Happy New Year! Looking Forward

As we wrap up 2021 and begin a new year, I wanted to reach out to you and share some highlights of our union in 2021 and our path forward in 2022. I wish you and your loved ones a happy new year. There are members of our union who may have an empty seat at the table this holiday season. Please know that your union family is here for you and always will be. I am beyond proud of the member activism and good deeds our members and local unions have engaged in over the last year and the community services you often provide. We take care of one another, we fight for one another, and we always have each other's back. That's the power of your union family. Together, we are and always will be AFSCME Strong!

A Budget for Our Future

Three months after I became your Executive Director, the COVID-19 pandemic began and I often said that our union would come out of the pandemic stronger than when it started. This once-in-a-generation global pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 800,000 Americans, including many dear members of our union family. They will always be honored and remembered, including those who were exposed to COVID-19 at work and may still be experiencing long haul COVID-19 symptoms. 

The AFSCME Council 5 Executive Board recently approved the 2022 budget for our union that I presented. It invests savings we have realized during the course of the pandemic in member and local union empowerment, cybersecurity and technological upgrades to protect members' data and our networks, investing in our council's workforce, member and local trainings, and so much more that will proactively position our union to seize upon the many opportunities we will face in the year ahead. 

Be bold and proud of your union membership and please encourage those around you to consider joining state, local, municipal or private/special sector employment that is represented by our union. There are many good paying union jobs that need to be filled in order to keep Minnesota working. In the new year, we will expand upon our identified goals of external and internal organizing and pushing for effective recruitment and retention plans for hiring workers in our bargaining units. This will be essential to increase safe staffing in our workplaces and emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion of all in the hiring and retention process.

In our post-Janus world, we must earn the membership of every member of our union. We will ensure we continue to be strong fiscal stewards to proudly represent our 43,000 members in the workplace, the halls of power, and our communities. The diversity of background, zip code, race, gender, and political belief in our union makes us stronger. We are a union that truly welcomes ALL.

As we head into 2022, I know there will be anti-worker forces actively working to take away your rights, silence your voice, and take away your pension, health insurance and other earned benefits. But our union family will always fight back against these attacks through unity and member activism. Our union is strong because of you! 

Be sure to check out our additional materials below. I wish you a very Happy New Year and wish you and your loved ones happiness, joy, and good health in the new year!

In solidarity,

Julie Bleyhl, Executive Director, AFSCME Council 5

2021 Annual Report

Click here to download our 2021 AFSCME Council 5 Annual Report detailing our union's highlights and successes from this year and the incredible work of our local unions, leaders and rank-and-file members, organizing victories, legislative and political highlights, and more. 

Organizing Victories

We welcomed hundreds of new members to the AFSCME Council 5 family, including workers at the Minnesota Historical Society, Hennepin County Paralegals, Roseville Public Schools Cultural Liaisons, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Lifeguards and others. And Walker Art Center workers reached their first contract that treats them with dignity and respect. We will continue to expand our external organizing campaigns to ensure we bring new bargaining units into the AFSCME family and grow our "people power".

Union Difference

Your union membership provides you a voice in the workplace, including a vote and voice in your union contract. These rights are often under attack. The facts are clear: Your union membership and signing up new members to join brings tangible and real benefits to you, your co workers, and loved ones. Click here to learn about AFSCME Advantage discounts and benefits. Are you or close family members looking to expand your education for free? Learn about AFSCME Free College and earn a free Associates or Bachelor's degree or certificate!

2021 Legislative Voting Record

Click here to see how your lawmaker voted on critical issues that directly affect you, your co workers, loved ones, and communities. Instead of hearing lawmakers' rhetoric and words, your union ensures we look at their actual votes and actions to hold them accountable to our shared values as working people. It is clear where your legislators stand on our issues... Use these facts as you go to the ballot box during elections or when talking to your lawmakers during the legislative session or in a local event.


AFSCME Front Line Workers Make Minnesota Happen and Deserve Front Line Worker Bonus Pay

We Deserve Safe Staffing and Respect

Tax the Rich and Fully Fund Public Services