News Releases

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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.

"State employees negotiated a fair return on their work," says Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, the union which represents 15,504 workers harmed by the decision.  "Under this new contract, we should receive a 2 percent raise this year and 2.25 percent next year.  Our wages and benefits are in line with the private sector.  It's a fair deal for state workers and Minnesota taxpayers."

"We're tired of being pawns in a political game where Republicans think they can score points by beating up on hardworking people.  They reject our contracts while they approve massive tax breaks for corporations and their wealthy cronies.  Shame on them."

State employees in AFSCME's multi-unit will continue working under the terms of their current contract.

SER has not acted on a separate contract that would cover 2,000 AFSCME corrections staff who work in state prisons.

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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.     

By the numbers:

  • 1 in 3 women in Minnesota will be subjected to physical violence, sexual violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • Every 15 seconds a woman is battered in the United States.
  • 1,876 victims and survivors were assisted by Safe Haven in 2016.
  • Safe Haven, started in 1978, was one of the very first battered women’s shelters in the United States.  Since then it has grown into a 39-bed facility that houses a hotline as well as community education, legal advocacy and volunteer programs.  Their mission is to provide safety, space to heal, and empowerment for women, children and all survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Jennifer Jones, a former shelter resident, says “I believe I would have died if I could not go to you, so thank you for saving me and my children.”

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 people

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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. 

Media is invited, but the event is not open to the public. To gain admission, journalists should arrive at the DECC by 12:15 p.m. on Friday, October 6 and report to the registration area with their media credentials.

After the forum, the candidates and AFSCME leaders will be available to the media at 3:30 p.m. in the St. Louis River Room at the DECC.

AFSCME Council 5 is one of Minnesota’s largest and most politically active unions with 43,000 members.  The forum begins AFSCME’s screening and endorsement process.  AFSCME members will continue one-on-one conversations about issues that matter to working people.  At a later date, the union’s Executive Board will screen and endorse a candidate for governor.

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State Employees Ratify New Two-Year Contracts


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

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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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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.

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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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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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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.

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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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