RETIREE COUNCIL BULLETIN
LABOR 2020 KICK OFF
Stand Up and Fight Back was the theme of the Labor 2020 kick off Conference February 6 and 7. For an overall report, read here. You can read Bruce Yernberg’s reflections on the Retiree workshops and more here. This was an energizing occasion with 216 union activists gathered to learn and enjoy! A great start for Labor 2020.
ELECTION ACTION BEGINS
President Ken McInnis reviews the political days ahead here. Precinct Caucuses will be February 25 and if you want copies of AFL-CIO resolutions or the resolution forms for either party, click here. For your precinct caucus location click here. Among the important caucus functions are adoption of resolutions that are the building blocks for state party platforms and election of delegates to higher level conventions. And meeting neighbors who share most of your values!
SUPER TUESDAY PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY
For the first time, Minnesota will join the largest presidential primary election with 13 other states on Tuesday, March 3, Super Tuesday. In the Democratic primary, one third of the national delegate slots are up for grabs. You can read about the mechanics of Minnesota’s primary here. Will the Democratic field picture gain any more focus? Will it still be such a nerve-wracking nail biter? Maybe we will know March 4.
BIG VOTER REGISTRATION JOB AHEAD
Planning for Labor 2020 revealed a drop off in percentages of union members registered to vote. Read here for more information on this issue and the challenge we face to correct the problem. Click here to find information on how to register. Registering the unregistered will be the first job to undertake in Labor 2020 and we need to start!
RETIREE COUNCIL FUN(D)RAISER MAY 9
The 17th Annual Fun(d)raiser will be Saturday, May 9 at the Sheet Metal Workers Hall, 3-7 pm. You can read here for details. You will want to know -- $500, $300, $150 and $100 prizes in the Statewide Raffle. Free food, music, raffles, lots of fun. Mark your calendar!
REMEMBERING BARRY ZEVAN
Retiree Council Board Member and Veteran’s Committee Chair Barry ZeVan passed away in early January. Recording Secretary Mary Sansom shares a remembrance of “Barry ZeVan, the Weatherman” here. You can also read a Strib article here. Barry was lots of fun and a thoughtful man of substance who will be missed very much. Our sympathies to his family.
SUPPORTING OUR VETERANS
At the January Retiree Council Board meeting, Jeff Roy of Save Our VA (SOVA) presented information about a bill in the U.S. Senate that SOVA is supporting to ensure good health care for veterans. Funds are effectively being diverted from Veterans Administration Hospitals and Clinics to the private sector. You can read more details here . The Retiree Council Board passed a resolution supporting SOVA positions for precinct caucus submission that you can find here by reviewing the MN AFL-CIO caucus resolutions.
GOOD NEWS FROM SEIU HEALTHCARE
Members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and HealthPartners management reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) at 3 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, after 17 hours of negotiations. The 7-day ULP strike that was to begin Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m. has been called off. Read the Workday Minnesota report here.
LOCAL WORK ACTIONS
The 8,000 janitors, cleaners, guards and other workers in SEIU Local 26 have authorized their bargaining committee to call a strike if necessary. You can see WCCO radio’s report on this dispute here . And the St. Paul Teacher’s Federation has scheduled a strike vote Thursday February 20 over their negotiations with the St. Paul School District. You can read their statement here. Let’s hope these employers will see the error of their ways and be reasonable in the ongoing negotiations. Solidarity forever!