News Releases

Jun 07

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.

Cherrene Horazuk of AFSCME Local 3800 said, “This year, the one opportunity for University stakeholders to testify and speak directly to the Regents was eliminated. The current administration has been embroiled in scandal after scandal, spending University resources to clean up their mess.  Now they’re shutting down an opportunity to hold them accountable.”

Horazuk continued, “Union workers at the U are currently in contract negotiations. We expect the administration to present the Regents a budget that does not include adequate cost of living increases for our members, at the same time they raise student tuition and increase debt to astronomical levels. We are not interested in the tired story that there is no money for the core institution while they find cash to pay high administrator salaries, lawsuit settlements and legal fees.”

U of M AFSCME, Teamsters Local 320, students, faculty, and other employee groups will pack the Regents meeting to hear the budget presentation from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. and follow it up with our own public hearing on McNamara Plaza.

Download a PDF of this news release.

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May 10

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.

Apr 21

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.

“Melvin has the experience, intellect and drive to lead our great city to an even better future,” says Willie Snyder, chairperson of the union’s screening committee. “He respects public workers and values the work we do to improve people’s lives. We’re proud to support him.”

“AFSCME members work hard for the people of Saint Paul and we want to help Melvin build a city that works for everyone,” says Jennifer Guertin, president of AFSCME Local 2508 and an office assistant III with the city water department. “Melvin is a strong leader and a proven champion. He has stood strong on transit, equity, living wages, housing for all and especially education.”

The union’s endorsement follows a forum held March 18 with five mayoral candidates: former Saint Paul City Council members Melvin Carter III and Pat Harris, City Council member Dai Thao, former School Board member Tom Goldstein, and Green Party candidate Elizabeth Dickinson.

AFSCME represents 924 workers employed by the City of Saint Paul and 2,787 members and retirees who can vote in the 2017 mayor’s race. The union will communicate its endorsement to influence the upcoming Saint Paul DFL ward caucuses on April 22, 23, 29 and 30.

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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Apr 13

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?”

Mar 24

AFSCME Day on the Hill: Tuesday, March 28


FOR RELEASE: March 24, 2017                   

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

                             

AFSCME Day on the Hill: Tuesday, March 28

Rotunda Rally at 3:45 p.m.

Members of AFSCME Council 5 – one of Minnesota’s largest and most politically active unions – will come to the State Capitol Tuesday to help shape a budget that will secure a brighter future for hardworking Minnesotans.


Nearly 1,200 union members will rally March 28 at 3:45 p.m. in the rotunda and meet with their state legislators that afternoon.

Mar 20

AFSCME Endorses Jacob Frey for Minneapolis Mayor


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

AFSCME Endorses Jacob Frey for Minneapolis Mayor

Today, one of the state’s largest and most politically active unions – AFSCME Council 5 – announced its endorsement of Jacob Frey for Minneapolis mayor.

“AFSCME members work very hard for the people of Minneapolis to make it a great place to live and work,” says Sarah Maxwell, president of AFSCME Local 9.  “We believe Jacob Frey has the energy and vision to guide Minneapolis into being a safe and vibrant place for both the workers and residents of our great city.”

The union’s endorsement followed a forum held March 11 with four mayoral candidates: Mayor Betsy Hodges, Ward 3 City Council member Jacob Frey, state Rep. Raymond Dehn, and Tom Hoch.  Candidates Aswar Rahman and Nekima Levy-Pounds were invited but did not participate.

AFSCME has also endorsed seven candidates for Minneapolis City Council, including Jillia Pessenda (Ward 1), Cam Gordon (Ward 2), Barb Johnson (Ward 4), Blong Yang (Ward 5), Lisa Goodman (Ward 7), Andrea Jenkins (Ward 8), and Linea Palmisano (Ward 13).

In the coming weeks, AFSCME will schedule screenings for the remaining Minneapolis Wards, the Board of Estimate and Taxation, and the Minneapolis Park Board.

AFSCME represents 800 workers employed by the City of Minneapolis and 4,200 workers who can vote in the 2017 mayor’s race.  The union will communicate its endorsements to influence Minneapolis DFL Precinct Caucuses on April 4.

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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Mar 15

AFSCME Protests 131 Layoffs at HCMC


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 15, 2017                         

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

AFSCME Protests 131 Layoffs at HCMC

(Minneapolis) – On St. Patrick’s Day, Hennepin County Medical Center will lay off 131 workers who are the heart and soul of the healthcare system.  They are schedulers, custodians, pharmacy and accounting staff – all deeply concerned that the elimination of their positions will compromise the quality of care that patients deserve at downtown’s world-class hospital and clinics.   

“We strive for excellence and take pride in our work,” say Carmen Brown and Sara Franck.  “We treat every patient with kindness, dignity and respect – and we expect the same from CEO Jon Pryor.  March with us on Friday and tell HCMC to stop the layoffs and outsourcing of our work.”  

Feb 28

AFSCME: Don't Blow Surplus on Tax Breaks for Billionaires and Big Corporations


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2017                        

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

AFSCME: DON’T BLOW THE SURPLUS ON TAX BREAKS FOR BILLIONAIRES AND BIG CORPORATIONS   

With today’s forecast of a $1.65 billion state budget surplus – up from a December estimate of $1.4 billion – AFSCME Council 5 calls on the Legislature to focus investment on economic security for hardworking Minnesota families.

Jan 31

AFSCME on Trump's Supreme Court Nominee


Tonight President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge based in Colorado, to fill Justice Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. Here is reaction from AFSCME Council 5 President Judy Wahlberg and Executive Director Eliot Seide.

“With a few strokes of his pen, President Trump made it harder for refugees to come to America. He severely weakened the Affordable Care Act and restricted access to reproductive care for women around the world. His actions violate our Constitution and our American values.”

“Our divided nation needs a Supreme Court that will uphold worker rights, civil rights and human rights. If Trump’s nominee can’t do that, the seat should remain vacant.”

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.

Jan 30

AFSCME: Refugees are Welcome Here


“As Americans, we cannot turn our backs on refugees fleeing persecution, genocide and terror.  Minnesota welcomes refugees from the war-battered nations of Somalia, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya and Yemen.  They have become our friends, our neighbors and our co-workers.”

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