News Releases

AFSCME Cautions Legislature to Not Blow the Surplus on Tax Breaks for Billionaires and Big Businesses


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 2, 2016                        

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544


With today’s forecast of a modest $678 million state budget surplus, AFSCME Council 5 calls on the Legislature to focus investment on economic security for hardworking Minnesota families.

“Gov. Dayton has moved Minnesota from deficit to surplus, but there’s more work to be done,” cautions Eliot Seide, director of AFSCME Council 5, Minnesota’s largest public employee union.  “With an uncertain economy under the new Trump administration, state legislators must resist the urge to blow the surplus on huge tax breaks for billionaires and giant corporations headquartered in the metro area

Public pensions: The sky isn’t falling


Star Tribune Counterpoint –  Published June 17, 2016

By Eliot Seide



It’s worth your time to get involved in politics. 

Media Advisory: AFSCME Day on the Hill: Tuesday, April 5


FOR RELEASE: April 4, 2016                                                       

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

AFSCME Day on the Hill: Tuesday, April 5

12:00 Rally at RiverCentre, 2:00 Lobby Legislators

Members of AFSCME Council 5 – one of Minnesota’s largest and most politically active unions – will visit with state legislators Tuesday to help shape a budget that will secure an even brighter future for hardworking Minnesotans.

Nearly 1,000 union members will rally April 5 at 12 noon in the Grand Ballroom at RiverCentre (175 West Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul) and meet with their state legislators that afternoon to share their legislative priorities:

Supreme Court Victory for Public Workers


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 29, 2016                         

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544


A case that seemed poised to deal a death blow to public-sector unions ended in a 4-4 tie Tuesday at the Supreme Court, delivering a victory for public workers nationwide.

In a single-sentence order, the Supreme Court announced today that the judgment of a lower court rejecting the effort to defund public sector unions “is affirmed by an equally divided court.”  That means Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is dead and a four-decade-old opinion protecting public-sector unions will live to see another day.

Below is a statement from AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director Eliot Seide:

“Today’s decision is a defeat for wealthy extremists who want to hijack our economy and our democracy.  It’s a victory for millions of teachers, nurses, firefighters and public service workers nationwide. 

“Minnesota’s communities never rest.  Streets need plowing.  Families need care.  Students deserve well-run schools.  Our neighborhoods demand safety and everyone deserves clean water.  That’s why public workers never quit.  We come together and we speak up for better schools, improved patient care, and safer communities.

“Wealthy extremists will continue trying to use the Supreme Court to advance their right-wing political agenda.  The best way to stop them from taking away our rights is to elect a pro-worker president whose nominees will shape the high court for decades.” 

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 Continues to Advocate for Quality Child Care that Working Parents Can Afford


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2016                        

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544

(St. Paul, MN) – Ballots were counted this morning in a union election for Minnesota’s in-home child care providers.  The Bureau of Mediation Services announced that a majority of the providers who cast ballots voted against their right to collectively bargain with the state.

AFSCME Cautions Legislature to Not Blow the Surplus on Tax Breaks for Billionaires and Big Businesses


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2016                        

CONTACT: Jennifer Munt, 651-357-8544


With today’s forecast of a $900 million state budget surplus, down from the $1.2 billion forecasted last December, AFSCME Council 5 calls on the Legislature to continue investing in economic security for hardworking Minnesota families.

Minnesota Community, Faith, Labor & Civil Rights Groups Unite to Spotlight Private Prison Company’s Troubling History


(MINNEAPOLIS, MN) – A coalition of Minnesota-based community, faith, labor and civil rights organizations has come together to oppose the public lease of a long-shuttered correctional facility in Appleton, MN, owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a private prison corporation.

Public Sector Union Workers Available to Discuss Supreme Court Arguments



Public sector union workers available to discuss Supreme Court arguments

Public sector union workers will be gathering Monday morning to track oral arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association Supreme Court case. Following the court proceedings, workers will be available to speak to the press either in-person or by phone.

This case is an attempt by the corporate-backed Center for Individual Rights to make it harder for public-sector workers – including teachers and firefighters – to collectively bargain for the resources that benefit everyone they serve.

More information about the case is available at

Minnesota is Rising with a Surplus


“Minnesota is rising with a sizable surplus,” said Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5.  “Our future will be brighter than our past if we continue to invest in smarter kids, healthier families, and safer communities. That’s the fairest way to help everyone benefit from our growing economy.”