of both the chamber and some of the things       § Ninety percent of retired public workers stay in Minnesota. That benefits our
that are being pushed by this agenda."                        economy and keeps seniors self-sufficient.
Eliot Seide of AFSCME Council 5 says the chamber              § More than 20 percent of senior citizens are living in poverty with only
                                                              Social Security.
shouldn't be trying to blame public employees for the
state budget deficit.                                          § Minnesota taxpayers pay for only 15 cents of every dollar in public pension
   http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/12/09
    /state-workers-compensation                                § Most private pensions are 100% employer paid. AFSCME members pay
   http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/12/09   for half of theirs.
    /chamber-of-commerce-public-compensation                  AFSCME Council 5 is a union of 43,000 public and non-profit workers in Minnesota, including 20,000
                                                                state employees. We advocate for excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace, and
                                                                                         opportunity and prosperity for all workers.

MPR‟s Tim Pugmire has filed a piece on a new study by
the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which has public                        Tim Pawlenty: Public-Sector Unions Burden the
employee pay and compensation in its sights: “[The                         Taxpayer
group] concludes those wages, insurance benefits and                       The case for organized labor can't be made for these pampered
pensions are threatening the sustainability of                             employees.
government services. Tom Hesse, the chamber's vice                         http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/111819879.html
                                                                           Last Update -December 14, 2010
president for government affairs, says public employee
compensation should be on the table in the 2011                            “Much has changed. The majority of union members today no
session when lawmakers try to erase a projected $6.2                       longer work in construction, manufacturing or „strong back‟ jobs.
billion budget deficit. „Many employers over the last two                  They work for government, which, thanks to President
or three years have implemented wage freezes, have                         Obama, has become the only booming „industry‟ left in our
changed the contributions to 401Ks for a certain period                    economy. Since January 2008 the private sector has lost nearly 8
of time,‟ Hesse said. „So, there are a lot of things that the              million jobs, while local, state and federal governments have added
private sector has done that the public sector could                       590,000. Federal employees receive an average of $123,049
maybe learn from in how to get through difficult budget                    annually in pay and benefits, twice the average of the private
times.'"                                                                   sector. And across the country, at every level of government, the
To my knowledge, the Chamber has not argued that the                       pattern is the same: Unionized public employees are making
benefits of the extended Bush tax cuts should be directed                  more money, receiving more generous benefits, and enjoying
at restoring private sector wages and compensation to                      greater job security than the working families forced to pay for
public employee levels.                                                    it with ever-higher taxes, deficits and debt.
 – Brian Lambert                                                           How did this happen? Very quietly. The rise of government unions
 writing in The Daily Glean, MinnPost.com                                  has been like a silent coup, an inside job engineered by self-
                                                                           interested politicians and fueled by campaign contributions.
                                                                           Public-employee unions contribute mightily to the campaigns of
                                                                           liberal politicians ($91 million in the midterm elections alone) who
                                                                           vote to increase government pay and workers. As more
From Eric Black of MinnPost.com on a Pew poll of the deficit               government employees join the unions and pay dues, the union
                   and choices to be made:                                 bosses pour ever more money and energy into liberal campaigns.
“there is a broad public consensus when it comes to the federal            The result is that certain states are now approaching default.
budget deficit: seven-in-ten say it is a major problem that                Decades of overpromising and fiscal malpractice by state and local
must be addressed right away, and roughly two-thirds say that
                                                                           officials have created unfunded public employee benefit liabilities
the best way to reduce the deficit is through a combination of
cutting major government programs and increasing taxes… Yet                of more than $3 trillion.”
this general consensus evaporates when concrete deficit                    More on this Topic:
reduction proposals are tested … Particularly unpopular are                 Pawlenty Op-Ed Accuses Government Unions of „Silent Coup‟
provisions that would tax the health insurance people                        http://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2010/12/13/24155/pawlenty_op-
receive from their employers (72% disapprove), raise the                     ed_accuses_government_unions_of_silent_coup
national gasoline tax (74% disapprove), and reduce federal                  Tim Pawlenty Calls for Push Back Against „Silent Coup‟ from Government Unions
funding to states for things like education and roads (71%                   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/13/tim-pawlenty-government-
disapprove)… "Of 12 ideas tested, just two meet with majority
                                                                            Public Employee Benefits “Ponzi Scheme”
approval: increasing the amount of earned income that is subject             http://www.mnprogressiveproject.com/diary/8019/pawlenty-public-union-benefits-
to Social Security withholding (64% approve) and freezing the                are-a-ponzi-scheme
salaries of government workers (59% approve)."                              Fox‟s War on Unions Rages On http://mediamatters.org/research/201012130019
 (Black: I wonder how that fares with government workers.)                  Pawlenty: Public-Sector Unions Illegitimate http://www.liquida.com/blog-
http://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2010/12/09/24067/pew_deficit_poll_publ     news/14527822/tim-pawlenty-afscme-manhattan-institute
                                                                            Pawlenty Versus Public Unions
Shades of Colorado:                                                        For AFSCME & Other Reactions:
Pawlenty Proposes Spending Accountability                                   http://www.minnpost.com/dailyglean/2010/12/15/24266
Constitutional Amendment                                                    http://www.minnpost.com/dailyglean/2010/12/16/24310/pawlenty_gets_pants_on_f
Summary: caps the state general fund budget at the                           ire_award_for_public_worker_claims
                                                                            http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2010/12/14/24218/minnesota_public_employee_
level of revenue received in the previous two-year
budget period

Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Plans for Reforming MN Government Services…                                                              Hoarding,
                                                                                                                                       Not Hiring
State Budget: Living Within Our Means http://www.mnchamber.com/priorities/fiscal_statebudget.cfm                                       Corporate profits rose at
The state will face a $1.2 billion budget shortfall for the remainder of the FY 2010-11 biennium and a $5.4 billion shortfall in the   an annual rate of $1.659
FY 2012-13 biennium. The Governor and Legislature must address future shortfalls by reforming state and local spending                 trillion in the third
systems rather than by increasing taxes.                                                                                               quarter, the Commerce
Budget Process Reform                                                                                                                  Department says. That’s
The state needs to change the way it budgets to prioritize spending and reduce the likelihood that it over-commits resources in        the highest profit level in
good times. This can be accomplished by two reforms to the budget process.                                                             the 60 years the
    Adopt a “Priorities of Government” approach to budgeting: This form of budgeting evaluates each function or outcome               department has been
        of government by its results per dollar. Functions/outcomes can then be ranked from highest results per dollar to              keeping track, and the
        lowest within each budget category. With that information, the Governor and Legislature can determine which outcomes           seventh straight quarter
        they want to “buy” each budget cycle. Washington State uses this approach.                                                     that corporations have
    Change the way the state forecasts revenue growth: The Governor and Legislature should limit permanent spending                   turned a profit.
        and tax changes to the long-run trend rate of growth in revenue or forecasted revenue whichever is less. Using the
        long-run trend rate of growth in revenue as a limit for permanent spending and tax changes will make less money                Soaring profits are
        available for permanent commitments and more dollars available for one-time expenditures.                                      contributing to record
 Increasing Productivity                                                                                                               levels of corporate cash
                                                                                                                                       reserves. Published
The state needs to increase the productivity of existing state services by in many cases totally redesigning the way the services
                                                                                                                                       estimates say American
are delivered. The following are some examples of service redesigns we support:
                                                                                                                                       corporations will have
    Redesigning state health care programs: The Minnesota’s Bottom Line report from Public Strategies Group and five of               nearly $2 trillion in
        the state’s largest foundations suggests that by spending state dollars on health outcomes rather than fee for services,       reserves by the end of
        $3.7 billion can be saved. One way to accomplish this goal is implementing a plan design for MinnesotaCare that                the year. But
        provides incentives (less cost-sharing) for patients that use the highest quality providers and disincentives (higher cost-    corporations are refusing
        sharing) for patients that use other providers. Another way to accomplish this goal is to redesign the Medical Assistance      to invest that money and
        and General Assistance Medical Care (GAMC) benefits to meet the needs of the population in a financially sustainable           put Americans back to
        way. The GAMC program should be funded this biennium with a combination of the Health Care Access Fund, a                      work. The economy
        hospital surcharge and federal funding. We oppose the HMO surcharge because it shifts costs onto employers.                    added only 39,000 jobs
    Long-term care reform: Too many people that have the means to finance their own long-term care end up using the                   in November, the Labor
        state’s medical assistance programs instead. This is not sustainable. Individuals must begin to plan for their long-term       Department says, as the
        care needs and the state and federal governments need to provide more savings mechanisms and change incentives                 unemployment rate rose
        in the Medicaid system to allow this to occur.                                                                                 to 9.8 percent.
    Special education: It is often too easy to get a child classified as a special education student.                                 http://afscmemn.org/action
    County redesign: The Association of Minnesota Counties is working on redesign initiatives on human service delivery
        and the court systems among other things. The human service delivery redesign includes encouraging counties to
        jointly administer human service delivery. Examples of court system redesign include: (1) encouraging consolidated             Health Care
        prosecutions involving the same defendant when multiple crimes are alleged to occur in multiple jurisdictions over a six-
        month period of time; (2) allowing a county attorney to be elected by more than one county; and (3) allowing counties          Hypocrisy
                                                                                                                                       Eventually, the new
        the flexibility to have a defendant arraigned in the county where he/she is being held rather than transporting for a court
                                                                                                                                       health care law will give
                                                                                                                                       all Americans access to
    Redefine role for local elected officials: The roles of county board members, city council members, school board                  the kind of coverage
        members and other local officials could be changed so their primary responsibility is to define results and outcomes           that members of
        they expect the unit of government to achieve. Then, their staff (i.e. county administrators, city managers and school         Congress now enjoy.
        superintendents) should be charged with competitively sourcing every function to nonprofit organizations, for-profit
        businesses, or other entities. By minimizing its own in-house providers, the chief administrator will always be forced to      But Michele Bachmann
        shop for the best value.                                                                                                       and a lot of other House
    Shared services: School districts, cities and counties should share services to the greatest extent possible and where it         Republicans want to
        is cost effective. There is no need for each local government to have human resources, 911 dispatch, purchasing, law           repeal the law. They
        enforcement and fire protection that could be done on a multijurisdiction basis.                                               want to take health
    Competitively sourcing services: Services where there are private-sector providers should be competitively sourced,               coverage away from
        allowing public-sector organizations and private businesses to compete for the provision of services. Barriers to              millions of Americans –
        competitive sourcing should be eliminated.                                                                                     but still keep it for
Reducing Overhead Costs                                                                                                                themselves. It’s time to
    Post-retirement health benefits: New state and local government hires should not be eligible for post-retirement health           call this what it is:
        care benefits.                                                                                                                 Hypocrisy. Either these
                                                                                                                                       elected officials give up
    Health Insurance: To help create affordability and stability, state and local governments should make better use of               their taxpayer-funded
        benefit designs that promote health/wellness and encourage wise use of health care resources. Examples include                 health plan, or they shut
        value-based benefit design, health savings accounts and tiered health insurance plans. In addition, the state and local        up and stop trying to
        governments should stop providing 100 percent of the coverage for single people. Public employees should have to               take health coverage
        make some contribution toward their health insurance.                                                                          away from the rest of
    Retirement plans: New state and local government hires should be offered only defined contribution retirement plans.              us.
        Given the current underfunded status of the state’s pension plans, this recommendation will have to be implemented             http://afscmemn.org/actio
        over time.                                                                                                                     n-update
    Reform Minnesota’s Public Employee Labor Relations Act: (Coming - PELRA reform recommendations)

                                                                                                          Minnesota elected Mark Dayton Governor on
                                                                                                                     nd                                 th

            Aftermath of Election 2010                                                                    November 2 , which was certified on December 8 .
                                                                                                          From Dayton’s prepared acceptance remarks:
     What if Tom Emmer Had Been Elected With a Republican Legislature?                                    …I pledge my willingness to work cooperatively and
                                                                                                          constructively with the legislature and its leaders of both
            Start with Ohio, which elected Republican John Kasich Governor…
                                                                                                          parties, with local officials, with the business
Kasich: „I Don‟t Favor the Right to Strike of Any Public Employee‟                                        community, with labor, and with other civic leaders, to
After securing electoral victory this November, Ohio Gov.-elect John Kasich quickly cast                  fulfill the People of Minnesota's mandate. Doing so will
off many campaign-friendly principles to suit his preferred governing style. But his                      require good will, hard work, and sincere willingness to
penchant for power consolidation took a remarkable turn yesterday when he unveiled his                    listen to and learn from one another, to find our
“personal philosophy” of contempt for worker‟s rights at a press conference. Incensed                     common ground, and to create shared solutions.
over police and firefighter unions‟ ability to call in a neutral arbiter to resolve any labor             If we simply disregard and defeat each other's
disputes, Kasich told the Youngstown Vindicator’s Marc Kovak that he‟d love to                            proposals, and try to make each other look bad in the
eliminate that policy, known as binding arbitration, and fire any police or firefighter who               process, we will only cause unwanted gridlock and
wants to strike:                                                                                          deadlock. More importantly, we will fail the People of
KASICH: You think these local governments want to be stuck with binding arbitration?                      Minnesota. They deserve our best and our success,
I‟m serious…Our local governments don‟t want that, it drives up the cost. So we‟re                        because they need and deserve a Better Minnesota.
looking for ways to mitigate any of the reductions in dollars that people get, you                        I will provide more details soon; but first let us share our
know, how do we make it easier for them to be able to cope with it?                                       best ideas and reach swift agreement on them to
QUESTION: On that last point, wasn‟t binding arbitration adopted as a way to eliminate                    immediately improve Minnesota's economy, help
the possibility of public safety forces striking?                                                         provide jobs for the Minnesotans who need them, and
KASICH: Right, if they want to strike, they should be fired. You should not allow,                        help create new and better jobs for our children and
look, you should have a change in the law…there are ways to say that you are not going                    grandchildren. That is the first job, for which the people
to strike, and we‟re going to continue negotiations without a binding                                     of Minnesota elected us to our jobs.
arbitrator…Binding arbitration is not acceptable.[...]
QUESTION: Just to make sure I‟m clear, you do not think police and fire emergency                         Let us work with Minnesota's businesses, who are the
services should have the right to strike?                                                                 principal job creators and the backbone of our economic
KASICH: I don‟t favor the right to strike of any public employee, ok? That‟s my                           growth. Let us work with Minnesota's workers, farmers,
personal philosophy. How practical that is to implement, uh you know, but my personal                     teachers, and public employees, who manufacture the
philosophy is I don‟t like public employees striking. I mean, they‟ve got good jobs,                      goods, grow the food, and deliver the services, upon
high pay, good benefits, a great retirement, what are they striking for?                                  which all of us depend.
                                                                                                          Let us work together to reform how government works
       And look at Wisconsin, which elected Tea Partier Scott Walker Governor…                            so that there is more accountability to taxpayers; so we
                                                                                                          can assure them that every one of their hard-earned tax
Editorial: Walker and the Unions
Governor-elect Scott Walker is talking tough - even talking about essentially abolishing public unions.   dollars is being spent wisely and effectively. And I will
One thing is sure: State workers should pay more for their benefits.                                      continue to insist that those state and local tax dollars
Dec. 8, 2010 - http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/111561299.html                                        be collected more progressively, so that all Minnesotans
Governor-elect Scott Walker has picked a fight with Wisconsin's public employee unions                    pay their fair share for the essential services all
- even before his inauguration. But that's not the surprising thing. What's surprising is that            Minnesotans need…
Walker is willing to consider what amounts to abolishing public unions. And with the                      http://www.startribune.com/politics/blogs/111548844.html
news Wednesday that Walker's Republican colleagues might introduce right-to-work
legislation next year, the climate for labor is growing chillier by the day. Tough talk. But              From the White House, November 29, 2010:
when it comes to the public employee unions, it's justified.                                              Obama Announces Two-Year Federal Pay Freeze
                                                                                                          Monday, November 29th, 2010 - By Steve Tarlow
Walker is not asking the impossible here: He merely wants state workers to pay more of
                                                                                                          A massive federal deficit has forced the Obama
their share for their benefits - just as most employees at companies do. Walker wants
                                                                                                          administration to make difficult decisions. President
them to pay 5% of the contributions to their pension plans - they don't pay at all now -
                                                                                                          Obama has announced that in order to tame the
and to pay a larger share of their health insurance premiums - up to 12% from 4% to 6%.
                                                                                                          massive federal deficit, plans have been created to
These eminently reasonable ideas would save $154 million between January and June 30,
                                                                                                          institute a two-year federal pay freeze. It is projected
he said.
                                                                                                          that this move will save the U.S. $28 billion within five
There is little doubt that a fed-up public is on his side. In a statewide poll, 76% thought               years and $60 billion over the next decade. The federal
that public employees should contribute to their pensions. Only 17% said it was                           pay freeze would affect all civilian federal employees,
understandable that they did not. As the Great Recession rolled across the heartland,                     but not military employees
Wisconsin's budgets got harder and harder to balance. In the current fiscal year, which                   http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/2010/11/29/obama-federal-pay-freeze
ends June 30, the state faces a shortfall of at least $150 million. That gap grows to a                   Links to Reactions:
whopping $3.3 billion in the next biennium. Trimming worker benefits is one tool                           http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/130949-
needed to fill those budget holes. To do that, the state needs more flexibility.                             liberal-groups-blast-obama-pay-freeze-proposal-release-
Walker should ask the new Republican-controlled Legislature to change the state's 29-                        alternative-plan
year-old State Employment Labor Relations Act so that state government can have that                       http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/12/16/president-
flexibility. Stripping the unions of their bargaining authority probably isn't necessary.                    obama-meet-labor-leaders-friday
                                                                                                           http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/pros-and-
Walker was elected with a mandate to change how business is conducted in Madison, and
he is showing that he means to do that. Across Wisconsin, workers have had to sacrifice                    http://blog.american.com/?p=23188
as their companies hunkered down to ride out the downturn and the tepid recovery that                      http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/1110/Labor_ba
followed. Public employees need to sacrifice as well.                                                        cklash_begins_on_pay_freeze.html

      Is Bigger Cheaper? Cities and Counties Contemplate Merging or Sharing
   By Steve Berg | Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 – http://www.minnpost.com/steveberg/2010/12/08/24014/is_bigger_cheaper_cities_and_counties_contemplate_merging_or_sharing
These questions keep popping up: How to save money? How to wring more value from what you already have? How to cut
back and still get what you need? Cities are asking those same questions. By cities I mean the conglomeration of governments that
make up the typical metropolitan unit. Atlanta, Seattle and Phoenix, for example, each contains dozens of separate municipal and county
governments as well as school boards, park boards, transit authorities and other such bodies. What seems obviously prudent in the
abstract becomes impossible when you know the petty jealousies, suspicions and rivalries that dominate local politics. Minneapolis and St.
Paul, for example, are by any reasonable geographic reckoning the same city. But combining their governments would be unthinkable.
Minneapolis and Hennepin County overlap and duplicate in many ways. But a consolidated government would be politically impossible even
if economies of scale were clearly evident — and even if state law allowed it, which it doesn't.
Not that city-county mergers haven't happened elsewhere. New Orleans and Orleans Parish combined in 1805. Boston, Philadelphia, San
Francisco and Denver are products of countywide consolidations. New York's amalgam of five boroughs (Manhattan, Bronx, Queens,
Brooklyn, Staten Island) was cemented in 1874. Most recently Nashville, Jacksonville and Indianapolis merged with their counties, with
Louisville joining the list the list in 2000. Altogether, there have been 40 city-county mergers — big and small — across the country. But
almost none has come easy.
"For those who try to consolidate, the failure rate with voters is about 85 percent," said Suzanne Leland, a political science professor at the
University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Saving money is almost always offered as a reason, Leland said. But voters tend not to believe those
claims, or they look for excuses not to believe. Often they fear that suburban taxes will rise and that suburbs will lose their comparative
advantage in drawing new business and residents. Often they don't trust claims that services will improve, fearing instead that suburban
services will decline to urban levels. Conversely, many urbanites — especially blacks and Latinos — fear that consolidation will bring a loss
of political power and community identity. All in all, the ever wider gaps in income, property value, ethnicity, culture and partisanship within
metropolitan places makes consolidation less and less likely.
Even when consolidations are considered resounding successes, as in Louisville and Indianapolis, there's no clear-cut evidence of lower
costs because taxes and services are moving targets. Indeed, there's always the possibility that larger governments will grow larger
bureaucracies. And there's a line of thinking that smaller governments competing with one another might produce lower costs.
State law is another major impediment. Minnesota, among several states, forbids city-county consolidation, although it allows
cities to merge with cities and counties with counties. And it encourages all levels of government to share services under joint
powers arrangements. Therein lies potential for savings in the metro area. "There's a lot to be said for efficiency without the political
contentiousness of full merger," said Greg Lindsey, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.
Charlotte, N.C., which has a single city-county school system, has developed a kind of two-tier police force in which city officers patrol and
investigate crimes throughout Mecklenburg County while sheriff's deputies serve all warrants and operate jails. That's notable because
police and fire departments offer perhaps the greatest potential for savings, if only because they eat up such large portions of municipal
budgets (often half). Still, police and fire services are hardest to merge because they are so emotionally attached to local communities.
Union contracts, pension funds and department traditions add more barriers. Minneapolis has failed even to fold its parks police
into the regular force.
Hennepin-Minneapolis cooperation?
"Inertia always seems to win out," said Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, who favors stepped up efforts to merge city-
county services. Mid-level officials will nearly always find to protect their territory and maintain separation, he said. One exception was
Hennepin County's 2008 takeover of the city library system, an effort he helped to lead. Early indications are that the merger,
although painful, has saved some administrative costs and prevented the closing of several city libraries. McLaughlin said the county is
interested in taking another stab and combining the 911 emergency call system, an invitation the city rejected in 2005. "Minneapolis
residents are paying twice for 911, and that doesn't make sense," he said.
After a decade of ever tighter budgets and big cuts in state aid, Minneapolis Budget Director Patrick Born has thought long and hard about
how the city and county might combine overlapping functions. Revisiting the county's 911 invitation would be a good first step, he said.
Still, the most realistic potential for savings is in back-office operations, Born said, naming technology, insurance and other benefit plans,
purchasing, accounting, payroll, record keeping, revenue collection and maintenance of vehicle fleets, buildings and other property as
possible joint projects. Some kind of blue-ribbon panel might be needed, he said, because mid-level employees would fiercely oppose
consolidation, especially in times when jobs are scarce.
Among other functions, the merging of city and county health departments has been discussed. (St. Paul and Ramsey County
have done it.) Folding the city's civil rights department into the state's human rights office has been a topic. Sharing Minneapolis'
successful 311 citizens' question/ complaint system with Hennepin County or nearby suburbs is another idea, Born said.
Other potential sharing would be difficult. Unlike many cities, Minneapolis jealously guards its parks system and would resist any hint of
merger. Combining city and county public works, planning and economic development functions would be almost as hard, although Born
wonders if the city and county shouldn't consider sharing office space for some operations. "Breathing the same air tends to promote more
working together," he said.
Indeed, St. Paul and Ramsey County provide a better collaborative example, perhaps because the city and county are smaller in size, more
coterminous and don't have the dramatic racial/income contrasts that beset Minneapolis and Hennepin. St. Paul and Ramsey share public
health, purchasing, building maintenance, printing, police dispatch and the 911 emergency call system. The city parks department and
school system also cooperate and share buildings for afterschool activities.

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  MPR: What Does Governor Dayton Face? A $6.2 Billion Deficit                                                                     The Pawlenty Legacy
  “…Now comes the hard part for Mark Dayton. When he takes                                                              (from an op-ed by Lori Sturdevant, StarTribune)
  office next month as Minnesota's governor, Dayton will inherit a                                             http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/111290929.html
  $6.2 billion state budget deficit, a 7 percent unemployment rate                                     “…No other governor in Minnesota's 152-year history has handed his
  and concerns that Minnesota's schools are underfunded. Both the                                      successor a $6.2 billion deficit forecast along with the keys to the Capitol's
  House and Senate will be controlled by Republicans for the first                                     executive suite. But if Pawlenty has any remorse or regrets about passing that
  time since 1972. That won't make things easy for the first                                           much trouble along to the next occupant, he didn't display them. Instead, he
  Democrat to be elected governor in the state since 1986, and                                         boasted that he was ending his watch with the state "on the right track" and
  Dayton knows it.                                                                                     with "money in the bank."
  The key issue in the first year of a Dayton administration will be                                   That bank balance would be the $399 million forecast to remain on the state's
  how the governor and the new Legislature can tackle a rolling                                        bottom line come June 30. It's there in large part because of an extension of
  budget deficit that put Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty at odds with                                    federal Medicaid help to the states earlier this year. But to hear Pawlenty
  a DFL -controlled Legislature over the past four years. The budget                                   describe it, you'd think he'd engineered shrewd accounting moves to keep
  covers everything from school funding to health insurance for the                                    state books in the black.
  poor and aid to cities and counties. It will be the focal point of the                               Though Thursday's numbers foretold a worsening problem in 2012-13,
  upcoming legislative session. Tom Borman, a lifelong friend who                                      Pawlenty pronounced it "very manageable." He allowed that most of it would
  advised Dayton in past campaigns and is helping with the                                             have vanished already if his old nemeses, the DFLers who controlled the
  transition, said he believes the new governor will continue to push                                  2009-10 Legislature, would have done his bidding. Even though the 2010
  for an income tax hike on those he believes can afford to pay                                        Legislature gave its blessing to virtually all of the spending cuts and shifts
  higher taxes.                                                                                        Pawlenty imposed unilaterally (and, it turned out, illegally) in 2009, it
  One thing Dayton and Republicans in Legislature already agree on                                     deviated from the governor's script in one respect. The cuts were designed to
  is that improving the state's economy needs to be a top priority.                                    boomerang back for reconsideration by a new governor and the 2011
  Legislators said repeatedly that they want to work to make the                                       Legislature. (Those crafty DFLers didn't anticipate that in the 2011 Legislature,
  state more business friendly. Dayton said he's willing to work with                                  they would be in the minority.)
  them "I have my ideas. Legislators have their ideas," he said.“
  http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/12/09/mark-dayton-administration-governor/         But if the Legislature had made the Pawlenty unallotments permanent, only
                                                                                                       about a third of Thursday's forecasted problem would be erased -- not most
  “…"This really and truly is a spending issue," said incoming Senate                                  of it, as Pawlenty claimed. A nasty $4 billion would remain.
  Majority Leader Amy Koch, who says the state's budget problems                                       Pawlenty sketched a predictable prescription for his successors to follow: no
  are mostly caused by spending increases in areas like Health and                                     new taxes; cuts in public employee pensions and compensation;
  Human Services and K-12 schools. She and other Republican                                            restructuring of government services; drastic cuts in state health care
  leaders say they won't support a tax increase but didn't offer                                       spending.
  specifics on how they'll fix the budget. "Minnesotans told us to
                                                                                                       Yes, Pawlenty repeatedly blocked DFL-backed tax increases. And he faced
  restrain government spending, reform government and grow
                                                                                                       DFL opposition to his ideas in at least one legislative chamber throughout his
  private sector jobs, and the best remedy for the ailing economy is
                                                                                                       two terms. But the unfinished business includes functions well within the
  growing private sector jobs not growing government spending,"
                                                                                                       executive branch's control. A consolidation of state agency back-office
  Koch said. Democrats in the House and Senate say a budget
                                                                                                       operations has been discussed but has not proceeded. The streamlining of
  balancing plan that relies on spending cuts alone will harm schools,
                                                                                                       business permitting processes has begun but has a long way to go.
  nursing homes and will drive up local property taxes.”
  http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/12/03/state-budget-deficit-6-2-billion-governor/   Pawlenty also bragged Thursday about the brakes he put on state spending
                                                                                                       growth. Minnesota, he said, has the seventh-lowest annual average state
  For More Reading:
                                                                                                       spending increase since 2003 -- 0.81 percent. His critics give him even more
   Dayton and GOP-Led Legislature Should Act on What Works, Not
    Ideology and Wishful Thinking                                                                      credit as a spending hawk. According to the progressive think tank Minnesota
     http://schultzstake.blogspot.com/2010/12/dayton-and-gop-led-legislature-should.html               2020, state government is spending 7.1 percent less per capita in 2010-11
   MinnPost.com: With Log-Term $6.2 Billion Deficit Facing State, GOP                                 than it was in 2002-03, adjusting for inflation. Pawlenty's squeeze on state
    Legislators Say They’ll Get to Work on Budget Cuts                                                 spending would be worth crowing about if it had been accomplished without
                                                                                                       all the negative consequences.
“I Am a Conservative. This is What We Believe In” (from an Anonymous commenter on the MinnesotaBrown.com blog, December 1, 2010)
We believe in limited government. We don't like to be told what to do- don't like too many regulations, especially those that get in the way of our
ideas. We're willing to work hard if in the end, we get something in return. It's called "productivity". We believe that life is important, that
immigrants should come here legally, that gay sexual positions have no place in our elementary classrooms, that Muslim prayer should not be
allowed in schools (like Bloomington „Roosevelt‟) when our kids can't even sing God Bless America. We believe that those "evil" guys who make
more money than we do, also provide us with a job that feeds and clothes our kids, and if we don't like our pay, we can get a different job not protest
on a picket line and increase the price of the product we're trying to produce. We believe that the U.S. needs to be strong defensively because we
need to be able to take care of ourselves if things get bad. We want a border fence built. We want to keep the 2nd amendment, keep our guns,
continue our right to hunt and protect ourselves. We don't believe, as our President does, that babies born of
botched abortions should be left to die in a room. We believe that the people can run the country better than the
politicians- because most politicians are corrupt and those who are not, will eventually be…
We believe in the United States, not a one-world government, as the liberals are pushing for. We don't believe that
CO2 is a "known pollutant" and don't believe that the earth is melting- a fact proven by the scandal found at East
Anglia University. The hockey stick graph was also proven to be a hoax, as was the Himalayan icecaps melting,
etc.... We believe that this country was founded on Judeo Christian values and stripping the country of those values
will destroy the fabric of society. Any of that help you understand? We don't believe in collectivism- volunteerism,
yes. Charity, yes. Helping each other, yes. But NOT by the barrel of a gun. Or the threat of jail.
 It is important to recognize and understand “the other side.” Many of us disagree with much of this sentiment – but this represents 45-48% of Minnesota voters’ own viewpoints.

                                     Statewide News – What Impacts Us in 2011?
… At least one dramatic shift in policy will take place ASAP. MPR‟s Elizabeth Dunbar
reports: “Dayton said he will fulfill a campaign promise to enroll Minnesota in a                       2011: Redistricting Year
Medicaid expansion plan soon after taking office in January. Hospitals and health
care providers around the state are looking forward to expanded Medicaid because
they said it would reduce the state's cost burden and allow more providers to
participate. More than $1 billion in federal funds would come to the state. „The
money basically is to allow the federal government to pick up half of the cost that
Minnesota is currently spending,‟ said Mary Krinkie, vice president of government
relations for the Minnesota Hospital Association.”
http://www.minnpost.com/dailyglean/2010/12/10/24103/keith_ellison_thinks_dems_need_to_create_a_crisis                                     Blogger Tony Angelo
                                                                                                        has written an excellent piece looking at Minnesota’s
  Dayton Says Medicaid Delay                                           Links to Impact of               history of redistricting, and what’s ahead in 2011…
                                                                                                        “1990s: All of the previous years of redistricting drama
                                                                       Dayton’s Plans for
  `Totally Unacceptable'                                               Medicaid Expansion:
                                                                                                        could almost be seen as a prelude to what happened
  Gov.-elect Mark Dayton is calling a nine-                                                             in 1991. The legislature passed a redistricting bill that
                                                                        Minnesota to Change
  month delay to expand Medicaid health care                                                            Governor Arne Carlson vetoed, or at least thought he
                                                                          Course on Health Care         did. Turns out the Governor's staff didn't get the veto
  for the poor "totally unacceptable." Dayton
                                                                          for the Poor                  order back to the legislature on time and the bill had
  responded to testimony by the state
                                                                          http://www.grandforksheral    become law without his signature.
  Medicaid director that it would take until                              d.com/event/article/id/186
  October to implement the expansion because                                                            Governor Carlson declined to appeal the ruling, but
                                                                          554/                          that didn't stop others from contesting the plan. There
  of computer conversions and staff training.                           Pawlenty: ‘Obamacare’          were multiple lawsuits involved and the interactions
  The incoming Democratic governor has                                    is Like Drug Dealing          between them can get somewhat confusing, but the
  promised to order the expansion when he                                 http://minnesotaindepende     long story short is the state court held the
  takes office Jan. 3. Minnesota is eligible for                          nt.com/75296/pawlenty-        congressional and legislative plans to be valid although
  federal aid to cover more generous health                               obamacare-is-like-drug-       they contained some population inequalities that the
  coverage for low-income adults.                                         dealing                       court rectified.
  Dayton says he was surprised when another                             Hospitals Pleased with         Not to be upstaged however, a federal court, ruling on
  human services official told lawmakers the                              Dayton’s Medicaid             a different lawsuit, decided that their wisdom and
  state would break even on the Medicaid                                  Expansion Plans               expertise was required and issued an injunction
  expansion, after predictions from departing                             http://minnesota.publicradi   against the state courts congressional plan. They drew
                                                                          o.org/display/web/2010/12/    up a new congressional map and told the Secretary of
  Gov. Tim Pawlenty's administration that it
                                                                          09/dayton-medicaid-plan/      State to use that map if she knew what was good for
  would     cost    the    state.   Pawlenty's
                                                                        Gov. Tim Pawlenty Takes        her. This was appealed to the US Supreme court who
  administration stands by its numbers. Dayton
                                                                          on Medicaid                   basically told the federal court to mind it's own damn
  says he will meet with DHS Commissioner                                                               business and let the states do redistricting how they
  Cal Ludeman.                                                            n.com/blog/2010/12/gov-       see fit.
                                                                          tim-pawlenty-takes-on-        So in the 1992 congressional elections the map drawn
                                                                          medicaid/                     by the federal court was used, and in the 1994
                                                                                                        election and afterwards the map drawn by the state
                                                                                                        court was used.
   Regarded by many as one of the most effective legislative strategists in                             2000s: 2001 was certainly less dramatic than 1991,
   town, Tina Smith, formerly of R.T. Rybak’s staff, has been named Mark                                but as usually happens in a divided government
   Dayton’s chief of staff. Eric Roper in the Strib’s “Hot Dish Politics” writes: “A                    situation, in this case DFL Senate and GOP House, the
   seasoned Minnesota political operative, was formerly chief of staff for                              legislature couldn't agree on a plan and so the courts
   Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak and is already aiding Dayton's transition.                                once again drew the map.
   When Sen. Paul Wellstone died in 2002, Smith served as Walter Mondale's                              The Present: All of which brings us to 2011, not quite
   campaign manager during his brief foray into the Senate race against                                 the present, but close enough. Mark Dayton faces a
   Norm Coleman.” Doug Grow, at MinnPost, drops Smith’s "Velvet Hammer”                                 divided government situation. Since both houses of
   moniker — “because of her strong advocacy on behalf of her boss, yet, her                            the legislature are controlled by the Republicans they
   ability to smooth over any ruffled feathers with those who have opposing                             shouldn't have any problems getting a bill passed, the
   views. Those skills will be fundamentally important, given the obvious                               question is will they pass something that Dayton can
   political battles that lie ahead for the Dayton administration with a                                sign. It's made all the more interesting by the realities
   Republican-controlled Legislature. In addition to the announcement that                              of the population trends over the last ten years and
   Smith would be his chief of staff, Dayton also announced others who will                             what changes are going to have to be made to the
   take on key leadership roles in his office. Most noticeable about that list is                       map, but that's a topic of discussion for another day.
   that all of those named today are women.”                                                            http://minn-donkey.blogspot.com/2010/12/redistricting-
   http://www.minnpost.com/dailyglean/2010/12/10/24135/poll_49_tell_vikings_to_move_to_california       minnesota-history.html

                                                                                         Who are the Targets?
                  NOT VICTIMS                                                        Independent, Skilled and Bright
             81% of bullies are bosses!                                               People
                                                                                             o Why are they Bullied?
           Bullies select Targets to harm.                                                             Targets refuse to be
         Victimhood begets powerlessness,                                                               subservient… they
          helplessness, and an inability to                                                             refuse to go along
            change matters for the better.                                                              with being controlled
                                                                                                       Or, the Bully envies
          Consider yourself a target, not a                                                             the Target’s superior
                       victim!                                                                          competence
                                                                                     Cooperative, Nice People
                                                                                             o Why are they Bullied?
                                                                                                       Bully envies Target’s
                                                                                                        social skills, ability to
                                                                                                        be liked, and positive
Four Categories of Bullies                                                                              attitude
                                                                                     Ethical, Just and Fair People
Constant Critic                                                                          o Why are they Bullied?
This bully is extremely negative… a                                                              Target’s ethical,
Nitpicker…a Perfectionist… a Fault Finder…
this bully masks personal insecurity with public
bravado… this bully aims to destroy confidence                                                             behavior – those in
and encourages self-doubt… this bully                                                                      power often silence
practices Put-Downs, Insults, Belittling                                                                   the ethical voices.
Comments and Name-Calling.

Two-Headed Snake
This bully practices indirect, passive-aggressive behavior. This bully
pretends to be nice, while sabotaging you. This bully plays favorites…
makes nasty, rude, hostile remarks to the Target, while putting on a “rational” face for others. This bully Breaches
Confidentiality and Manages Image of the Target in other people‟s minds.

                               This is the most Transparent of the controllers. This bully makes sure to “one-up” you. This bully Controls
                               all resources (time, supplies, praise, approval, money, staffing help). This bully Micro-Manages and Cuts
                               the Target out of the Communications loop. This bully Denies Rights and Protections. This bully may
                               engage in the silent treatment.

Screaming Mimi
This bully controls through Fear and Intimidation. This bully is Impulsive… Volatile… Explosive… This bully wants to
instill a sense of dread. This bully Yells, Screams and Curses. This bully is prone to Angry Outbursts and Tantrums.
This bully engages in slamming things and throwing objects.

                                                              - Wes Volkenant                                           Local 34 Process for
                               Well, when you get this kind of opportunity to inform – or                               Class Action Grievances
                               pontificate – every month, you don’t want to be shown the error of                       and Requests for Legal
                               your ways, but nonetheless, last month, in my rambling about the                         Representation
                               County Board, I made two errors. First – and how did I miss this –
                               all seven members of the County Board will face re-election in                           President Jean Diederich
                               2012, as the County redistricts itself this coming year. So those                        announced to the December
                               Democrats who were re-elected in 2010, don’t have the luxury of                          General Assembly that a
                               sitting back to 2014. Second, I’ve been assured by multiple contacts                     member recently flooded
that Commissioner Jan Callison is a DFLer, not a Republican in the Mary Tambornino mode, as I’d
                                                                                                                        attorney Gregg Corwin with e-
been to led to believe – or simply assumed. After all, the County Commissioners are all non-
                                                                                                                        mails and calls related to a
partisan officeholders, even if their partisan politics are usually known. That said, Callison is more
remindful of the 1990s Commissioner, Tambornino, than the 2000s model for that district,
                                                                                                                        possible class action
Republican Linda Koblick.                                                                                               grievance the member
                                                                                                                        wished to have pursued.
The County Board approved the 2011 budget at its December 14 meeting. Here’s how MPR
reported its actions, followed by a portion of the County’s report at its internet site. Note the                       Class action grievances
subtle differences, and what’s said and not said, then read below for more on this…                                     involve two or more members
Hennepin County Adopts Lean Budget                                                                                      – like the mileage and
by Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio - December 14, 2010                                                                stability pay grievance; like
http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/12/14/hennepin-county-budget                                          those, class action
Minneapolis — Hennepin County has cut its budget for the second year in a row. The county board                         grievances usually take
approved its 2011 budget of $1.6 billion at its Tuesday meeting. That's about 5 percent less than the                   longer periods to resolve.
2010 budget.
County board chairman Mike Opat said so far, the county has found ways to trim the budget internally,                   President Diederich stated
as positions go unfilled or case loads are increased. Opat added the budget may need to be revised if                   that Gregg Corwin is on
state payments to counties decline as a result of the state's budget deficit. "Where we haven't chose
                                                                                                                        retainer as AFSCME‟s
to reduce library hours or close service centers, I think that time is coming near," he said. "We haven't
done a lot of crying wolf about that, but in my estimation if we continue to get cuts from the state                    counsel – through Council 5.
we're going to have to pass those along." For the second year in a row, there will be no cost-of-living                 The Local has to get the
wage adjustments for county staff for 2011.                                                                             permission of Council 5
                                                                                                                        Director Eliot Seide first, in
New, Smaller Budget Adopted
                                                                                                                        order to avoid any conflicts of
Dec. 14, 2010 -- The Hennepin County Board today reduced the tax levy by an additional 1 percent and                    interest.
approved a 2011 county budget of $1.6 billion – $87.7 million or 5.32 percent less than the 2010
budget. It is the second year in a row that the budget has decreased. The approved budget lowers the                    But, only the Local 34 E-
property tax levy to $669.4 million, a decrease of $6.8 million from 2010.                                              Board can pass a motion to
Board Chair Mike Opat authored the resolution to lower the levy. "Our message to taxpayers is this: We                  request – and pay for – the
understand the economic situation facing many people, so we’re cutting property taxes in 2011. We’ve                    attorney‟s services. The
done this through careful management, clear priorities and genuine service cuts. While individual                       Local‟s General Assembly
property bills will vary — depending on property types and assessments — we will collect less in                        can discuss the issue and
property taxes in 2011 than we did in 2010, and our overall budget will be cut for the second year in a                 refer it to the E-Board.
row. The budget will begin to bring real pain to real people, but we simply cannot ask our taxpayers to
fill the gaps left by state cuts.” The vote was unanimous.                                                              No member has the authority
The   Star    Tribune    had    a   more           complete picture of what transpired in this story:                   to pursue this directly. The
http://www.startribune.com/local/west/111894919.html Comments – mostly the anti-public employee drivel that is          Local will not cover the costs
always found here – followed at: http://comments.startribune.com/comments.php?d=asset_comments&asset_id=111894919 .     they may incur as a result.
The back story here is that in assuaging the concerns and hurt feelings of County residents, who
reached out in public hearings to express dismay at growing property tax burdens (primarily
resulting from the City of Minneapolis or various school district levies needed to make their
organizations operational), the County has reduced the levy by 1% from 2010 – or, in other words,                     Watch for news of an upcoming
will collect almost $7 million less in income from its residents. Commissioner Jeff Johnson had                        Local 34 membership survey.
proposed a 1.7% decrease – about $11.5 million. After that was rejected, Opat’s proposal was                           Fliers will direct you where to
accepted unanimously. This is $7 million that is no longer available for programs, for County                         find the survey at the Local 34
expenses, and is a clear marker for us as we approach negotiations in 2011. Even as it made this                       web site. Random prizes will
reduction, the County increased its contributions to the Itasca Economic Development
                                                                                                                          be given away to twenty
Corporation by $75,000 – a Grand Rapids-based job creation non-profit with ties to the Blandin
Foundation.                                                                                                                     participants!

                                       View from the “snow-covered” Cheap
      Thank You Notes                  Vicki Moore, Local 34 Vice President
Jean and members of AFSCME
Local 34,                              We, in Local 34, are all experiencing profound changes at work and more than likely
Thank you for your generous            in our communities and homes. My inbox has been filled with questions and
sponsorship of Workday Minnesota!      comments from our members regarding one change where many seem to be saying,
Because of your support, Workday       “Enough already!” I am talking about the Wellness Activities that some see as an
will continue to provide coverage of   intrusive imposition and others are trying to embrace in a more positive frame. What
the economy, health care and other     is very clear to me is that there is more rumor than fact at this time. I met with Jill
issues important to working people     Hamilton from HealthWorks and have agreed to be the Local 34 primary contact for
in the coming year.
                                       questions regarding Wellness Activities. Please bring your questions to me. I will see
                                       if I can resolve them and, if necessary, will work with Jill to get a resolution. For
                                       people concerned about privacy issues, this should suffice.
Workday Minnesota exists to help
you communicate your message, so
                                       For those who tend to only read the first paragraph of articles (and I count myself in
please contact us with your news,
                                       this group from time-to-time), there is much more information about the wellness
announcements and other
                                       activities in the BeWell newsletter (sent 12/17/10) and at
information. You can phone Barb
Kucera at 612-624-1104 or e-mail
                                       Some people have had an issue with the Wellness Activities period and have used
                                       the word mandatory. This is not a mandatory program. This is an incentive program.
In solidarity,                         Insurance providers set co-pays, premiums, and what is covered. Much of is this is
Howard Kling                           market driven. When an incentive is offered, it provides a way for individuals to lower
Director, Labor Education Service      a co-pay through participation in Wellness Activities. We may all think that the
                                       premiums are padded in some way or another. Perhaps this is an accurate idea. Who
Dear AFSCME Local 34,                  knows? What is known is that those providing health insurance have a right and
On behalf of the Washington DC         obligation to set premiums and co-pays in order to cover the cost of services provided
Martin Luther King Jr. National        to a group. The insurer may also offer an incentive. The insurer is not obliged to do
Memorial Project Foundation, Inc.      so. We as consumer can take advantage of incentive or not. That is our choice. I
please allow me to thank you for       know that this is a very blunt and straight forward answer and not what some people
the generous support that you have     would like to hear.
provided. Your contribution of
$300.00 on 6/30/2010 brings us         If you decided to engage in Wellness Activities to lower your co-pay, the program is
closer to the goal of bringing to      becoming clearer, and this is what I have learned:
fruition the dream of all Americans
– building a Memorial to               1) The wellness activities are structured so participation can be documented.
commemorate the life and work of          No one will automatically be exempted from participating, if their choice is to
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.                avail themselves of the incentive.
                                       2) To earn the health incentive, people need to participate in two wellness
The impact of this magnificent            activities. That’s the only requirement. Each person can decide what
Memorial on the National Mall will        activities to take and what health goals to pursue.
speak volumes to the world for         3) There will be workshops, brown bags lunches, and online classes.
generations to come about the          4) There will be opportunities for a team activity such as walking as lunch time.
significant importance of Dr. King’s   5) Your work unit and program area can design an activity with HealthWorks.
legacy for all people. Please know     6) Working with a Health Coach is an activity.
that your gift is appreciated, and     7) For people who do activities like being in a bowling league, or playing
will assist us with the many tasks        volleyball, or exercising at home, there will be a way to log your activities.
that lie ahead. I hope that the
Foundation will continue to have       To get started, employees will register for an activity through Apex. We will be able to
the benefit of your support.           set-up an account through Preferred One, similar to how it has been done through
Harry E. Johnson, Sr.                  Health Partners. We will go to our Preferred One Account to document what we did.
President – Martin Luther King Jr.
National Memorial Project              Spouses and retirees can sign up for activities by sending a note to HealthWorks. The
                                       e-mail address appears with the activities’ descriptions. This email will also contain
                                       more specific information regarding what HealthWorks is putting together and some
                                       of what is outlined above. Again, I am available to answer questions. I believe that
                                       this is something that we can make work for us if we choose to participate. I know
                                       that when I see something new that I have to learn, my first reaction is a reaction.

                      When I actually do it, the worry
                      and reaction turns out to be
                      more disconcerting that just
                      doing it.

                                                 view     ANNOUNCEMENT:
                                                 form     We will hold an election of up to 10 members at our January 5, 2011 General
                                                 the      Assembly to attend the AFSCME Women's Conference which will be held in
                                                 Chea     Orlando, Florida March 18 - 20, 2011. The local will cover one day lost time, three
                                                 p        days per diem at the IRS rates for Orlando, air fare to and from Orlando, registration
                                                 Seats    costs, hotel and transportation to and from the airports in Minneapolis and
                                                 for      Orlando. If you are interested in representing Local 34 at this event, please send
                                                 this     me an e-mail expressing your interest by 12:00 noon on January 5th, or attend the
                                                 mont     meeting that evening to put your name forward for the election of attendees.
                                                          I was working on my article for this month. I was planning to write about how the
    Sign Up for the PEOPLE Fund                           public likes to bash us as union members and public employees and give you some
    The AFSCME People Fund is AFSCME’s                    facts to use when you hear such talk. Then I received our Council 5 Executive
      political action fund, and is used to               Director Eliot Seide's counterpoint to Tim Pawlenty's Op-ed piece (see page 7)
  support our endorsed candidates. If many                where he bashes unions and government employees. Eliot hit practically every
    members voluntarily pledge as little as               single thing that I was writing about but he said it so much better than I ever could.
   $2.00 a payroll period, our ability to get             Rather than try and reinvent the wheel, here is his response to Pawlenty:
   our endorsed candidates elected, will be                   Workers Rise or Fall Together
  greatly enhanced. At $4.00 per pay period,
                                                              Opinion by Eliot Seide
   a contributor receives an AFSCME green
  jacket. Please contact Jacqueline Coleman                   It‟s no surprise that president wannabe Tim Pawlenty urged governments to
          at 543-2605 to sign up now!                         take on their unionized employees in Monday‟s Wall Street Journal. He
                                                              wants government to lead a race to the bottom that‟s bad for our economy
                                                              and bad for the entire working class.
           Are You New to the County?
                                                              In Minnesota, it‟s unionized public workers who come to the rescue when
          Just transferred into Local 34?                     victims of the poor economy need help. We‟re the life preserver for workers
   To sign up as a union member or to get                     who are losing their jobs, their homes and their health care.
  answers to questions about AFSCME and
                                                              We‟re the blue-collar workers who take care of South St. Paul, while Gov.
  membership benefits, please complete this
                                                              Pawlenty cuts his hometown. We keep motorists safe, while he lets their
             form and send it to:
                                                              bridge collapse. We feed grandma, while he forces her nursing home to
   Kela Williams, Membership Secretary
                                                              close. We staff the emergency rooms, while he cuts hospitals to the bone.
     CP – mail code 630 – 612-596-0954
                                                              We help minds soar, while he crowds classrooms, hikes tuition and closes
                                                              libraries. We do our jobs, while he leaves Minnesota to crusade for his next
Name _______________________________
Job Title ____________________________________                Hot on the campaign trail, Pawlenty blames us for his budget mess. He
                                                              writes, “Unionized public employees are making more money, receiving
Work Location ________________________________                more generous benefits and enjoying greater job security than the working
                                                              families forced to pay for it with ever-higher taxes, deficits and debt.”
Mail Code _________                                             Let‟s bust the myths behind Pawlenty‟s propaganda.
Phone _______________________
                                                                 Myth: Compensation for public employees is the cause of the state‟s
              I’m especially interested:                           deficit. In fact, if Gov. Pawlenty fired all state employees, the cost savings
_______     I want to sign up as a member                          would erase only 21 percent of the state‟s $6.2 billion budget deficit.
_______     I want to sign up for Delta Dental                   Myth: Public employees are overpaid. In fact, AFSCME Council 5 is a union
                                                                   of 43,000 public and non-profit workers, who earn $38,000 a year on
 To receive Delta Dental Insurance information:                    average. Most of us are struggling paycheck to paycheck with frozen wages,
             contact Cindy Pince at                                just like the average Minnesota worker who also earns $38,000.
            Council 5– 651-287-0564
                                                                                           Continued on Page 17
          LES Seeks Leadership Applicants

Jan. 14 is the deadline to apply for the Labor
Education Service’s 2011-2012 Union
Leadership Program. Women, members of                           Myth: Public employees earn more than private-sector employees. In fact,
color and members under age 35 are                               public workers in Minnesota earn 4 percent less than their counterparts in the
especially encouraged to apply.           Wes                    private sector, when matched by education and experience. That‟s because
Volkenant and Heather Hemmer are
                                                                 public workers have sacrificed wages for better benefits.
participating for 2010-2011, from Local 34.
                                                                Myth: Public pensions are extravagant. In fact, AFSCME retirees have modest
The program goes beyond basic skills. It is
designed to help union activists explore
                                                                 pension benefits of about $13,000 a year. Combined with Social Security, it‟s
ideas and solutions to make their unions                         the difference between dignity and poverty. Ninety percent of retired public
grow and prosper. The program, which                             workers stay in Minnesota; their pensions fuel the local economy and keep
costs $500 a year, includes four full-day                        seniors self-sufficient.
sessions each year. Local 34 will pay                           Myth: Public employees drag down the economy. In fact, public employees buy
expenses for any members chosen to attend.                       necessities, not luxuries, and that‟s the kind of spending that will pull Minnesota
People of color, women and people under                          out of this consumer-driven recession. Every time Gov. Pawlenty cuts a public
age 35 are strongly encouraged to apply. If
                                                                 employee‟s job, Main Street loses a customer. As more stores shutter their
you are interested in University of
                                                                 doors, the last thing we need is more layoffs.
Minnesota credit for participation in this
program, call the LES office, 612-624-5020.                     Myth: Public employees are lazy. Minnesota‟s state workforce is the 10th leanest
http://www.carlsonschool.umn.edu/cms/page10344.as                and one of the most productive in the nation. Minnesota has 71 public workers
   As Health Costs Rise, CEO Perks                               for every 10,000 residents, according to the U.S. census. We‟re tied with
   Bolstered                                                     conservative Florida.
   Execs keep benefits as workers' dwindle                      Myth: Government is growing. In fact, our state government is shrinking. Yet
   By Gary Strauss - USA TODAY                                   middle-income taxpayers are frustrated that they‟re paying more and getting
   0101210/ceohealthcare.art.htm                                 less. That‟s because they‟re subsidizing tax breaks for the richest Minnesotans.
   Though millions of workers face rising                        The wealth of Minnesota millionaires has doubled under the Pawlenty
   health insurance costs and dwindling                          administration, as their state and local tax rates have decreased by 4 percent.
   benefits in 2011, many CEOs will retain                 Pawlenty marches lockstep to the drumbeat of cheap-labor conservatives, who pit private
   employer-paid medical plans and health                  workers against public workers. Their real agenda is to strip all workers of their wages,
   benefits worth thousands of dollars.                    benefits and retirement. They want to gut the essential public services that workers need,
   Hundreds of top corporate managers get
                                                           while protecting Wall Street and greedy CEOs. Their failed plan puts the rich in lifeboats
   medical benefits and supplemental
   coverage far beyond what's offered to rank-             as everyone else sinks.
   and-file employees. Benefits include                    All workers deserve the benefits that unionized public workers enjoy. When people work
   "executive" physicals and reimbursements                union, they live better. That‟s why AFSCME advocates for ALL WORKERS – not only our
   for out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and co-            members. We strive for a Minnesota where all labor is rewarded with wages that can raise
   payments, according to corporate filings.               a family, health care if people get sick, and a retirement that‟s dignified.
   "The great hypocrisy is this is going to the            Workers rise or fall together. People who pit private workers against public workers are
   people best able to pay for this stuff," says
                                                           trying to divide and destroy the working class. We must recognize our common interest
   Nell Minow of the Corporate Library.
   "Executives should pay for this on their own            and stand together to fix the mess created by corporate greed.
   or be covered by the same plan as                                             Eliot Seide is executive director of AFSCME Council 5,
   everyone else at the company."                                                    Minnesota‟s largest union of public employees.
   Some companies are eliminating gold-                        For an independent assessment of the untruthiness of Pawlenty‟s op-ed, read this from Politifact:
   plated medical benefits to senior                           http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/dec/16/tim-pawlenty
   managers, a move that's at the discretion
   of corporate directors. And the new health
                                                    We all need to stress those facts to get the message out that we are just like everyone else
   care law could make the plans more costly        working hard to make a living. We cannot let Pawlenty and his ilk pit us against our fellow
   in the future. But, for now, most company        workers in the non-profits and private sector. As workers we all want the same thing -
   plans — covering both rank-and-file              dignity and respect from our employers, a wage that allows us to put food on the table for
   employees as well as executives receiving        our families, buy clothes when they need them, make sure that they have good health
   supplemental benefits — are grandfathered        insurance and the expectation that we will be able to send our children to school beyond
   at least until 2014.
                                                    high school.
   Lawyer Scott Sims, a health care specialist
   with corporate consultant Aon Hewitt,            This month we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. who epitomized the struggle
   estimates up to 50% of publicly held             that working people have faced for years. He spoke up for all of us. Please take a moment
   companies offer senior managers                  on January 17th to remember him, along with people around the country on his day.
   enhanced health care plans. Kohls
   provides senior execs with up to $50,000 in      Thank you,
   yearly supplemental health pay, a perk           Jean
   needed for "a competitive total rewards
   package that supports retention of key
   talent," the retailer says in a statement.
   Typically, the health care costs are a small
   part of overall compensation and less than,
   say, personal use of the corporate jet.                                 18
   “These are just a small piece of a larger
   trend. Ultimately, they will go the way of the

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