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Fa l l 2 0 1 1 E d i t i o n
V o l u m e XIV • I s s u e # 2
See page 2
IN THIS ISSUE:
Local 320 Stewards Pack Seminar
See page 6
Scan the code to sign up for Teamsters Local 320 Action Alerts Scan the code to sign into the Teamsters Local 320 Members Only Page
2) Sue Mauren - Forward Gallop! 3) Brian Aldes - Public Service in Jeopardy Sami Gabriel - DRIVE Report 4) Member Story 5) Food Shelf Merle King 6) 2011 Stewards Seminar 7) Get Your Gallop On!
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 Halla Elrashidi Craig Johnson Leland Johnson Merl King Mike O’Donnell (O.D.) Vance Rolfson Kari Seime Erik Skoog Curtis Swenson communications Director Gus Froemke 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
Teamsters Local 320 ... Forward Gallop!
By Sue Mauren
The War on Workers has been waged across our nation from New York to California and everywhere between in the form of union-busting legislation and policies, especially against public employees. Minnesotans have been spared by nothing more than the threat Governor Mark Dayton’s veto pen, which we have counted on time after time. Anti-union legislators control both the Minnesota House and Senate and we have never before seen such hostility toward workers. In response to this war, Local 320 has initiated its new hard hitting campaign: Forward Gallop. Forward Gallop is designed to give Teamsters a platform to fight back against relentless attacks from the enemies of labor. Like never before, we must respond to every attack, mischaracterization, or innuendo against Teamsters and Minnesota public employees. The great D.H. Lawrence quote goes: “The horse, the horse! The symbol of surging potency and power of movement, of action.” Local 320 drew from this quote for inspiration because as Teamsters our symbol is the horse and wheel, representing movement and action for over 100 years. For Local 320 Teamsters, Forward Gallop is our call to action! Our Union has produced a counter offensive and rapid response operation through emails, texts, and social media. We have constructed a new userfriendly web site equipped with a ‘members only’ section for Local 320 Teamsters. This section of our web site will contain a message board for member comments in addition to a broadcast page for important live events. In following pages you will be provided with many different ways you can get involved with Forward Gallop and fight back against the War on Workers. I urge every Teamster to join this fight because an injury to one Teamster must be the concern of all Teamsters. Please visit www.teamsterslocal320.org
Visit the new www.teamsterslocal320.org
Local320@teamsterslocal320.org Published By Teamsters Local 320 3001 University Ave. SE #500 Minneapolis, MN 55414
Public Service in Jeopardy
By Brian Aldes, Vice President/Business agent
Brothers and sisters there’s just no easy way to put this. Our public services are in jeopardy. We have seen the devastation in Wisconsin where union public sector workers were stripped of their collective bargaining rights. Some of the municipal and county agreements had been in place for nearly 70 years! Michigan and Ohio have suffered a similar fate. The anti-worker offensive is purely the result of union apathy. Too many workers have taken for granted what their forbearers have accrued through contract negotiations spanning over decades. We must always remember this: our rights as workers weren’t given to us willingly. We had to fight for them. And today we know all too well that the progress of yesterday can vanish today by the mere stroke of a pen. not for 8,770 votes in support of Mark Dayton in 2010, I have no doubt that our state would in the same boat as Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. I’m sure it’s no surprise that I will continue to be concerned about public employee Teamsters and the threats we face from the anti-worker crowd at the Statehouse. If Minnesota were to end up like Wisconsin, workers would not have a say regarding their benefits, work rules, and health insurance our collective bargaining premiums. In addition, there rights are fundamental to would be no Just the quality of work-life we Cause, grievance procedures, and enjoy today. wages would be at the discretion of the employer. As you can see, our collective bargaining rights are fundamental to the quality of work-life we enjoy today. On average most people will spend a third of their life at work, so it is absolutely crucial that we keep our rights. Public service is in jeopardy and just like our state’s neighbor to the east we could lose everything we have worked for after decades of bargaining. Nevertheless, I’m optimistic in the strength of our membership; we will never go down without a fight.
The anti-worker offensive is purely the result of union apathy.
In Minnesota we have seen antiworker zealots make attempts against public employee rights only to be thwarted by Governor Dayton. If it were
DRIVE Report: In 2012, Let’s Support the Candidates Who Support Us
By Sami Gabriel, recording Secretary/Business agent
131 million people voted in the 2008 elections, but that number dwindled to only 50 million in the 2010 midterms. That’s exactly how Scott Walker and the other anti-union governors came to power. Thanks to their anti-union governors, our Sisters and Brothers to the east and south are in disarray. Governor Scott Walker is the most notable offender, having ended public employee bargaining in Wisconsin. But in Iowa, Governor Terry Branstad has been just as ruthless in proposing similar anti-bargaining legislation. Fortunately for Iowa’s labor movement, Branstad’s anti-worker legislation failed in the Iowa Senate. Nevertheless, he’s been busy closing state offices, consolidating departments, and laying-off workers. The lesson is clear. Minnesota Teamsters and union workers must be vigilant. If it can happen in Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, then, it can happen anywhere! Next year will be one of the most important and busiest election years ever. Besides the presidential election, Minnesota will be filling the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Amy Klobuchar, eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, State Senate seats, State House seats and dozens of county, city and school district positions. We have our work cut out for us! DRIVE, our Teamster political action arm, will be screening most of those candidates throughout the winter and spring, and will be endorsing the best worker friendly candidates. You can help those candidates by volunteering your time to door knock, phone bank, pound campaign signs and other various jobs. Labor plays an important part in all elections, and by supporting our endorsed candidates, you help make sure we have friends who will work hard on our issues. Watch our website and future issues of Local 320 News for updates. Remember, Teamsters cannot afford to sit idly by during the next election season! Page 3
The lesson is clear. Minnesota Teamsters and union workers must be vigilant.
What Has the Union Done For Us? We Employees Have Found Our Voice!
By Patrick Spartz, official court reporter, anoka county
I have worked in Anoka County since 1976. For the past 26 years I reported for a great judge I really enjoyed working for. Unfortunately, that judge was caught up in the anti-incumbency sentiment of last November and he lost a close election. As an at-will employee, I never really worried about job security, but as you might imagine, the last election was a wake up call. I immediately spoke with my business agent, Kari Seime, and then with one of our stewards, who informed me of the options available under our contract, including a safety net of 105 days to catch on with a new judge, and a separation incentive that would have kept me on the payroll from January to June of 2011, accruing sick leave, vacation, receiving a paycheck and having medical coverage. In this and future issues of the Local 320 newsletter, we will explore some fundamental benefits and rights of union membership. Here are some highlights, with topics being covered more in-depth within future issues. Job Protection • Just cause for discipline and discharge • Past practice to rely on for many grievances • Due process when facing discipline • Seniority • Layoff procedures Benefit Protection • Negotiated medical insurance benefits • Negotiated sick and vacation leave accrual and usage • Negotiated leaves of absence and right to return • Other benefits which may have been bargaining for your group such as early retirement incentives, employer contributions to HSA’s, vacancy posting and bidding, and compensatory time benefits for exempt Employees. Paycheck Protection • Secure and predictable wages • Negotiated overtime rates and circumstances • No unilateral employer cuts • No unpaid furloughs without negotiating terms and conditions with the union • Other negotiated income related items such as clothing and uniform allowances, association dues, equipment allowances, and license fees.
I remember how we were treated before we became Teamsters. From 1988 – 2000 we were completely ignored. We had no voice and no one to advocate for us.
I was grateful to have those options because the incoming appointing authority stated that he was bringing in a whole new crew. As the clock wound down to the last week of December, I intended to exercise the separation incentive clause in our Teamster contract. At the eleventh hour, I was offered a job with another Judge and returned to work. Sometimes I hear people ask, “What has the Union done for me?” Well, I remember how we were treated before we became Teamsters. From 1988 – 2000 we were completely ignored. We had no voice and no one to advocate for us. Year after year our base salary was held constant and there were no raises. State Court Administration laughed at us. No one was applying for openings in the courts. Today is so very different; the Teamsters have negotiated good wages and good transcript rates. We employees have found our voice! That’s what our Union has done for me.
What our Union Does For Us
Last winter, we all watched the inspirational demonstrations at the Wisconsin State Capitol as thousands of public employee union supporters converged to protest the right-wing extremist efforts to strip them of their fundamental right to collectively bargain. Many of us participated in some way – attending a local rally, calling to have pizza’s delivered to the protestors, or maybe even hopping in a vehicle to go to Madison and join the movement. Truly, these protests were for all of us because, in this economic and political climate, all public sector Unions are under attack. Page 4
LocaL 320 NEWS
“Teamsters Helping Teamsters” Minnesota Teamsters Food Shelf is There for Teamsters in Need
The Teamsters Food Shelf was established by Joint Council 32 in the 70s to provide Teamsters who are laid-off or having other financial difficulties with food items. According to Paul Nelson, retired Local 320 business agent and Food Shelf volunteer, the Teamsters Food Shelf provides the best quality and greatest quantity of food for its members. Most of the food is donated. Every Teamster who is part of Joint Council 32, which includes Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas, is eligible for Food Shelf relief, but must first be referred and meet the criteria for financial hardship. Assistance from the Food Shelf is confidential. Once accepted, a Teamster can utilize the Food Shelf for thirteen weeks. The Teamster Food Shelf is open every Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is located on the main floor of the Minnesota Teamsters Building: 3001 University Avenue, SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414. Food Shelf workers are volunteers, and have requested that Teamsters who qualify for assistance, please arrive no later than 1:45 p.m. to pick up food items.
Food Shelf volunteers from left to right: Dick Beaudette; Clarice Kabacinski; Joe Kabacinski, Food Shelf manager; Mary Fryer; Roy Derry; and Paul Nelson. Absent from the picture is Bobbie Langer.
Minnesota Teamster Food Shelf 3001 University Avenue, SE Minneapolis, MN 55414 Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:00 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
Mentoring Our Heroes: Merle King Walks the Walk for His Fellow Officers
Merle King, Teamsters Local 320 business agent, is a strong supporter of Minnesota law enforcement. King walks the walk. At a recent local 320 executive board meeting Merle invited Jim Crawford, President of the Minnesota Association for Injured Peace Officers (M.A.I.P.O.), to speak to Local 320 representatives about the organization. M.A.I.P.O. services include mentoring, information, and advice for injured officers from trained professionals who know what procedures to follow and precautions to take when an officer is injured. As a former police officer, Merle King is familiar with the trials and tribulations of modern law enforcement in relation to disability benefits, dealing with employers, bureaucrats, and attorneys. “I fully support this program,” says King. “I have mentored an injured police officer who was wounded in a tactical operation. I talked the officer through the disability benefit process and referred him to an attorney who knows police issues.” Page 5 If you know of any injured officers who are struggling with their impairment or just need some advice please contact M.A.I.P.O. at www.officerneedshelp.com or call 651-295-6232 or email to email@example.com. To King, nothing is more important than ensuring our injured officers get the help and advice they have earned. “I urge every officer of Local 320 to get involved in this group and help mentor injured officers. Unfortunately, M.A.I.P.O. does not currently accommodate correctional officers, but myself and others are pushing for our brothers and sisters in corrections to be admitted into this group as soon as possible,” says King.
If you know of any injured officers who are struggling with their impairment or just need some advice, please contact M.a.I.P.o.
LocaL 320 NEWS
2011 Stewards Seminar a Success!
Over 100 stewards from the metro and greater Minnesota arrived in Roseville on October 15 to hear facts and figures about the economy, the political landscape, but most significantly to become more effective stewards. Chief economist from the Teamsters, Jim Kimball, addressed the growing concerns of income inequality and the national lack of union density. Shawn Ellis, training coordinator for the Teamster’s central region, discussed the importance of steward activism both at workplace and the ballot box. He urged Teamster stewards to keep an ongoing dialogue about the importance of political action for the coming 2012 general elections. At the seminar, stewards were provided with many options for workshops they could attend including workshops on rights and regulations, pensions, government budgets, and communications.
Top: Local 320 Vice President Brian Aldes Middle: Secretary-Treasurer Sue Mauren Bottom: Stewards register for the seminar
LocaL 320 NEWS
Important Message From Your Union! Get Your Gallop On!
By Joanne Derby, President/Business agent
Did I get your attention? Good. We couldn’t let you put this newsletter down without making one last effort to get you involved with our new program: Forward Gallop. Whether it’s contract negotiations or politics, workers just can’t seem to catch a break these days. That’s why the Local 320 Executive Board enlisted this new plan. We did it because we must fight back or we could lose everything! It’s simple to get involved. Just visit www.teamsterslocal320.org and find the Action Center portal on the right hand side of the web page and click the link. It will take you no more than 2 minutes to fill out the information request. Repeat the same steps for the members’ login portal, also on the right hand side, then select the “Click-here-to-signup” option and fill out the second information request. This will take 3 minutes. So getting involved with Forward Gallop will take a total of 5 minutes from your day. That is nothing when we consider how the anti-worker crowd at the Capitol and elsewhere would like to eradicate over 30 years of Teamster bargaining from your contracts! If I’ve had your attention for this long you already could have signedup to get involved. There’s really just no excuse not to. Now that we have the program and tools to get the politician’s and media’s attention, we better use it!
non-paRtIsan polItIcal actIon commIttEE.
Democrat Republican Independent Voter Education — Is thE tEamstERs’
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.
Teamsters Joint council 32 is now on Facebook Join us at: Teamsters Joint council Thirty Two
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 • lcohol/drug abuse A • inancial problems F • tress/anxiety and depression S • amily/marriage issues F • 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)
Teamsters Local 320 3001 University Ave. SE #500 Minneapolis, MN 55414
Upcoming Meetings and Events
Members will be informed by mail of meeting dates
Greater Minnesota Twin cities
General Membership meetings held at 3001 University avenue SE, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Tuesday December 13, 2011 Dinner 6:15 p.m. Meeting immediately following Prizes Guest Speaker Gifts for all members Minneapolis Third Floor 3001 University avenue
December General Membership and Holiday Meeting
Phone: 1-800-637-5430 Fax: 612-331-8948 www.teamsterslocal320.org firstname.lastname@example.org
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