Fall | Winter 2013 Edition Volume XVI - Issue #4
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS PUBLIC AND LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYEES’ UNION
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 320 EXECUTIVE BOARD REELECTED AFTER OUTSTANDING STEWARD SEMINAR
IN THIS ISSUE... 2. Secretary-Treasurer’s Report, Brian Aldes 3. Vice President’s Report, Sami Gabriel 4. President’s Report, Joanne Derby 5. Recording-Secretary’s Report, Curt Swenson 6. Let’s Pass H.F. No. 884, S.F. No. 998 in 2014! 7. Let’s Get Ready for 2014 Lobby Day 7. Minnesota Teamsters Credit Union
FIND US ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER
OFFICERS AND STAFF
Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer Joanne Derby President/Business Agent Sami Gabriel Vice President/Business Agent Curt Swenson Recording-Secretary/Business Agent Marcia (Marty) Lamb Trustee, St. Paul ISD 625 Richard Wheeler Trustee, MSUAASF Alston Dutchin Trustee, U of M Paula Johnston General Counsel
LOCAL 320 SECRETARY-TREASURER’S REPORT
OUTSTANDING STEWARD SEMINAR
By Brian Aldes
steward seminar was outstanding! Over 150 stewards attended and most incredibly 94 NEW stewards attended. It demonstrates how Local 320 is reaching newer and younger members! I participated in a panel discussion on how together we can build union strength at our workplaces. I discussed our communications program, our political and legislative program, our organizing program and the contract campaign process. This year’s special guest was U.S. Senator Al Franken. He addressed the stewards and educated us on the importance of government. The crowd related as all Local 320 members are employed by the government at one level or another. Sen. Franken also described the devastation that the government shutdown caused in addition to the federal sequester. He promised to remain a champion for working people and to protect public employee pensions. Our keynote speaker was Teamsters International Vice President At-Large Al Mixon. Mixon gave a real barnburner of a speech on the importance of Teamster membership; the fight to retain and advance collective bargaining rights; the quest for labor law reform and the importance of holding politicians accountable. It brings me great happiness to report that all Officers and Trustees of Teamsters Local 320 were re-elected by white ballot. “White ballot” meaning the current Executive Board was unopposed. On behalf of myself and the Executive Board, I want to thank all Local 320 members for your continued confidence in our leadership.
This year’s annual
Local 320 Business Agents
Amy Hill Craig Johnson Leland Johnson Michael Kopp Roger Meunier Terry Neuberger Vance Rolfzen Kari Seime Erik Skoog
Communications | Lobbyist
Susan Bastian Ron Phillips Suzanne Slawson Joni Spaulding Kristi Ziegler Katie Ziembo
If you follow my blog on the Teamsters Local 320 website you know I have been reporting a lot on the happenings at the Minnesota Pension Commission. There is a subject of great concern to Local 320 and it involves what is referred to as “pension spiking.” “Pension spiking” refers to the increase in pension benefits by substantially increasing the Final Average Salary (FAS or “High Five”) beyond what is normally expected from normal salary increases. The most common example of spiking is substantially increase pay during the final years of a member’s career through pay increase, job change or overtime. Members only pay in a few years of high contributions yet achieve a lifetime of higher pension benefits. Although “pension spiking” is not a widespread issue, it has been regarded by actuaries as harmful to the financial health of the plan. The Pension Commission has decided to continue studying the issue of “pension spiking” and before any action is recommended they shall investigate exactly who has been involved in the act and what the cumulative results demonstrate.
Minneapolis, MN Local Union Office
8:00am - 4:00pm P: 612-378-8700 F: 612- 331-8948 Toll Free 1-800-637-5430 Online www.teamsterslocal320.org Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Published by Teamsters Local 320 3001 University Ave SE #500 Minneapolis, MN 55414
LOCAL 320 VICE PRESIDENT’S/ DRIVE REPORT
BUILDING STRENGTH FROM WITHIN
By Sami Gabriel
The theme for this
year’s steward seminar was building strength from within. The workshop was facilitated by Rebecca Hanscom, Central Region Coordinator, for the IBT. The workshop was very interactive and drew from the experiences of participants. Stewards were asked the following question: “I am a proud member of Teamsters Local 320 because:
Many Local 320 stewards participated in the exercise and Local 320 is happy to provide some of the names and quotes we received from the workshop. Undoubtedly, Teamsters come from diverse backgrounds, hold many different occupations with many divergent perspectives, but one thing we can all agree on is this: We’re all proud members of Teamsters Local 320 and without our Union and labor contracts we would not have any rights on the job!
“I grew up in a Union family (Carpenters/ Joiners). I saw what happened when many Unions were busted in the 80’s. It had a negative impact on my family. Economically it resulted in frequent layoffs, lower wages, substandard benefits, and overall poor quality of life. My Union gives me the ability to negotiate a better life for myself and my family.” -Eric Thompson, Dodge County
“During the first year at my job, management created policy directives that violated our contract. There was also constant bullying towards union members. Once I became a steward we made things better and we now have regular labor-management meetings.” -Joshua Loahr, Dakota County
“Our Union ensures we have a voice. Local 320 allows workers to voice their concerns without fear of losing their jobs.” -Jefferson Lee, Southwest Minnesota State University
“It’s about job security, wages, benefits and strength in numbers.” -Brenda Zamlen, St. Cloud State University
“Salaries are 30% higher in Minnesota than Right-to-Work FOR LESS North Dakota!” -Douglas Langer,University of Minnesota
LOCAL 320 PRESIDENT’S REPORT
TEAMSTER BENEFITS ON DISPLAY!
By Joanne Derby
The benefits pro-
vided to Teamster members are vast and far above all other labor unions in the State of Minnesota. Did you know the Teamsters Service Bureau provides legal services? If referred by the Service Bureau, a Teamster member will receive a free legal consultation with an attorney and a 25% discount on all legal services for the following issues: • Divorce • Bankruptcy • Workers Comp • Wills, trusts, conservatorship • DUI, Misdemeanor, Child Support. The Service Bureau provides dislocated worker services. In Sherburne County 12 Correctional Officers were enrolled in the program after layoffs: • Six were called back to work; • Three completed a program in Law Enforcement; • One completed a credential as an EMT; • One completed a program to become an LPN; • One took a job and relocated to Florida and five others found new jobs with Service Bureau help. Did you know that the Teamsters Food Shelf was established for all Teamsters in need, not just those on strike or laidoff? If referred by a Teamster Officer or Business Agent, a member in need can receive up to six weeks of food assistance. For more information visit our website WWW.TEAMSTERSLOCAL320.ORG
Joint Council 32 Teamsters Service Bureau Representatives at Local 320 Steward Seminar From Right to Left: Executive Director Jean C. Dunn and Advocate Cindy Whelan
• • • • • • • • • • Auto, Homeowners and Rental Insurance Car Rental and Computer Discounts Life and Accident Insurance Retiree Health Insurance Credit Card and Union SAFE Entertainment Discounts Mortgage and Real Estate Vision Care Program Save on Vacations At&T Wireless Services
LOCAL 320 RECORDING-SECRETARY’S REPORT
AL MIXON BRINGS DOWN THE HOUSE
By Curt Swenson
Al Mixon, Teamsters Interna-
tional Vice President At-Large, was the keynote speaker at Local 320’s annual steward seminar. Mixon has worked for Local 507 (Cleveland, Ohio) since 1982 and has more than 31 years as a Teamster. Al joined Local 507 in 1977 as a factory worker at Mameco International. In 1982 he became a parttime organizer for Teamsters Local 507, in 1993 was elected Vice President, in 2000 was elected President, and in 2003 was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Mixon’s Teamster career highlights include being a full time Business Agent and Organizer, Executive Board Member of Teamsters National Black Caucus since 1988 and elected as Chairman in 2008. From 1995 to 2008 he was Vice Chairman of the Teamsters National Black Caucus Central Region. In 2010 he was unanimously appointed to fill a vacancy on the IBT General Executive Board as Vice President At-Large and then elected in 2012 to serve the full term. Al is well respected for his hard work and dedication to the members and to the Union. At the steward seminar Mixon discussed Ohio Senate Bill 5 (SB5) which limited collective bargaining rights for public employees in the state. Among other provisions, (SB5) prevented unions from striking and charging fair share dues to employees who opt out. Senate Bill 5 was repealed November 8, 2011 by Ohio referendum after a major campaign of Union Firefighters, Police Officers and Teachers rallied against the measure. Ohio Teamsters led the charge to repeal the bad law and 60% of Ohio voters agreed! Mixon called governors like Ohio’s John Kasich, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Indiana’s Mitch Daniels and Michigan’s Rick Snyder “Governors Gone Wild!” He said Teamsters must hold politicians accountable at all levels of government. Mixon didn’t mince words when he addressed America’s rising income inequality and the stagnating wages of most middle-class workers. He said the great equalizer for our membership has been our great Teamster contracts and we must do all we can to protect them. “The Teamsters Union—the blue and gold has been the blueprint for all Unions in America,” said Mixon. “Why is it during a strike scabs cross the line and take the jobs of striking workers? It’s because they want what the Union has—collective bargaining!” Mixon left on a good note saying that the Affordable Care Act (Obama-Care) has been troublesome for the Teamsters Union. But urged us to have patience with the process and to remember why we supported the ACA in the first place: to provide for universal health care.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 320 SUPPORT BILL(s) H.F. NO. 884, S.F. NO. 998!
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, 911 Dispatchers, Hennepin County Security Officers and local Probation Officers are subjected to increasing job-related stress and unsafe working conditions. The number of safety incidents continues to escalate in addition to an overall increase of violent offenders. Teamsters Local 320 maintains that these rising trends must allow 911, Probation and Security the same retirement opportunities as their colleagues in local corrections.
SIGN OUR PETITION IN SUPPORT OF H.F. NO. 884, S.F. NO. 998
Sign your name and support Minnesota’s 911 Safety Telecommunicators, Probation Officers and Hennepin County Security Officers who ensure public safety and the integrity of the criminal justice system. They work side-by-side with local Correctional Officers and are subject to increasing job-related stress and unsafe working conditions. They have earned the right to have the same retirement opportunities as their colleagues in local corrections. H.F. No. 884 and S.F. No. 998 will provide 911 Safety Telecommunicators, Probation Officers and Hennepin County Security Officers the same retirement benefits as local Correctional Officers.
2014 LOBBY DAY JUST AROUND THE CORNER
Lobby Day is an event for Local 320 members to advance the Union’s legislative objectives at the State Capitol. Members are to educate lawmakers on the importance of Teamster professions which are vital to the State’s education policies, public safety, social services, justice system and overall economy. Any Local 320 member can register for Lobby Day. It is our goal for each participant to meet with both their representative and senator. As soon as a member registers for Lobby Day, Teamsters MN D.R.I.V.E. will contact the corresponding legislators to set up meetings. D.R.I.V.E. will also schedule meetings with important committee chairs. Lobby Day is strictly a volunteer only event. However, the Local will pay mileage and boarding for members who reside over 50 miles from 3001 University Ave. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55414. The Local will also provide a light breakfast and lunch for all attendees. Open enrollment for Lobby Day will begin January 2014 . A tentative date for Lobby Day is Wednesday, March 19, 2014. We will post all Lobby Day details on our website www.teamsterslocal320.org
MINNESOTA TEAMSTERS PUBLIC & LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYEES’ UNION LOCAL # 320 3001 UNIVERSITY AVE SE STE 500 MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55414-9946
The Teamsters Service Bureau provides FREE CONFIDENTIAL services for you and your family. We can assist you with balancing and managing many of life’s challenges. Remember... Problems and stress can and do happen! Call the Service Bureau today. We’re here to help! 612-676-3700 (or 24-hour toll free 1-800-979-9725)
Our professional counselors can help you with: • • • • • Emotional Concerns Financial Problems Family/Marriage Issues Chemical Dependency Stress/Anxiety and Depression • Legal Concerns