Mar 22
Sgt. Brian Lauwers (center) testifies as Sgt. Rick Neyssen listens. Rep. Tim Miller (right) keeps pushing a measure to reopen the Appleton prison owned by CoreCivic (CCA), despite staunch opposition from correctional officers, community and faith groups.
Sgt. Brian Lauwers (center) testifies as Sgt. Rick Neyssen listens. Rep. Tim Miller (right) keeps pushing a measure to reopen the Appleton prison owned by CoreCivic (CCA), despite staunch opposition from correctional officers, community and faith groups.

Working in CCA Prisons was 'Dangerous'


Doing business with infamous company is expensive, immoral

Mar 22
Corrections Sgt. Brian Lauwers (left) listens as Sgt. Rick Neyssen tells legislators why going into business with CCA (now CoreCivic) is like doing business with the devil.
Corrections Sgt. Brian Lauwers (left) listens as Sgt. Rick Neyssen tells legislators why going into business with CCA (now CoreCivic) is like doing business with the devil.

Corrections Fights on Against Privately Owned Prisons


Bill to make state do business with private prisons is back at the Capitol

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 20
Sara Franck and Carmen Brown, center, presidents of Local 2474 and Local 977, rally the crowd to protest HCMC layoffs.
Sara Franck and Carmen Brown, center, presidents of Local 2474 and Local 977, rally the crowd to protest HCMC layoffs.

Members Protest HCMC Layoffs, Lack of Transparency


Workers ask for same respect, kindness they give patients

Mar 17
MSOP security counselor Zach Mulder worked in Idaho when the state had to take over a private CCA prison known as the Gladiator School. He’s been offering Minnesota lawmakers a rare look into how dangerous that transition can be.
MSOP security counselor Zach Mulder worked in Idaho when the state had to take over a private CCA prison known as the Gladiator School. He’s been offering Minnesota lawmakers a rare look into how dangerous that transition can be.

CCA Horror Stories from Idaho



Minnesota legislators are considering doing business with a for-profit prison company

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.”  

Mar 14
AFSCME Local 3800 member Wendy Weimerskirch Plager tells the crowd that classes are “prohibitively expensive” for staff at the University of Minnesota.
AFSCME Local 3800 member Wendy Weimerskirch Plager tells the crowd that classes are “prohibitively expensive” for staff at the University of Minnesota.

Fighting for Affordable Higher Ed


AFSCME joins national push

Mar 09
More than 90 correctional officers from across Minnesota spread out across the Capitol Tuesday for Corrections Lobby Day.
More than 90 correctional officers from across Minnesota spread out across the Capitol Tuesday for Corrections Lobby Day.

Correctional Workers Blanket Capitol in Blue Uniforms


Safe facilities, secure retirements on the lobbying agenda

Mar 02
Correctional officers Jeff Vars (left), Derek Magle and Dan Gorman listen as Joe Strunk (right), who sits on the MSRS board, offers pension tips. Vars and Gorman are AFSCME Local presidents who organized the session.
Correctional officers Jeff Vars (left), Derek Magle and Dan Gorman listen as Joe Strunk (right), who sits on the MSRS board, offers pension tips. Vars and Gorman are AFSCME Local presidents who organized the session.

Protecting Pensions from Attack


Correctional workers push for public workers to retire with dignity

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.

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.

“Gov. Dayton has moved Minnesota from deficit to surplus, but there’s more work to be done,” cautions Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5.  “Legislators must resist the urge to blow the surplus on tax breaks for billionaires and big corporations.

“All Minnesotans deserve a fair shot at a better future.  Let’s focus on fair taxes, decent wages, and responsible investments in better transportation, smarter students, healthier families, safer communities, and cleaner water for everyone.

“The forecast is good news.  It means state employees can continue to deliver the critical services that Minnesotans need without fear of layoffs.”

AFSCME supports Gov. Dayton’s $45.8 billion budget plan.  He proposes using the surplus to expand prekindergarten, increase funding for public universities, and expand MinnesotaCare to serve more people.

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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Feb 21
Local 3801 leaders Andrea Sande (left), Geraldine Hughes and Jeanne Peterson spent weeks working together on an AFSCME Strong push at UMD.
Local 3801 leaders Andrea Sande (left), Geraldine Hughes and Jeanne Peterson spent weeks working together on an AFSCME Strong push at UMD.

UMD Local Fights with Renewed Spirit


Members organize to keep their voice in the workplace

Feb 17
Arvonne and Don Fraser love the view from their Minneapolis condo. They say Minnesota is a great place to live and retire: They never considered going anywhere else.
Arvonne and Don Fraser love the view from their Minneapolis condo. They say Minnesota is a great place to live and retire: They never considered going anywhere else.

"We are Blessed with Great Public Services"


Don and Arvonne Fraser speak out on looming cuts, hope for the future

Feb 17
AFSCME Local 66 member Laura Owen teaches child care and foster care providers about how to install child safety seats. She won a state award for her work helping keep kids safe.
AFSCME Local 66 member Laura Owen teaches child care and foster care providers about how to install child safety seats. She won a state award for her work helping keep kids safe.

Member Honored for Keeping Kids Safe on Our Roads


"You get one chance in life with these children."

Feb 14
AFSCME Council 5 executive director Eliot Seide (left) with his mentor David Roe, the former head of the Minnesota AFL-CIO who fought for 30 years to build this monument to workers.
AFSCME Council 5 executive director Eliot Seide (left) with his mentor David Roe, the former head of the Minnesota AFL-CIO who fought for 30 years to build this monument to workers.

Giant of the Labor Movement Dies


David Roe, a renowned Minnesota union leader, passed away Monday at age 92.

Feb 06
Brenda Louise (Hennepin County, right), Nikki Castona (left, Ramsey County) and other social workers from across Minnesota tell legislators about the urgent need for more resources to keep kids safe.
Brenda Louise (Hennepin County, right), Nikki Castona (left, Ramsey County) and other social workers from across Minnesota tell legislators about the urgent need for more resources to keep kids safe.

Trying to ‘Triage the Triage’


Child protection workers ask for resources to keep kids safe

Feb 03
Mike Griffin of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change jumps up to invite the crowd of more than 150 people, there to testify and watch the House committee hearing, to rally while some lawmakers took a dinner break.
Mike Griffin of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change jumps up to invite the crowd of more than 150 people, there to testify and watch the House committee hearing, to rally while some lawmakers took a dinner break.

Supporters of Local Control Overflow Hearing


Allies fight to keep paid sick and safe time, decent conditions for workers

Feb 02
AFSCME Local 1574 member Louis Eschenbacher
AFSCME Local 1574 member Louis Eschenbacher

AFSCME Members Save Patient from Drowning


"I just did what anybody would have done in that situation.”

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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