Our union wishes you a joyous, safe, and memorable Labor Day weekend!

15 years ago today, tragedy struck our state and sent shockwaves throughout our country.

AFSCME Council 5 members have been on the frontlines in our workplaces during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, risking infection of not only themselves, but of their loved ones.

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.

When weather makes it unsafe to travel, Jeff Paulson – better known as Scuffy – hits the road. Scuffy works at MnDOT District 6, which covers Southern Minnesota. In the summer, Scuffy and his MnDOT team inspect bridges, maintain signage, and fix potholes and other road damage. But in the winter, they plow snow.

As union members, every day we see the attacks on collective bargaining, our pensions, our health care and our overall mission of social, racial and economic justce. One significant way we know that works to push back on these anti-worker groups is to VOTE!

The Election Committee has completed its count of the ballots cast by the delegates to the 2020 AFSCME Council 5 Convention and wishes to report the following results.

AFSCME Council 5 is very pleased that the Minnesota House just voted to pass a robust bonding and supplemental agency funding bill that will invest in making our workplaces safer, create tens of thousands of livable wage jobs and funding to save the Togo and Willow River CIP program that our members have fought so hard to save. This is one step toward this bill becoming law and we call on the Minnesota Senate to swiftly pass this legislation that will improve our communities and workplaces and invest in our public and private sector workforces.

The Mike Buesing Local Union Development Award is presented each year to an individual member, local union or group of members or locals who have contributed significantly to internal mobilization and local union development.

We're thrilled to have presented this year's award to Local 999 -St. Stephen's Human Services. Local 999 recently ratified their first tentative agreement, all while often negotiating virtually due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

This year we are honoring a local who has exhibited extraordinary service to our union and projected a bold, strong vision of what it means to be a leader, an effective communicator, and a change agent.

We in the Communications Department at Council 5 work every day as your storytellers and to put a public face to your work, but there is no way we could do our job effectively without the sustained pressure that all of you put on employers, legislators and others to do the right thing. 

The Rick Scott Political Activism Award is presented each year to an individual member, a local union, or a group of members or local unions in recognition of outstanding work in electoral, legislative and other political activity on behalf of our union. This years' award was presented to AFSCME Council 5's Corrections Policy Committee (CPC). 

The Jerry Wurf Organizing Award is given each year to an individual member, local, or group of workers who work tirelessly and effectively at organizing, empowering workers, and growing our union. Jerry Wurf, after whom the award is named, got his start in the labor movement picking up jobs in New York City cafeterias and organizing his co-workers to form a union.