NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday July 6th 2022

Keep citizen journalism alive!

Donatebutton_narrow

Sections

Posts Tagged ‘hennepin county’

Why I Voted to Strike

Why I Voted to Strike

3,500 Hennepin County workers will walk out in February unless a last minute deal is made, and I will be one of them. By LINDSEY FENNER photo by Jayne Mikulay photo by Brad Sigal photo by Brad Sigal Editorial note: AFSCME Locals 34 and 2822 reached mediated tentative agreements with Hennepin County and withdrew their “intent to strike” after the February print edition of the alley went to press. Hennepin County AFSCME members will be voting on this proposed offer in the first week of February. As you may have read in last month’s alley, Hennepin County AFSCME workers in Locals 34 and 2822 voted to reject Hennepin County’s last contract offer and authorized a strike. In mid-January, our negotiation team went back to the table with the County and received the exact same offer our memberships already voted to reject. After this latest insult and show of bad faith, our locals filed an intent to strike on January 19. If a last-minute deal can’t be made, we --3,500 County social services workers and clerical workers-- will be walking out at the beginning of February. I’m a member of Local 2822, which represents about 1,200 clerical workers at Hennepin County. We work in every department of the County, doing the support work that is often invisible but absolutely essential for every other County worker to keep serving County residents. We are among the lowest paid workers in the County, and more likely to be women and workers of color. Many of us qualify for the same County assistance we help County residents access. We are paid like we’re disposable. We are also the workers the County furloughed en masse at the beginning of the pandemic and the first workers called back into buildings (indeed, some of us NEVER stopped working in buildings). We’ve seen our staffing cut, so we’re always working short-staffed, even without waves of pandemic illness. We are treated like we’re disposable. We haven’t received a cent of [...]

Hennepin County Workers Reject County’s Offer and Authorize a Strike

Hennepin County Workers Reject County’s Offer and Authorize a Strike

By AFSCME Locals 34 and 2822 photo credit James "Jim" Edin AFSCME Locals 34 and 2822 have rejected Hennepin County’s latest labor contract offer. The County is attempting to stagnate wages, pass business costs on to employees, and is blatantly ignoring COVID risks employees are enduring during the pandemic. AFSCME Local 34 and Local 2822 members include social workers, human services representatives, service center representatives, and library workers. On Monday December 13,workers represented by AFSCME Locals 34 and 2822 voted to reject Hennepin County’s “Last, Best, and Final Offer,” and authorize a strike. The no vote comes one day after members of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, representing county snow plow drivers and other workers also rejected the county’s offer. Collectively AFSCME Locals 34 and 2822 represent 3,545 workers at Hennepin County, the two largest bargaining units who work at the county. Throughout the negotiations process, AFSCME has made it clear to the employer that its members demand wages that keep up with inflation, real compensation for the COVID costs, and respect. AFSCME also made it clear that the county’s take-backs were unacceptable, including introducing a two-tiered system eliminating sick and vacation leave for new hires (leaving PTO as the only option), and attacks on the union’s power by shifting costs of the arbitration process. The county is in excellent financial shape with the highest bond rating and hundreds of millions of dollars in reserves. In 2020 the county received $224 million in federal aid for COVID, and in 2021 received $246 million through the American Rescue plan, with the last round of relief specifically earmarked by President Biden to go to hazard pay.  Despite receiving nearly half a billion in COVID funding, the county has not offered hazard pay to workers to account for the risks they're taking while serving Hennepin County residents [...]

Copyright © 2022 Alley Communications - Contact the alley