Hennepin County Workers to Rally at Government Center May 7



Hundreds of Hennepin County workers will rally at the Government Center Monday, May 7, to kick off their contract negotiations.

Together, members of these Council 5 locals represent more than 4,200 AFSCME members who provide services impacting every resident of Hennepin County. The county workers make up Minnesota’s second-largest AFSCME group.

What’s so unusual and so powerful about their bargaining process is that six AFSCME locals in Hennepin County bargain together: Locals 34, 552, 1719, 2822, 2864 and 2938. The combined strength of their voices helps amplify their ability to improve wages and working conditions.

“Hennepin County has always wanted to be the employer of choice,” says Patrick Guernsey, president of Local 552 and head of the Hennepin County Policy Committee. “There are many ways we can work together to maintain that.”

Changes the county could make to ensure it keeps attracting new workers include offering the same amount of paid parental leave as the state and private sector, moving from three weeks to six weeks, Guernsey says. Another change is allowing newer workers who initially opted for PTO (paid time off) to switch to earning separate sick and vacation time. Workers in three locals that have AFSCME dental plans want to ensure they keep them.

Workers will rally right after presenting their first contract proposal to administrators on Monday,
May 7. Expect to see lots of AFSCME green swarming the plaza, presenting great opportunities for B-roll and sound.


WHAT: AFSCME Council 5 members rally to kick off their contract campaign with the theme, “United We Bargain, Divided We Beg!”

WHO: Hundreds of workers who are members of six different AFSCME Council 5 locals

WHEN: Monday, May 7, from noon to 1 p.m.

WHERE: Hennepin County Government Center, North Plaza, 300 S. 6th St., Minneapolis