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Why Join?

  • Do you want to build a better and more secure economic future for you and your family?
  • Are you hurting from a lack of quality, affordable healthcare coverage?
  • Have you ever been unfairly disciplined by your supervisor or forced to accept a demotion, suspension or other punishment you didn’t deserve?

If you answered yes to any of these questions it’s time to consider forming a union with AFSCME. With more than 1.6 million active and retired members nationwide, AFSCME is the strongest and most respected public services union in the country.

We consistently fight for and secure the best wages, benefits and working conditions for our members. Since so much of public service workers’ rights, benefits and funding are impacted by the actions of elected officials, we maintain a strong presence in the corridors of government, fighting to protect our members and holding politicians accountable for their actions. We stand ready to do the same for you and your colleagues.

Get in touch with us to have a preliminary conversation and to learn more. All conversations are strictly confidential and you will not be pressured to move forward until you are ready.

Take action to save public employees and the Togo & Willow River correctional facilities

Click here for an update on DOC operations and our work for background information. Check out our website SavePublicJobs.com!

Proposed script: 

Representative XXX / Senator XXX

My name is XXX and I live in XXX, Minnesota. I am your constituent and I vote. I am calling you today to urge you to do what is right and fight for funding that will preserve the public services that the Togo and Willow River correctional facilities provide and that every Minnesotan benefits from. The very reason why the Challenge Incarceration Program (CIP) has such a high rate of success in rehabilitating offenders is because of the dedicated staff that carry out the CIP program while ensuring the safety and protection of both offenders and staff. The very location of these facilities in Togo and Willow River, Minnesota contributes to the lower recividim rate and prison re-entry than many other institutions -this is not the time to close down these facilities, it is time to invest in them! Over the last 10 years, it was calculated that the success of CIP saved the State of Minnesota over $6 million due to less offenders going back to prison. The dedicated public servants of the MN Department of Corrections, the residents of Togo, Willow River, the many local communities around the facilities and all Minnesotans benefit strongly from the CIP program being housed where they are. Closing these two institutions puts public safety at risk and the livelihoods of over 100 of our state's most dedicated public servants, who alone put more than $3.2 million back into local businesses, schools, and programs. We need you to fight to keep Togo and Willow River open. I am watching your actions, not just your words. 

Find who represents you: https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

Sign our petition to Legislative leaders and Governor Walz to keep Togo and Willow River open
Write a personal letter to your legislators and tell them to keep Togo and Willow River open


Members are working together to create and distribute critical homemade personal protective equipment. More help is needed! Click here to sign up and volunteer! Click here for easy step-by-step instrutions on how to make masks. Individuals or AFSCME locals are encouraged to also donate to this effort by sending a check to 300 Hardman Ave. S. South St. Paul, MN 55075 with the memo line of “AFSCME Council 5 COVID Fund.”

If you have heard or seen union members and locals stepping up, please send an email to [email protected] so we can pay tribute!


Layoffs and furloughs are happening around our state and country as a result of a loss in revenue due to increased unemployment, lack of sales tax due to closures of bars and restaurants, and more. We cannot put corporate interests above the health and safety of workers. As a result, we need the US Senate to pass the Heroes Act passed by the US House containing $1 trillion in state and local aid! Send a message to Congress by signing this petitionMitch McConnell said that he would rather let state and local governments go bankrupt than further invest in public services or working people. That is abhorant! This is an all hands on deck moment!


Senator (last name) or Representative (last name), 

This is _____ , with AFSCME Local ___,

       Thank you for listening to our members’ concerns and securing $150 billion in funding for state and local governments, to be used for COVID-related expenses and additional assistance for education, child care, and more programs contained in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. Our members deliver critical public services that every Minnesotan can access. 

I’m asking for your help again to fight for additional federal aid as the US Senate prepares another COVID-related aid package after the US House passed the Heroes Act, which includes:

  • $1 trillion in additional aid for all state and local governments and the flexibility to use these grants and the $150 billion allocated through the CARES Act for all necessary public services, including those that are not specific to COVID-19 response. 

We ask you to support these appropriations to maintain and strengthen our shared values. Without this federal aid, public services will be delayed or denied and public employees will be furloughed or laid off. We cannot let our communities down by this happening. Thank you. 

Contact Information for the Minnesota Congressional Delegation: 

US Senator Amy Klobuchar (202) 224-3244

US Senator Tina Smith (202) 224-5641

Jim Hagedorn, 1st Congressional District (202) 225-2472

Angie Craig, 2nd Congressional District (202) 225-2271

Dean Phillips, 3rd Congressional District (202) 225-2871

Betty McCollum, 4th Congressional District (202) 225-6631

Ilhan Omar, 5th Congressional District (202) 225-4755

Tom Emmer, 6th Congressional District (202) 225-2331

Collin Peterson, 7th Congressional District (202) 225-2165

Pete Stauber, 8th Congressional District (202) 225-6211

Find your US Representative here


Tell your Senator: PASS the HEROES Act!


Demand online voter registration nationwide


Unsafe Working Conditions Due to COVID-19? Learn About Your Right to Refuse!


Become an advocate for universal, single payer health care for ALL as a right and not a privilege

Workers are worried about how they will afford to pay for exorbitantly priced prescription drugs and are watching loved ones and themselves being hurt by a system that benefits the few at the top at the expense of the rest of us. We need Congress to pass legislation guaranteeing healthcare for ALL.



If we fight together, we can truly modernize our systems to care for the overall well-being of Minnesotans and all Americans. We have fallen behind as a nation and state with regard to funding mental health services. In this time of many struggles, unknowns, and social distancing and isolation, now more than ever we must come together and listen to our friends, family, coworkers and perfect strangers and fight for a properly-funded and staffed, modernized mental health care system. Join our member-led weekly mental health check in, Tuesdays at 9am and 7pm.


Take to social media 

Use the hashtag #FundTheFrontLines and #AFSCME5Proud and share a short video of how this pandemic is affecting you, your family, friends and community and why it is critical that politicians and leaders hear the concerns of working people. We need you to share your voice. Please tag us at @afscmemn5 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or email us directly at [email protected] with your stories, videos, and/or comments. Our union family must continue to share our perspectives and stories with leaders, members, and the public.


Library Workers! Please fill out this survey! 


Sign this "thank you" note to express your support for Governor Walz's decisive, evidence-based directives!


Tell the Trump Administration to FULLY activate the Defense Production Act 


As a union, we have the “People Power” to fight back against corporate greed and put the interests of working people at the front of the line to make our communities safer and more prosperous. We can only ensure this is a possibility if we fight together, share our stories, and stay connected.

Siblings, “We Make Minnesota Work.” We must remain united and continue the good fight for the benefit of working people.