Fighting to Protect the Middle Class
Stop the 15% Public Employee Slash in Minnesota
INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS PUBLIC AND LAW ENFORCEMENT EMPLOYEES
Spring 2011 Edition
V o l u m e XIV • I s s u e # 1
Solidarity in Wisconsin
The battle is on to save public employee jobs, bargaining rights, benefits and pay. This issue of Local 320 is dedicated to public employees throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.
IN THIS ISSUE:
2) Sue Mauren War on Public Employees 3) Real Scoop on Pensions Polar Plunge for Special Olympics 4) Stop the Slash! 5) Solidarity in Madison 6) Correctional Officer of the Year Hoffa Scholarship - APPLY NOW 7) Stop the Slash ads
LocaL 320 SEcrETarY-TrEaSUrEr’S rEPorT
LocaL 320 offIcErS & STaff Sue Mauren Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer Joanne Derby President/Business Agent Brian aldes Vice President/Business Agent Sami Gabriel Recording Secretary/ Business Agent Marcia (Marty) Lamb Trustee, St. Paul ISD 625 richard Wheeler Trustee, MNSCU alston Dutchin Trustee, U of M Paula Johnston General Counsel Local 320 Business agents John Avery Gregory Burnes Mike Carey George Cejka Mike Golen Leland Johnson Merl King Mike O’Donnell (O.D.) Tom Perkins Kari Seime Curtis Swenson Special Projects Director Erik Skoog Support Staff Susan Bastian Ron Phillips Suzanne Slawson Joni Spaulding Marcia Torgerson Kristi Ziegler Katie Ziembo Minneapolis, MN Local Union office 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. P: 612-378-8700 F: 612-331-8948 Toll free 1-800-637-5430 online www.teamsterslocal320.org E-mail Local320@teamsterslocal320.org
War’s Been Declared on Public Employees Fight Back at Stoptheslash.com
By Sue Mauren
We are at a critical point in time for America’s union members. The war that has been declared on public employees and our unions has culminated with the line being drawn in the sand next door in Wisconsin. Had it not been for our hard work in electing Mark Dayton as governor, we could easily have found ourselves in the same situation in Minnesota. Typical public employee wages of $40,000 a year, or a pension of $1300 per month did not cause this economic meltdown. But the real culprits, the Wall Street banks, have done a great job of laying the blame on dedicated public servants and their unions. This attack is a thinly veiled attempt at union busting in the public sector. City, county, or university work can’t be sent overseas to dodge unions as they are in the private sector, so they needed a different scheme. The methods should not surprise us; it’s the old divide and conquer tactic of turning workers against each other and our own economic interests. Instead of asking why workers should bear the brunt of a crisis not of our making, workers are being lured into thinking that if they don’t have a pension or health care, no one should. Worker is being pitted against worker, public employees against private, union versus non-union, and the only ones benefitting are the Wall Street investors and the corporations who are making record profits. The struggle in Wisconsin belongs to all of us. We should all be angry with politicians manipulating an economic crisis to destroy a standard of living and the very unions who have fought to create it. As General President Hoffa said in Madison, “The Teamsters Union stands with the employees of Wisconsin. This is a battle for all of labor, all working families, across the country.”
“The Teamsters Union stands with the employees of Wisconsin. This is a battle for all of labor, all working families, across the country.”
-Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa addressing workers in Madison The American dream - the concept of each generation of workers faring a little bit better than the previous - is only working for the wealthy and the corporations. As the economy gets tougher for the typical family, corporate profits are hitting record highs.
Inside the pages of this newsletter you will find important information about what Local 320 is doing to fight back, and what each member can do. At this critical point in time, we must stand up for what is right. Members can do this by going to our new web page at www.stoptheslash.com and visiting the International Union’s site at www. stopthewaronworkers.org.
Published By Teamsters Local 320 3001 University Ave. SE #500 Minneapolis, MN 55414
The Real Scoop on Public Employee Pensions
By Brian Aldes, Vice President/Business agent
Public employee pensions are all the talk these days. What’s the real scoop with Minnesota’s pension systems? Our pensions differ from those in many states in that public employees in Minnesota contribute to their pensions. The employee contribution is roughly equal to that of the employer in all three major systems: Teachers Retirement Association (TRA), Minnesota State Retirement System (MSRS), and the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA). This is a very important point to make when defending our pension systems, as the media would have Minnesotans believe that taxpayers alone are funding our pensions. While the stock market decline in 2008 adversely affected Minnesota’s pension systems, all three made great headway in addressing the shortfall with reforms implemented during the 2010 legislative session. In order to address shortfalls, changes were made that affect current and future employees, as well as those that are retired and receiving pension benefits. The Directors of all three systems are cautiously optimistic that with the 2010 legislative reform package and a rising stock market, all three pensions are on a good path.
The media would have Minnesotans believe taxpayers alone are funding our pensions.
Our pension benefits are not extravagant. In the Coordinated Plan, which covers 90 percent of PERA’s active members and retirees, 62 percent of retirees receive less than $1,000 a month. The overall average pension is $1300 per month. Hardly the gravy train the press is portraying. More information about each pension system can be found on their web sites.
St. Paul Teaching Assistant Takes The Plunge For Special Olympics
By Sami Gabriel, recording Secretary/Business agent
On February 12, a group of people jumped in the cold waters of Foster Arend Lake in Rochester. It is The Polar Bear Plunge that benefits Special Olympics Minnesota, hosted by Law Enforcement of Minnesota. There are 14 cold jump locations around the state. One of our own Local 320 members is a “super plunger” who made 24 icy jumps in 24 hours. Dave Holm is a special education teaching assistant at Bridgeview School in the St. Paul School District. He has been a teaching assistant for the past 24 years and he currently works with children who are 7-10 years old.
Dave jumped into the water 24 times in a 24 - hour period. It’s a grueling schedule, and only a few are hearty enough to go through with it.
Dave started participating in the Polar Bear Plunge a few years ago and has made 4 single jumps in Maple Grove and 2 multiple jumps. This year was his second doing the super plunge, which means Dave jumped into the water 24 times in a 24 - hour period. It’s a grueling schedule and only a few are hearty enough to go through with it. You also have to raise a minimum amount of money for Special Olympics to be eligible. This year, Local 320 sponsored Dave to help him reach his fundraising goal of $3,000. The plungers in Rochester raised over $147,000 in 2011. He is one of 9419 jumpers state wide, but more impressive is he is one of only seven super plungers. Dave started jumping to check off one of his life goals on his personal bucket list. He now jumps because he is passionate about Special Olympics. Special Olympics services children and adults with intellectual disabilities in 17 sports. Minnesota has over 6,800 special
Local 320 member and super plunger Dave Holm (far right in both photos)
athletes, all of whom are encouraged to transform themselves by working together with other athletes and the volunteers who coach them. The Special Olympics have been around since 1973 and the first polar bear plunge was held in Como Lake in 1998 with 100 jumpers. Dave is a full-time teaching assistant. During his free time, he enjoys boating on the St. Croix River with family and friends and loves baseball with his son and playing games with his daughter. Congratulations, Dave on your awesome fundraising skills for such a worthy cause!
Attention Local 320 Members. We Need You to Help Stop the 15% Public Employee Slash NOW. It’s Easy.
go The Website at www.Stoptheslash.com.
Check out our ads running throughout greater Minnesota.
follow the directions to contact your legislators. The sample letter linked at the bottom of the page will help you formulate your own letter.
LocaL 320 NEWS
Thomas Aagard Of Wadena County Earns Correctional Officer Of The Year Award
By Joanne Derby, President/Business agent
Thomas Aagard, a 23-year employee at the Wadena County Sheriff’s Office, received the Bruce Eckley Outstanding Correctional Professional of the Year award during a jail conference training recently in Mahnomen. The award goes to someone who demonstrates ethics and professionalism when dealing with inmates, the public and co-workers; displays and promotes a positive attitude; is self-motivated and demonstrates leadership and decision making abilities; supports administration; has a proactive and progressive approach in taking on extra duties and responsibilities. Tom also demonstrated these qualifications in his capacity as a Local 320 steward over the last seven years. One of the areas Tom specializes in at the Sheriff’s Office is ‘suspense files,’ in which Wadena County has ranked number one in the state the last two years. This award was part of the West Central Jail Administrators Association Correctional Officers Training. Congratulations Tom! At the Awards Banquet, left to right: Sheriff Mike Carr, Tom’s wife Kim, Thomas Aagard, Erika Waldahl, Jail Administrator Tom Speed, Sharon Blair and Dennis Martin. Erika, Sharon and Dennis are Jailer/Dispatcher co-workers.
New Poll Confirms Americans Support Workers’ Rights
Americans strongly oppose laws taking away the collective bargaining power of public employees, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup poll. The poll found 61% would oppose a law in their state similar to such a proposal in Wisconsin, compared to 33% who would favor such a law. (USA TODAY – 2/23/11)
Democrat Republican Independent Voter Education — Is thE tEamstERs’
non-paRtIsan polItIcal actIon commIttEE.
The name says it all.
For more information, contact the Joint council 32 DRIVE office at 612-331-5514 or visit our website at www.teamstersjc32.org.
Apply Now for James R Hoffa Scholarship
As winter comes to a close, many high school seniors begin making plans for their futures. Some will move on to various colleges throughout the country while many will stay right here in Minnesota. Regardless if their future plans include a technical trade school or a four year degree, scholarships are a great way to help offset the rising costs of education. This is why the Teamsters are so proud to be part of four great scholarship programs; James r Hoffa Memorial / Harold J Yates Memorial / Lowell Lynch / International Teamster Women’s caucus.
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. Our professional counselors can help you with: • motional concerns E • inancial problems F • amily/marriage issues F • lcohol/drug abuse A • tress/anxiety and depression S • egal concerns L Remember…Problems and stress happen to everyone. Call the Service Bureau. We’re here to help! 612-676-3700 (or 24-hour toll free 1-800-979-9725)
If you have a child who is graduating from high school this spring, please go to www.teamsterslocal320.org. Click onto “benefits and scholarships” for more information. If you have a child who is graduating from high school this spring and they have not yet received the scholarship packet, please contact our office immediately or go to www.teamsterslocal320.org. Click onto benefits and scholarships for more information. Page 6
Teamsters Joint council 32 is now on facebook Join us at: Teamsters Joint council Thirty Two
Local 320 is Sending the Message Across Minnesota
Stop the 15% Slash!
These ads appeared in the Twin cities, Duluth, Mankato, rochester, St. cloud, Brainerd and Bemidji.
They were accompanied by radio ads you can listen to at:
Teamsters Local 320 3001 University Ave. SE #500 Minneapolis, MN 55414