News

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents recently approved their 2020 budget, which includes tuition increases, the possibility of health care hikes, and a wage increase that doesn’t do enough

During business hours, Crystal Roquette keeps the wheels of justice moving smoothly. She’s a senior court clerk in Washington County Court Scheduling Division, where she’s worked for the past seven years.

After a full work day, Crystal turns her attention to her busy home of six. With four children under the age of 10, this can be more daunting than the business of administering justice to thousands of Minnesotans in her day job.

State employees:

Push Week is over – and we have a contract agreement! This tentative contract agreement includes big gains for our workers, and your negotiations team unanimously recommends approval.

Get all the details on the tentative agreement at MemberLink now: go to members.afscmemn.org and click Documents, then Bargaining Updates.

Back in 2015, workers at the Children’s Adolescent Behavioral Health Services facility found out about a budget plan to transition the program out of the state’s hands and into the private sector and got right to work opposing it. AFSCME members from Local 701, alongside community allies and elected officials from across the state, fought hard to keep the program alive. They pointed out that many of the youth in the workers’ care would be unable to find housing or adequate treatment with private providers, who can turn away clients arbitrarily.

Last week members of over a dozen labor unions were joined for a breakfast roundtable by a very special guest: freshman Congressman Dean Phillips.

Congressman Phillips was elected to represent Minnesota’s Third Congressional District in 2018, becoming the first Democrat to represent the district in decades. He defeated five-term incumbent Erik Paulsen, who supported corporations over workers, cut taxes for the super-rich, and voted in virtual lock-step with extreme right-wing Republicans while he was in office.

Last week, members of AFSCME Local 1307 joined with members of MNA and MAPE at the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center (AMRTC) for an informational picket. Workers at AMRTC stood together to protest unsafe working conditions at the facility and to hold management accountable to protecting workers on the job.

“We have a lot of dedicated health workers here who are committed to doing a great job serving our patients, said Lance Lemieux, the outgoing president of AFSCME Local 1307. “But we want to make sure we have the tools to do it, and that we’re safe in doing it.”

As AFSCME Local 66 celebrates the union’s 100th anniversary this year, members are looking back on their union’s long, rich history – and how it’s impacted their lives, families and communities. For Sandy Pernu Wallin, the AFSCME connection runs deep. Sandy – a second generation Local 66 member - is organizing her AFSCME siblings to carry her family’s passion for union activism into the local’s next century.

For 30 years, Sandy’s mom Mitzie Pernu worked as a 911 dispatcher in Virginia, MN and was a passionate activist in Local 66.

Some people have wild stories about their coworkers. Jill’s, though, are unique.

Jill Erzar is a zookeeper at Como Zoo in St Paul. Her coworkers are giraffes, bison, reindeer, kudu, zebra, and other hooved animals of all shapes and sizes.

Growing up, Jill always loved animals. She considered becoming a veterinarian, and was studying animal health in college before she took an internship at Como Zoo.

“By Day Two, I was a goner,” Jill said. “I knew this was what I wanted to do.”