Front Line Workers Say "Get Vaccinated"

Front line workers, those who can only conduct their work in-person, and all public employees have borne a signifcant share of the burden during the COVID-19 pandemic. For over one year, they have served our state bravely as COVID swept through prisons, offices, group homes, and in many cases workers brought the virus home to their families. 

We have been relying on public employees to keep Minnesota functioning during some of the most difficult and troubling times we have experienced in generations and they are prepared to continue carrying us through to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. By all Minnesotans and Americans remaining vigilant, wearing a mask, social distancing, washing our hands and taking the vaccine when we are offered one, we will be doing our best to slow the spread of the virus, put a hold on increasing number of virus variants, and save lives. 

Our union has fought behind-the-scenes and in public to push forward more front line workers to the top of the priority list. We won! After our efforts, the Minnesota Department of Health moved correctional officers, security counselors, and other workers up the priority list to receive the vaccine. You worked with us to tell your story and often put forward heartbreaking stories to elected officials and health professionals and it worked. 

At a vaccine event AFSCME Council 5 partnered on with the Minnesota Department of Corrections on March 23, 2021, nearly 100 staff at the correctional facility in Saint Cloud, MN received their vaccine and many more events have been scheduled at all other correctional facilities across our state.

All public employees deserve and demand safe workplaces, safe staffing, and access to the vaccine to protect themselves and their families, friends, and communities. By taking the vaccine, we are actively working together to set the stage for the rebuilding of our new future. Going "back to normal" cannot be our goal. "Back to normal" represents a lack of safe staffing, unsafe working conditions, and a lack of focus on the bread and butter issues that the working-class needs now more than ever: Strong contracts with wages that reflect their powerful contributions to our society, health care and a pension they can depend on, safe staffing, and so much more.

AFSCME Council 5 stands with our front line workers and every one of our 43,000 members who truly "Make Minnesota Happen!"

Watch this video and heed the advice of front line workers and schedule your appointment to receive the vaccine when you are offered one.