News

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

Minnesota winters are tough. In Rochester, several blizzards brought the entire town to a standstill. Major roads and highways were closed, sometimes for days at a time.

Last summer, paid leave bought Justin and Amanda Aurelius something priceless: time off together with their new baby.

The following is a statement on the February budget forecast from AFSCME Council 5 Executive Director John Westmoreland:

“Though today’s revenue forecast is good news for this year, it indicates that the economy may be slowing down. This forecast presents us with a choice: should we cut corners and restrict services, or raise the revenue needed to provide the outcomes Minnesotans expect and deserve? For AFSCME Council 5, the answer is clear. We need to resist fear and invest in what makes our state great – our neighbors.

Over one hundred AFSCME Council 5 correctional officers and other staff from across the state ascended upon the Minnesota Capitol Tuesday morning. They began their annual Corrections Lobbying Day by packing the hearing room for the first hearing of HF1237/SF1678, a bill to ban private prisons from doing business with the state of Minnesota. AFSCME members filled the hearing room, and so many attended that a second overflow room had to be set up at the last minute.

AFSCME social workers fight for the right to continue providing high-quality service to their elderly patients, who are among Minnesota’s most vulnerable residents.

AFSCME Council 5 is excited about the investments outlined in Governor Tim Walz’ budget proposal. We strongly support his plan to invest in crucial programs and create new revenue sources for public services.

AFSCME looks forward to working alongside Governor Walz, Lt. Governor Flanagan and those serving in the Minnesota Legislature to advance our vision of One Minnesota that’s built around shared values so that every kid has the opportunity to thrive, nobody has to choose between paying the rent or paying for medicine, and the communities where we work and live can prosper.

“This is the most rewarding job I’ve ever had,” says Takeesha Coon, Local 3558 steward.  For the staff at the Spirit Valley YWCA in Duluth, going in to work is about a lot more than earning a paycheck. It’s about building community, helping people and getting working families and their kids off to a healthy start. “Having a strong AFSCME presence at work makes it even better,” she adds.

The AFL-CIO Community Services Program, a national partnership between the United Way and the AFL-CIO, exists to provide resources, services and assistance to union workers and their families during times of hardship. “In Minnesota, there are AFL-CIO United Way partnership programs based out of Duluth, Minneapolis and St. Paul,” Rachel Loeffler-Kemp explains. The focus of the program, she says, is supporting working families. “We know that if we can help support them and the issues they face, our whole community is stronger.”
Receiving the MCA award has reinvigorated Gundgovi’s commitment to serving his parolees and the public. He says it’s an honor to be acknowledged, but the real reward is knowing he’s helping rehabilitate parolees to better themselves and strengthen our communities, and knowing his AFSCME colleagues have his back and share his values.
As AFSCME members, we’re committed to serving the public and giving back. This holiday season, AFSCME Locals around the state lived our union values by taking part in a variety of community giving programs. It’s just one more way we’re walking our talk: helping our neighbors, lifting up working families and strengthening the communities where we work and live.