News Releases

AFSCME Backs Tina Smith for U.S. Senate


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 13, 2017                        

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

AFSCME BACKS TINA SMITH FOR U.S. SENATE   

Sen. Al Franken announced his decision last week to resign from the U.S. Senate. Today Gov. Mark Dayton chose Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace him. AFSCME strongly supports her appointment. Smith will serve until a special election next November, when voters will choose who fills out the remaining two years of Franken’s term. 

“There is no one more qualified or capable than Tina Smith to represent all Minnesotans in the United States Senate,” says Judy Wahlberg, president of AFSCME Council 5. “Tina’s entire career has prepared her for this job at a time when all of us need more strong women in the halls of power.

“Tina is a proven champion for women and working families. She has worked tirelessly for paid parental leave and pay equity. Thanks to Tina, parents can bond with their newborns and women are treated as equals in state service. We need her voice in Washington.”

AFSCME Minnesota Council 5 is a union of 43,000 workers who advocate for excellence in services for the public, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all working families.

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Republican Tax Giveaways Turn Surplus into Deficit


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 5, 2017                        

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

With today’s forecast showing that Minnesota is facing a $188 million deficit for 2018-19, AFSCME calls on the Legislature to help working people earn a good living and live a good life.

“The Republican majorities put Minnesota in the red by putting big corporations and the wealthy few ahead of everyone else,” says John Westmoreland, executive director of AFSCME Council 5.  “They insisted there wasn’t enough to invest in our health care, our children and tax breaks for the middle class.  They denied medical care to the most vulnerable, but gave away millions to big tobacco, giant corporations and the estates of multi-millionaires.” 

“Republicans left work last session with a big mess and no budget, after taking a 45 percent pay raise for themselves. We call them back to approve a cost-of-living raise for hardworking state employees and to pass a responsible budget that protects Minnesotans from economic downturns and federal cuts.”

AFSCME Council 5 is a union of 43,000 workers who advocate for excellence in services for the public, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all working families.

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SER Rejects State Employee Contracts


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 5, 2017

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

Today the Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER) recommended that the full Minnesota Legislature reject new two-year contracts that would cover nearly 30,000 state workers represented by AFSCME Council 5 and MAPE.  It was a 6-4 party line vote with Republicans voting to reject the contract.

AFSCME Donates to Women's Shelter in Duluth


MEDIA ADVISORY                                                      

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

AFSCME Donates to Women’s Shelter in Duluth

More than 700 union members will gather in Duluth for AFSCME Council 5’s annual convention, October 5-7. On Saturday, union volunteers will deliver vanloads of donations to Duluth’s Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center, where AFSCME members provide life-saving services for victims of domestic violence. 

AFSCME Safe Haven Supply Drive

Saturday, October 7

9:00 a.m.:        Media Availability; Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center – upstairs lobby (350 Harbor Drive, Duluth)

9:30 a.m.:        Fill vans with donations – outside DECC entrance

To honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month, AFSCME volunteers have collected personal hygiene items, linens, gift cards, kid’s toys and little luxuries like cosmetics and chocolates. They will assemble “care packages” for women and children who escape from domestic abuse, often with no personal belongings.     

AFSCME Hosts Forum with Governor Candidates: October 6 in Duluth


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 29, 2017                        
CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

AFSCME Minnesota Council 5 will host the first televised forum with gubernatorial candidates on Friday, October 6 from 1-3 p.m. during the union’s convention at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center (DECC). 

All six announced Democrats have confirmed their participation in the forum: Chris Coleman, Tina Liebling, Erin Murphy, Rebecca Otto, Paul Thissen and Tim Walz. Republican candidates were not invited.

The two-hour forum will be live streamed on The UpTake beginning at 1:15 p.m. Friday, October 6. 

The format includes opening and closing statements. Moderator Barbara Reyelts, former news director for the Northland’s NewsCenter, will ask each candidate to respond to seven audience-generated questions about issues that matter to working people. The audience will include 900 public and non-profit workers who provide the vital services that sustain our quality of life in Minnesota. 

State Employees Ratify New Two-Year Contracts


Contracts include raises, better health and dental coverage, and paid parental leave

University Unions Hold Public Forum on Budget After Regents Cancel Public Testimony


For Immediate Release: June 7, 2017

Contact: Cherrene Horazuk, 612-940-0660

University Unions Hold Public Forum on Budget After Regents Cancel Public Testimony

Thursday, June 8, 10:00 a.m. McNamara Plaza (near pool)

Each June, the University of Minnesota budget proposal is presented to the Board of Regents at a public hearing. It is the one time each year when faculty, staff, and students testify to advocate for their needs and the importance of investing a portion of the budget to benefit their campus community.

Unions Launch "Cuts Hurt Minnesota" Campaign


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2017                         

CONTACTS:

Jennifer Munt at AFSCME, 651-357-8544

Roberta Heine at MAPE, 651-287-8758

Unions Launch “Cuts Hurt Minnesota” Campaign

Two of Minnesota’s largest public worker unions – AFSCME Council 5 and MAPE – launched a “Cuts Hurt Minnesota” campaign on social media this week to expose harmful budget cuts proposed by Republican majorities in the state House and Senate. . 

MAPE is a union of 14,000 professionals employed by the state of Minnesota.

AFSCME Council 5 is a union of 43,000 workers who advocate for excellence in services for the public, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all working families.

AFSCME Endorses Melvin Carter for Saint Paul Mayor


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2017
CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

AFSCME Endorses Melvin Carter for Saint Paul Mayor

Today, one of the state’s largest and most politically active unions – AFSCME Council 5 – announced its endorsement of Melvin Carter III for Saint Paul mayor.

AFSCME’S TAX DAY BLITZ: Tuesday, April 18


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 13, 2017          

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

AFSCME’S TAX DAY BLITZ: Tuesday, April 18

Last-minute tax filers will be greeted by members of AFSCME Council 5 on Tax Day – Tuesday, April 18 – at post offices in Brainerd, Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Cloud.  Union volunteers will ask taxpayers a simple question: “Do you want to pay more so the rich can pay less?”

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