AFSCME Council 14, Local 34 February, 2002 Hennepin County Social Services and Related Employees
From the Desk of Local 34 President, Jean Diederich:
An election was held at the January 16, 2002 Executive
Board meeting for Professional Vice President due to the
resignation of John Herzog. Andrea Lennox was elected to
fill that position with her term of office to begin February 1,
2002. Please join me in welcoming Sister Lennox to the
office, and in thanking Brother Herzog for his many years
of dedicated service to our Local.
This year we have a number of events taking place which are
February General Assembly important to our members. We had motions at either the General
Assembly meeting or the Executive Board meeting to elect
delegates to these events.
Wednesday, February 6, 2002
5:15 pm 1- Council 14 Convention:
Government Center Auditorium This event will be held March 1 - 2, 2002 at the Thunderbird Hotel in
Bloomington. The convention opens at 11:30 AM, March 1, for
registration, with the business meeting convening at 12:30 PM.
Nominations of chair officers for the 2002 - 2004 period will take place at
this time. All seats - President, Vice President, Recording Secretary and
Treasurer - are open. Workshops will also be held in the afternoon. We
shall also elect Executive Board members with those elections taking place
on Saturday. Day care will be provided if needed with the proviso that you
must sign up by no later than 2/22/02 in order that arrangements may be
March General Assembly made.
Wednesday, March 6, 2002 2 - Day on the Hill:
5:15 pm—Government Center Auditorium
This event will be held on Thursday, March 7th at the Radisson in St.
Paul. The Executive Board passed a motion to send up to 34 members
Special accomodations will be made for to this event with elections to be held at the February 6, 2002 GA.. The
our physically-challenged members. Local will pay for one day lost time, mileage or bus fare and $35.00 per
Please call 879-3681 or 348-0266 if diem. The President will appoint members to fill the 34 slots if we do not
arrangements need to be made. elect the full delegation at the 2/6/02 GA.
3 - Nellie Stone Johnson Dinner:
The Executive Board passed a motion to purchase a table for eight for this
To Contact Newsletter Editor: event held March 21, 2002 at the Radisson South Hotel, beginning at
Call or e-mail-- Wesley Volkenant 5:30 PM. The motion also stated that we would elect the eight
members at the 2/6/02 GA.
612-596-6552 CP LL mc 630
Continued on Page 2
Local 34 Officers & Stewards President’s Report continued…
4 - MSSA membership:
President: Local 34 has a block membership in MSSA. As part of that membership, we are
Jean Diederich 348-0266 entitled to 7 delegates. The Executive Board passed a motion to elect those
Professional Vice President: delegates at the 2/6/02 GA meeting. Since many of the issues we face in our jobs
Andrea Lennox 348-0237 are covered at MSSA conferences and carried forward to the State Legislature, it is
Para-Professional Vice President: extremely important that we have members willing to attend the meetings to
Bob Velez 348-4869 represent us. The commitment is for one year.
Professional Chief Steward: If you cannot attend the February 6, 2002 GA but would like to have your
Cliff Robinson 348-7542 name included in the elections for any one or all of the above events,
Para-Professional Chief Steward: please contact either Jean Diederich at 348-0266 or Nancy Fleming-
Wes McGee 348-2015 Norton at 879-3681 by noon on 2/6/02.
5 - AFSCME International Convention:
Nancy Fleming-Norton 879-3681
This convention is scheduled for June 24 - 28, 2002 and will be held in Las
Treasurer: Vegas. The motion from the 1/2/02 GA was discussed and the Executive Board
Denise Fahl 348-5018 passed the motion to send 7 delegates and 7 alternates to this convention,
Membership Secretary: paying 5 days lost time; 6 nights hotel to include a Saturday night stayover;
Vicki Moore 348-7532 transportation to & from airport; airfare; 7 days per diem at $50.00 with the
Sergeant-At-Arms: elections for delegates and alternates to be held at the March 6, 2002 GA.
Elly Clark 348-5658
The Executive Board also passed a motion to send the President-elect, Treasurer-
Professional Members-At-Large: elect, 2 current Trustees and the Trustee-elect to the Council 14 Treasurer's Training
Andrea Lazo-Rice 348-3188 held April 17, 2002, paying one day lost time, mileage and $10.00 registration cost.
Ibrahim Adam 348-2313
Para-Professional Members-At-Large: John Herzog was appointed at the December 19, 2001 Executive Board meeting
Nicole Martin 348-4936 to serve as Web Developer for our Local. He will begin this duty effective February
John Bowman 348-7284 1, 2002. Developing a Local 34 web site has been a topic of discussion at our
Members-At-Large: meetings for the past several years so this is the first step towards achieving that
goal. I look forward to the results of the time and hard work he will put into the
Dennis E Miller 348-6949
development of this site.
Elizabeth Portlance 879-3783
Stewards: The changes in the State budget will impact all of us. In what shape or form
Steve Schoch 879-3151, Ramar that impact will be, we do not yet know. This is one of the reasons we have to be
Judy Malcomson 879-3078, Ramar pro-active this year. You can begin by attending the precinct caucus for your
political party. They will be held in March. If you are not sure of the time or place
Donald Buss 348-4902, Century Plaza
of your precinct caucus, you can contact your local Women's League of Voters
Terri Grina 596-7858, Century Plaza or the Elections Office for your city. I know that attending a caucus takes time
John Suhr 348-9546, Century Plaza from your busy schedule. There are so many other things that we can do but this is
Shannon Wesley 348-6656, Century Plaza one meeting that can have a direct impact on who gets elected to the Legislature
Kelley Leaf 596-6963, 110 Building and the Governor's office and will prepare the next budget. Think about it.
Sandy Ruhland 596-6531, 110 Building
Diane Fossen 302-4704, Pilot City Center Last, but definitely not least, I have been notified by Public Affairs that work will
Evelyn Nelson 348-6389, Govt Center A14 commence on the meeting rooms on the Government Center A-Level as of
mid-March. Because of this work, meeting locations for the General
Laurie Simon 348-8961, Govt Center A15
Assembly and the Executive Board have been changed. Please make sure
Eleanor Kowalczyk 348-5942, Govt Center A16 that you check the monthly Banner to see where they will be held. I have scheduled
David Madrigal 821-4564, Sabathani them through the end of the year to be held in either Room 110 or 112 of the
Zachary Rice 821-4530, Sabathani Health Services Building, 525 Portland Ave. There is parking at the HCMC Ramp on
Lisa Durkot 596-6729, HSB 5 the corner of 6th and Park for those of you who need parking. There generally is
Brian Backberg 348-3096, HSB 10 also parking at meters on the street at the time we have our meetings. The
Patricia Sheppo-Eyrich 348-6927, HSB 11 schedule is as follows:
Steve Heckler 287-3406, 1011 W. Broadway All GA meetings will be held in Room 112, HSB on April 3rd, May 5th, June
Linda Etim 287-7033, 710 W. Broadway 5th, July 3rd, August 7th, September 9th, October 2nd, November 6 th, and
Mitch Hayle 949-4624, Cty Home School December 4th. Executive Board meetings will be in the same room, HSB
Barb Matos 347-6381, MHP 112, for March 20th, April 17th, June 19th, July 17th, August 21st, September 18th,
Jeff Meyer 348-5338, AY McDonald October 16th, November 20th and December 20th. The May 15th E-Board
Barb Garland 879-3555, 1800 Chicago meeting will be held in HSB 110. I will post any changes to these rooms as soon
Dennis Moore 879-3560, 1800 Chicago as I receive notice that the Government Center rooms are once more available.
Carla Thompson 879-3599, 1800 Chicago Will the groundhog see his shadow? Have a great month.
Council 14 Business
Representative: "The principles we live by, in business and in social life,
are the most important part of happiness. We need to be
Matt Nelson 651-287-0578 careful, upon achieving happiness, not to lose the
e-mail Matt at: virtues which have produced it. "
- Harry Harrison
News from the January General Assembly—January 2, 2002
PEOPLE Committee report - update on Central Motion passed to elect 37 delegates to attend
Labor Union President's election held 1/9/02. the Council 14 Convention on March 1 - 2,
Motion passed that Local 34 go on record in 2002, paying lost time for Friday, 3/1/02;
support of Bill McCarthy for CLU President. mileage both days and the $10.00 donation per
(Note: Mr. McCarthy won the election on delegate elected for the Friday night dinner.
1/9/02) Delegates will be elected at the February 6,
2002 GA meeting.
Motion passed to pay up to $10,000.00 to print
3000 copies of the new contract for 2002-2003. Approved the appointment of Vicki Moore to
The new contracts will be in a smaller format serve as Local 34 representative to CFASD
this year. (note: we were able to get the Quality Assurance Committee.
contracts printed for slightly less than $2000.00
at 7 Corners Printing and they will be ready for Approved appointment of Bernie Grisez to
distribution shortly) serve as Local 34 representative to the CFASD
CSIS Replacement Committee.
Annual motion passed authorizing the Local to
continue the normal day to day business of the Door prizes of mini-address books, AFSCME
Local such as paying bills and officer/steward pen and an AFL-CIO polo shirt were won by Pat
wages, maintaining membership records, etc. Regan, Laurie Simon, Cliff Robinson and Nancy
Motion to elect delegates to the AFSCME
International Convention in June 2002 referred
60,000 NEWLY ORGANIZED WORKERS IN 2001
MARK BANNER YEAR FOR AFSCME
AFSCME Wins 5,000 More State Employees
In the largest union election ever for state workers in Kentucky, 5,000 state social and employment services workers
on Tuesday, Dec. 18 chose AFSCME to represent them in negotiations for better pay, benefits and working conditions.
The triumph was the third consecutive in three tries for AFSCME in Kentucky since Gov. Paul Patton issued an
executive order in May granting state workers collective bargaining rights. It brought the total of Kentucky workers
organized by the union this fall to 10,000, with corrections and health care employees also coming aboard in the last
two months, and follows on the heels of AFSCME victories at seven Maryland campuses covering 3,500 state
university employees since November.
In fact, 2001 was one of AFSCME's most successful years ever for organizing new workers. Fueled by an aggressive
organizing effort and the union's first national Organizing Convention, AFSCME ended the year joined by 60,000
newly organized workers. Other major victories included 7,200 state social service employees in Puerto Rico and
12,000 San Diego home care workers.
From the AFSCME website at: http://www.afscme.org/
Reminder: Local 34 E-Board Meetings are conducted on the 3rd
Wednesday of each month in Room A of Government Center, Level A
New to the County? Good and Welfare
The Good and Welfare Committee was established to
send remembrances to dues paying members at times
Just transferred into Local 34? of happiness or sorrow. This includes marriages, the
birth or adoption of a child, prolonged illness or
To sign up as a full union member or for Delta
hospitalization, or the death of a member, immediate
Dental Insurance, or to get answers to your
family member or significant other.
questions about AFSCME and membership
benefits, please complete this form and send it
In the case of surgery or prolonged illness, or for the
birth or adoption of a child, balloon bouquets, flowers
or plants can be sent to a member.
Vicki Moore, Membership Secretary
HSB 10, Mailcode 961 In situations involving the death of a member or a
death in the family of a member, memorials can be
sent. (Family is: father, mother, sister, brother, child,
Name _______________________________ spouse, significant other or person who is, in the opinion
of the Committee and the President of the Local, a family
Job Title ____________________________ member).
Work Location _______________________ In the event of members getting married, retiring,
gaining U.S. citizenship, or for a death in the
family of a member or in the case of the death of a
Mail Code ___________________________
member, a card can be sent to the family.
Phone _______________________________ Please send all requests for remembrances to one of the
Co-Chairs for the Good and Welfare Committee. The Co-
Chairs are: Lisa Durkot, Barb Gassler, and Terri
I’m especially interested in: Huston. The referrals must include the name of the
member and the reason for your request. If the request
I want to sign up as a full member is for a plant, flowers, or a balloon bouquet, you will also
I want to sign up for Delta Dental need to include the person‟s home phone number for
Reminder: Local 34 Elections will be in April. Nominations will be taken at the February and
March General Assembly meetings—February 6 and March 6, 2002. Patrick Regan, 348-8760,
will be the 2001 Nominations Chairman.
Do You Plan to Attend?
Minnesota AFL-CIO Union Industries Show
A Salute to America’s Heroes—the Working Families of
Minneapolis Convention Center
Minnesota History Features Minneapolis’s Black Labor Leaders of the 1930s-1950s
The Winter 2001-2002 issue of Minnesota History, the Minnesota Historical Society quarterly magazine, honors
early African-American leaders of the Minneapolis Labor movement in an article by Jennifer Dalton (Labor,
Politics, and African American Identity in Minneapolis, 1930-50). Among those featured are Nellie Stone
Johnson (see President‟s Report on Page 1 re: Johnson dinner), Cecil Newman, Charles James, Albert Allen
Jr., and Anthony Cassius. The Historical Society Quarterly website is noted at the top of this page.
Here is an excerpt:
“Another original Local 665 organizer, Nellie Stone Johnson, went a step further and explicitly
linked her new sense of personal power to the political arena. Unlike Cassius and Allen, who saw
the labor movement in terms of their own success, Johnson saw it as labor historians like to see
it: as a collectivist struggle for economic security and racial justice.”
“Using the tactics and issues of the labor movement, Newman sought to make the Twin Cities’
tiny black population into a viable political force. In the mid-1930s he organized a boycott of the
local brewing industry, whose all-white unions kept out black workers. In 1935 he also helped
organize picketing against Barney’s Café for discrimination against black patrons, forcing it to
hire a black counter person. He exhorted his black readers to organize in some way, any way;
“’Let’s Form a Club’ Slogan of the Hour,” one 1940 headline declared, suggesting that the clubs
would then form a federation to win jobs from establishments patronized by blacks. Another
headline announced the slogan of the Minneapolis Council of Negro Organizations: “Every
Minneapolis Negro in Some Organization in 1941.” Much of the Spokesman’s main news was
about new groups such as the Cosmopolitan Club, the revitalized Minneapolis NAACP, and a slew
of interracial labor-civil rights committees. The paper reported diligently on the group’s aims,
meetings, and achievements, urging Twin Cities blacks to participate and scolding those who did
From the AFSCME Steward’s Handbook…………..………. GRIEVANCE HANDLING
The negotiated contract (or work rules) is the union steward’s most important document. It contains the wages, hours,
working conditions and rights of bargaining unit employees. But management sometimes “forgets,” or “misinterprets,” or
ignores what they agreed to at the bargaining table. To help address these management violations of employee rights, the
contract also contains a grievance procedure.
The Grievance Procedure
Grievance procedures contain a series of steps. While contracts and work rules differ in the number and specifics of these
steps, here is a common approach:
Step 1: Typically, this is a meeting — with the immediate supervisor and the grievant participating — to discuss the
problem. Sometimes this is an informal step that takes place before a written grievance is presented to management.
In other instances, the formal written grievance is initiated at this step.
Steps 2 to 4: The written grievance, when it is not satisfactorily resolved, can be appealed to progressively higher
stages of the management structure. (If not submitted at Step 1, the written grievance is initiated at Step 2.)
Typically, these might include a department director, a division head, and the agency administrator.
Arbitration: If the grievance is still not resolved, the final step is a hearing with a professional arbitrator whose decision is
final and binding — if that is what is specified in the contract.
Labor News Headlines from the AFL-CIO in 2001, Which of These Have You Read?
Thousands of postal workers are affected as anthrax Words without substance: Bush on FTAA workers‟ rights
exposure increases. Official jobless numbers skyrocket, but and the environment. International union movement
help for workers is slow. Working families urge Senate to launching campaign to post workers' rights. President Bush
pass real worker relief in economic stimulus, not corporate and Sen. Clinton on working women‟s „Hit and Ms.‟ list.
handouts. Unions respond to inhospitable times for Bush appoints commission to privatize Social Security.
hospitality workers. House-passed economic stimulus bill is Construction unions win project labor agreement
a windfall for corporations but a pittance for workers. concessions from Bush administration. Temple University
Working families come first in new AFL-CIO blueprint to graduate employees win a voice at work with help from
reverse economic impact of Sept. 11 and pre-attack community, elected leaders. Unions come together to
downturn. Senate blocks relief package for laid-off aviation support basic rights for Basic Vegetable/ConAgra workers.
workers. Bush stimulus plan puts tax breaks above worker Alliance for Retired Americans—a strong new voice for
help. Fast Track's back with votes expected soon—Call retirees and their families—kicks off national campaign for
Congress now and say 'No' to Fast Track! Economic impact a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. Bush's budget
of Sept. 11 attacks shows in job loss across the country. of 'political partisan gratification' wins narrow House and
Union rescuers and miners killed in coal mine explosions. Senate approval. New report shows Social Security in good
Member-to-member, union workers mount relief drive. Web health. Above and below the border, working families
resources to help working families cope. Union workers march for fair trade and against FTAA. After NAFTA, FTAA
offer helping hands. Workers' stories of abuse and could bring more disaster. Fair Pay Act—rallies mark Equal
exploitation point to need for immigration reform. Most Pay Day. Comair pilots—safely shepherding 50 souls, an
exhaustive study ever on workers' rights in America shows enormous responsibility at $15,000 a year. Senate rejects
what working families think. New international anti- attempt to silence working families. Bush signature kills
sweatshop coalition is a global response to a global worker safety protection. Campaign finance reform debate
problem. The fight for the rights of immigrants heats up. headed for the House. Election reform bill would ensure
Judge rules for workers— and against Bush—in project every vote is counted. House Republicans push Bush's tax
labor agreement case. Chicken catchers and Tyson Foods cut for the wealthy. What do working women want? The
reach suit settlement. Poverty line is far below families' 2001 Ask a Working Woman survey will find out. Bush
basic needs, new study reveals. Demonstrators tell Cheney issues anti-worker executive orders that will undermine
and the Chamber, „Fast Track is the wrong track!‟ New poll workers' rights and dismantle labor-management
says workers don't trust Bush administration to protect relationships. Working families battle anti-worker measures
their rights. Demonstrators slam Bush Social Security in state legislatures. New study: Social Security
commission. Bush panel unleashes Social Security scare privatization would devastate people with disabilities.
tactics—laying groundwork for huge benefit cuts. Gearing up for a 'New Internationalism,' working families
Avondale's price for union-busting: $5.4 million-plus. 'Vote map out busy spring. Certech workers UNITE by winning
no on Fast Track' calls flood congressional offices. Pain and community support. AFT organizing in California harnesses
blame for injured workers rests with Bush, Chao and Big new technology. L.A. students buying certifiably sweat-
Business. Working families mobilize to stop Fast Track. Big free, union-made T-shirts. NYU grad assistants choose a
Business and a Republican senator raise cash for 'Right to voice with UAW. In Los Angeles, union members and
Work for Less.' In five cities, Verizon workers tell company leaders say, "Respect Work, Strengthen Family." Patients'
to keep its word and not quash quest for a voice at work. Bill of Rights and minimum wage hike will test Bush's
Coalition denounces House 'Fast Track' bill as even worse pledge for bipartisanship on Capitol Hill. 'Secret assault' by
than past failed trade schemes. Bush‟s Social Security Bush administration blocks the federal government's
scheme challenged by coalition. Thousands rally for South responsible contractor rule. Sacramento's 9,300 home care
Carolina dockers. People of faith urge wage and hour workers win seven-year fight to form a union. AFL-CIO
protection for poultry workers. Medicare prescription drug Executive Council focuses on organizing, taxes and
benefit is just what the doctor ordered, Alliance for Retired immigration. NAACP and other civil rights groups file
Americans tells Bush and lawmakers. Forum addresses federal suit alleging voting irregularities in Florida. Senate
child labor—around the world and at home. Injured vote to kill ergo standard—"a naked political pay-off to Big
workers deliver petition to Bush administration demanding Business contributors."
new worker safety standard.
Delta Dental Change Announced by Council 14
DATE: January 16, 2002
TO: Delta Dental Subscribers
FROM: Roger Siegal, Executive Director, AFSCME Council 14
RE: Delta Dental Plan
Effective October 1, 2001, the Delta Dental Plan yearly maximum has increased from $1000.00 to
$1500.00 for each covered person. There will be no additional costs to subscribers. The plan year is from
October 1 through September 30 of each year. Any covered person who had a claim(s) denied for dates
of service from October 1, 2001 to the current date, because of reaching the yearly maximum of
$1000.00 will have the opportunity to have claims paid. This is what you, the subscriber can do:
If you had a claim denied because of the maximum, your dentist must submit the claim to Delta Dental‟s
Claims Office, and Delta Dental will submit the payment to your dentist. Call your dental office and
explain that your plan #538 had an increase in the yearly maximum to $1500.00 effective October 1,
2001, and you would like them to resubmit the claim to Delta Dental‟s Claims Office for reimbursement.
Let them know you are aware that the payment will be made to the dentist, and the dental office should
then reimburse you. All payments will be made to the dentist that provided the service(s).
If you have already paid your dentist, it is your (the subscriber‟s) responsibility to make sure you get
properly reimbursed. The plan administrator does not provide this service for you.
If you have any questions please contact Cindy Pince, Delta Dental Plan Administrator at AFSCME Council
14, 651-455-0773, Ext. 564.
To AFSCME Local 34, Dear Members,
Than you so much for your campaign contribution and support of my efforts.
Thank you very much for the flower Financial help is always appreciated and very much needed. I look forward
arrangement. It is nice to know that the to working with you in the future.
caring goes beyond the workplace! Thanks again,
Thanks again, Barb Johnson
Beth Bastian Council Member, 4th Ward, Minneapolis
To all my friends, I say thank you for your support and financial help in my re-election efforts. I am grateful for your
All the Best,
Dear Members of AFSCME Local 34,
Thank you on behalf of the Labor Education Service and the staff of Workday Minnesota for your significant contribution of
$1000.00 to the project. We really appreciate your commitment and pledge to do our absolute best to realize the full
potential of the site. Your union will receive special recognition on the website.
We hope Workday Minnesota will help build the strength of organized labor in Minnesota and that it will be helpful in your
efforts to inform, educate and mobilize your members and the community. Thank you again.
Howard L. Kling, Project Director
(President's note - if you have not already done so, please take time to visit this web site. It is chock full of
information about unionism in Minnesota and, if you click on the "Sponsors" button, you will get to see our
Local 34 logo spotlighted nicely.)
“Always remember that everyone going up the stairs
when the WTC towers collapsed was a Union member.”
-- New York City EMT Israel (Izzy) Miranda, at the Minnesota State Worker's Strike Rally at the Capitol
Here is a list of HEALTHWORKS lunchtime programs in February:
Information Session: Disaster Volunteer Leave Program Presenters: American Red Cross and Salvation Army
Trained volunteers from both the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross are eligible to be paid 50 percent of salary for up to 15 working days each
year to provide specialized assistance in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. In light of recent world events, the county is having Pat
Magnuson, American Red Cross, and William Feist, Salvation Army Metro Emergency Disaster Services, here to talk about becoming a trained
volunteer. Feel good about yourself by helping others!
Monday, February 4, 2002 A-792 Conference Room, 7th Floor Government Center Noon to 1 p.m.
Precious Cargo: Safe Travel for Kids of All Ages
How long should my child ride rear facing? Is my child safe using just a seat belt, or do they need a booster seat? Where can I go to have my child's car
seat checked? These and many other child passenger safety questions will be answered by the HCMC's Trauma Prevention staff. The week of February
11th is Child Passenger Safety Week.
Tuesday, February 12, 2002 A-410 Testing Room, 4th Floor Government Center Noon to 12:45 p.m.
The New Tax Bill? Your Key to Financial Independence
The tax relief act of 2001 brought about many significant and long-range changes as to how and when we are taxed. The impact on Middle America is
particularly large. Even government employees will see a big difference. Come and learn the difference it will make for you. Presenter is Bob Gebhard,
Personal Financial Analyst, Primerica Financial Services. Bob specializes in helping families become debt free and financially independent.
Wednesday, February 13, 2002 A-Level Auditorium, Government Center Noon to 1 p.m.
Update on Eating Disorders
Dr. Scott Crow, MD, will provide information on the various types of eating disorders, discuss the latest research, and offer tips for recognizing the
symptoms of eating disorders. Dr. Crow is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota and the President of the Minnesota
Psychiatric Society. He conducts research on treatment and outcomes for eating disorders with the Eating Disorders Research Program at the University.
Wednesday, February 27, 2001 A-410 Testing Room, 4th Floor Government Center Noon to 1 p.m.
Coping with Trauma
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are affecting people worldwide. Some are only now recognizing the affects on their own lives. Some are now
seeing affects of other traumas that they may have experienced previously. A traumatic event makes us fear for our safety and the safety of others. It
can shake our feelings of security and leave us feeling vulnerable. Learn ways to help you cope with the stress related to a traumatic event. Presenter
is Ted Witte, EAP counselor and Account Manager at Family Service Employee Resource. Ted has degrees in education, theology, and clinical social
Thursday, February 28, 2002 A-410 Testing Room, 4th Floor Government Center Noon to 1 p.m.
New Weight Management Course "Balanced Ways" at Century Plaza for
Health Partners members!
This 12-week class is offered by Health Partners' Health Educators. The program focuses on health, energy and
vitality, not only on losing weight, but also on living life to the fullest through a healthy lifestyle. It includes activities
and discussion on a variety of topics including stress management, healthful eating, positive self-talk, physical
activity, strength training, meal planning, body image and more. Cost for Health Partners members for all twelve
weeks is only $50! Come to the Information Session to find out what it's all about and to register. First come,
first serve! Class size is limited to 25 participants.
Wednesday, January 30, 2002 CP 4406, 4th Floor Century Plaza 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Class Sessions (12 Weeks)
Wednesdays, February 20, 2002 thru May 8, 2002 CP 4406, 4th Floor Century Plaza 11:30 a.m. to 12: 15 p.m.
Dennis Miller Column Continued from Page 10
Mavis Habte, manager of EDAD, shares the information that EA will be vacating Ramar this year, and existing
staff will be moved to Century Plaza. The current access at the back entrance does meet the legal handicap access
requirements for the building. No changes will be made to the front entrance. Property Management had looked
at the possibility of making the front entrance accessible as part of the remodeling plans. There are three sets of
steps into Ramar's front entrance (two outside, another inside.) Making it accessible would have required
installation of an elevator at the front entrance, plus ramping on the outside, which became cost prohibitive. In the
interim EA has made the east door of the Ramar building accessible to wheelchairs.
With the implementation of a new financial worker job series in 2002 being a crucial experience for
about 500 of our members, why has there not yet been an invitation to Local 34 from Economic
Assistance to have a union representative on the EA Steering Committee? Is there a measurable,
quantifiable commitment to teamwork and collaboration with Local 34 if formal union
representation is lacking? If so, what is that process? Would it be possible for our salaried business
agent, Matt Nelson, to serve on this key committee?
Since I initially wrote this article in draft format, and then shared it with various county leaders, both County
Commissioner Peter McLaughlin and Assistant County Administrator Dan Engstrom have volunteered to gather
some information for us regarding the questions that I have posed to them. I will share this in a future column.
What questions regarding county policies or issues do any of our members feel they would like to share with me? Are
there issues or questions, which nag at you, or which you have always been curious about, but lacked a forum to
share them with others? Please share your questions or issues with me. From time to time, I will try to compose a
column with your most interesting suggestions.
Happy New Year!!!
Precinct Caucus Night Coming in March!
In a Year Full of Political Activity, Here’s an Excellent Civic Opportunity
Mark your calendars to attend this year‟s Precinct Caucuses on Tuesday, March 5, 2002, at 7p.m.
Hot issues this year include control of the US Senate, budget woes, and responses to 9-11 and Bin
Laden. Key races are going to be battled this fall— including the Wellstone U.S. Senate seat, the
Governorship, the other State Constitutional offices, all 211 House and Senate seats, and at least
four—possibly, all seven—County Commissioner seats. Call your party of choice (major parties
listed below) to identify where you will Caucus this year. This is a Redistricting year, so your
precinct identity and location may have changed.
DFL Party: (651) 293-1200 www.dfl.org
Green Party: (612) 871-4585 www.mngreens.org
Independence Party: (651) 487-9700 www.eindependence.org
Republican Party: (651) 222-0022 www.mngop.org
……………….CONTEST CONTEST CONTEST CONTEST…………………
Local 34 is sponsoring a contest to design a lapel pin for our Local. This contest is open to all members of
the Local and their children. The members of the Executive Board will serve as judges and a $50.00
savings bond will be awarded to the artist with the winning design. The lapel pin will be worn by our
delegates at the conventions attended this year and serves as a proud identifier of who we are.
Your design for the pin needs to include the words "AFSCME Local 34" somewhere in the design. We are
looking for a colorful and imaginative design reflecting the diversity of our members. The pin itself will be 1
square inch in size but your design should be submitted in a larger format so that we can see it.
Please send your original artwork to Jean Diederich, JJC, LL (880), by no later than March 15, 2002. The
judging will take place at the March 20, 2002 Executive Board meeting. Please call Jean at 348-0266 if you
have any questions.
A Message to Local 34 Members from At-Large Officer, Dennis Miller:
It has been nearly two years since I last filed a newsletter article, which I tried to do monthly as your para-professional
vice-president at that time. Now that I have the privilege of serving as an at-large officer (or in other words, now that I‟ve
“been put out to pasture”), I hope to periodically write a column for our union newsletter. My personal goal is to write
quarterly, if not more often.
I turned fifty in December, and have been taking an inventory of my remaining goals and aspirations. I‟ve also decided
that I now have some permission to become a curmudgeon, although I hope to be helpful rather than cranky. Since we
entered a new calendar year in January, I have also saved up a few of my own questions which I would like to address to
our members, county commissioners, chief sheriff, county administrators, and others. Answers, when received, are noted.
A number of these issues may be specific to Economic Assistance, where naturally I spend most of my time, as a staff
You should also know something about my biases, or filters. I am a progressive in my political viewpoints, and most often
support DFL candidates, although I am now supporting independents, and even an occasional Republican. I am a strong
supporter of unions in general, while I do not hesitate to criticize what I consider wrong-headed decisions made by
individual unions, or “union leaders”.
If anyone who reads these would care to share a response with me, please consider contacting me via Lotus mail, at
Dennis.E.Miller (on your own time, of course).
As our county elected officials have made it very clear that additional security measures need to be implemented for
the Government Center in light of the terroristic threats to our well being as public employees, what additional
measures are being implemented for other buildings, such as the hospital, HSB, the Ramar Building, Century Plaza,
the 110 building, etc.? Do employees posted at these work-sites have a right to specific information regarding
additional security measures? When will we learn details? Can details be shared which do not compromise security
Many of the clients/customers of TEA, Economic Assistance, and Community Health units located at Century Plaza
are people of color. Why are so few visible sheriffs or deputy sheriffs who are posted at Century Plaza happen to be
people of color? Would there be advantages in sheriff staff somehow reflecting the community members serviced at
And, of those sheriff’s staff who are posted at Century Plaza, why is one of their apparent core or routine duties the
ticketing of client vehicles for lacking tabs, or checking vehicles for clients with outstanding warrants, or seizing
vehicles? Do sheriffs routinely seize vehicles at other county buildings? Is this a good idea at all? If so, why is it a
Sheriff Pat McGowan and I have been engaged in “phone tag” regarding the previous two topics. When I speak to
Sheriff McGowan, I will happily share any information that he provides.
Speaking of Century Plaza, why is so very little public parking or free parking or low-cost parking made available to
clients of the various county agencies housed at Century Plaza? Are we truly being “user-friendly” in our parking
policy? When the Minneapolis City Convention center addition is completed, will parking and traffic become even
more congested, and potentially dangerous?
Many of our customers, wherever we work and whatever our positions with the county, reflect the enormous
cultural diversity in Hennepin County. So, as an example, how many bilingual Child Support Officers work in
Economic Assistance? How many customers of CSD require interpretive services? Are there plans to offer additional
compensation to bilingual CSO staff?
Barry Bloomgren, manager of CSD, shares the following information. In CSD Intake, there are two Spanish and 2
Somali caseloads, and one Vietnamese certified CSO who interprets about 5 times per pay period. In CSD
Enforcement, there is 1 Spanish and 1 Somali caseload. The Spanish and Somalian workers receive a $30.00 per
pay period differential. ( Note: I appreciate the numbers, but still pose the question as to whether this is even nearly
adequate in meeting community needs. )
Since the Ramar Building serves a primarily disabled and/or elderly customer population, why is only one entrance
truly accessible? What is the status county-wide regarding accessibility for each of our county buildings? Have we
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Coming March 1-2: Council 14 Convention Thunderbird Hotel-Bloomington