News Releases

AFSCME Council 5, Council 65 Endorse Democrat Angie Craig for U.S. House District 2

4-6-2018

Two unions representing nearly 60,000 workers – AFSCME Council 5 and Council 65 – have jointly endorsed Democrat Angie Craig for election in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District.

“AFSCME Council 5 is proud to endorse Angie Craig, who will fight side by side with us to make sure we have the freedom to organize, collectively bargain and stand up for our rights,” says John P. Westmoreland, Council 5’s executive director. “Angie will fight to stop the assault on workers and do everything she can to provide people with the freedom and opportunity to join the middle class.”

“AFSCME Council 65 is proud to endorse Angie, who is running to build an even better Minnesota for all of us,” says Serena Vergin, Council 65’s executive director. “She’ll fight for our freedom as workers to organize, collectively bargain and stand up so we can improve life for ourselves, our families and our communities across Minnesota.”

“I’m voting for Angie because she’s smart, hardworking, listens to the people in our district and understands what working class folks are up against," says AFSCME retiree Kathleen Farber. “Angie wants to fix our health care system, protect our pensions and make sure our economy works for everyone, not just the wealthiest 1 percent."

AFSCME Council 5 is a union of 43,000 public and non-profit workers throughout Minnesota. AFSCME Council 65 represents 14,000 workers in Minnesota and South Dakota with more than 300 locals. AFSCME advocates for excellence in public services, dignity in the workplace, and opportunity and prosperity for all working families.

AFSCME Members Stand up for Freedom at Day on the Hill and to End Rigged System

3-19-2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2018  

CONTACT: Lynette Kalsnes, 651-287-0537                     

AFSCME Members Stand up for Freedom at Day on the Hill and to End Rigged System

SAINT PAUL — Members of AFSCME Council 5 will pack the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday, March 20 to stand up for their freedom to form strong unions and their freedom to speak up for themselves, their families and their communities.

AFSCME Members Stand up for Freedom and to End Rigged System at Day on the Hill

3-15-2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 15, 2018   

CONTACT: Lynette Kalsnes, 651-287-0537                       


AFSCME Members Stand up for Freedom and to End Rigged System at Day on the Hill

SAINT PAUL — Members of AFSCME Council 5 will pack the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday, March 20 to stand up for their freedom to form strong unions and their freedom to speak up for themselves, their families and their communities.

Union members are under attack from corporate CEOs and wealthy extremists who have rigged the economy and the political system, and now want to stack the deck even more in their favor by silencing workers through court cases and anti-worker amendments, even here in Minnesota. But AFSCME members and their union brothers and sisters refuse to give up their rights.

Council 5 members will gather in a powerful demonstration of solidarity on March 20, carrying signs that shout, “It’s About Freedom!”

“People have the right to stand up for what they believe in, to stand up, organize and form a union,” says Council 5 executive director John P. Westmoreland. “If we’re not going to stand up for our freedom, who is? It’s all about freedom, everyone’s freedom. We have to defend it everywhere, to stand up and say no more loss of human rights, no more loss of human dignity, no more loss of person or place, no more loss of freedom.”

After the Day on the Hill Rotunda rally, members will visit their own senators and representatives to help shape a legislative agenda that will secure an even brighter future for hardworking Minnesotans. Issues include protecting retirement security, retaining and training child protection workers, local control, safe staffing, transportation investment, and approving state worker contracts.

EVENT DETAILS

WHAT: AFSCME Council 5 Day on the Hill

WHO: Hundreds of workers from all across Minnesota will rally in defense of their rights to come together to form strong unions, negotiate a fair return on their work, and speak up for themselves and their communities.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 20, 1:30 to 2 p.m.

WHERE: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda, 75 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Saint Paul, Minn.

Working People's Day of Action

2-21-2018

Feb. 24: Working People Will Rally to End Rigged System As Hundreds Gather in Saint Paul at State Capitol Rotunda

Saturday Event Will Highlight Crucial Role Unions Play in Building Better Lives For Minnesotans as U.S. Supreme Court Prepares to Hear Case Attacking Workers’ Voice

SAINT PAUL—Members and leaders of labor unions, civil rights and faith groups, and community organizations will mobilize for the Working People’s Day of Action rally that’s expected to fill the State Capitol rotunda Saturday morning.

The organizations are standing up for the freedom to join together and work for the common good as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 on Monday. An adverse decision in the case could undermine the right to form strong unions.

Saint Paul’s rally is part of a nationwide day of action with events planned in cities across the country. Activists from the Twin Cities and others from around the state will join the call to end policies that rig the economy and the political system against working people—and in favor of powerful corporate interests and the wealthy elite.

Speakers at the Saint Paul rally will highlight the crucial role that union members play in building better lives for all Minnesotans. “For decades, teachers, nurses, police officers, firefighters and many others who provide the public services we rely on have joined together to speak up for themselves, their families and their communities,” said Mary Falk, an AFSCME member who works at Anoka Technical College. “But those behind the Janus case do not want working people to have that freedom.”

The rally will also recognize the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who 50 years ago in his final campaign supported striking sanitation workers in Memphis as they joined together in a strong union and demanded to be treated with dignity on the job.

EVENT DETAILS

WHAT: Working People’s Day of Action Rally

WHO: The event is co-sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the Service Employees International Union.

Speakers will include: Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter; Mary Cathryn Ricker, AFT executive vice president; an educator talking about how Education Minnesota helps members address student debt; Mary Falk, AFSCME Council 5 member; Asad Aliweyd, executive director New American Development Center; Adrianne Hoffer-Carter, Laborers Local 363 member; Deb Howse, SEIU Minnesota member; Bret Ohnstad, Teamsters Local 320 member; and representatives of other community groups and rights organizations.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, 10:30 a.m. to Noon  

WHERE: Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda, 75 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Saint Paul, Minn.

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AFSCME Backs Tina Smith for U.S. Senate

12-13-2017

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

12-6-2017

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

10-5-2017

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

10-2-2017

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

9-29-2017
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

8-15-2017

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