The second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators. This concept was envisioned by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office in 1981, but was not nationally recognized until 1994. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced H.J. Res. 284 to create “National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.”
President Bill Clinton set forth Proclamation 6667:
America’s public safety telecommunicators serve our citizens daily in countless ways. The work of these “unseen first responders” is invaluable in emergency situations, and each of these dedicated men and women deserves our heartfelt appreciation […]
The Congress, by Public Law 103–221, has designated the week beginning April 11, 1994, as “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.
Teamsters Local 320 is fortunate to represent over 20 bargaining units of public safety telecommunicators throughout the state of Minnesota. Simply put, the actions of these agile men and women save lives. They support local police, fire, and EMTs who use public safety telecommunications to swiftly respond to emergency calls.
On the second full week of April our Local Union recognizes the difficult and daring work of public safety telecommunicators and we enthusiastically support National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
Kind words remembering Representative Steve Smith (R-Mound) who passed away April 7, 2014.
Fellow lawmakers gasp when Representative Mary Liz Holberg (R- Lakeville) informs them that former Representative Steve Smith has died. Holberg eulogizes Smith recalling that he worked for labor and child issues. The House then marked his passing with a moment of silence.
Smith, 64, who lost his bid for reelection in 2012 in a Republican primary battle.
Smith’s son, Ryan Smith, told the Associated Press that the cause of his father’s death is has not yet been determined, but that his father had battled alcoholism and become increasingly despondent and unresponsive to calls from family and friends.
Former Local 320 Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer Sue Mauren adds the following: “Steve Smith did more for Local 320 members than any other State Legislator. He took up the banner for the PERA Correctional Pension and successfully led the charge for Official Court Reporters having the right to organize. He was on the side of working people. It’s a very sad loss.”
H.F. No. 3014, S.F. No. 2506 (law designed to protect public sector workers’ rights) are supported by Teamsters Local 320.
This bill would create a Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) under the Bureau of Mediation Services. The Board would handle Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges (listed under PELRA) administratively, replacing the current practice of handling ULP charges through the district courts. This bill would only apply to public employment—not the private sector—private sector employees are covered under the National Labor Relations Act.
PELRA (179A.13) lists unfair labor practices by employers and unions. ULP charges can be brought by unions against employers, employers against unions, or individuals against employers and/or unions. The current process of bringing charges through district court is very expensive, cumbersome and time consuming. Individuals or organizations bringing charges need to hire attorneys, and the typical cost is $50,000 to $75,000, and it can take years to get a decision. This makes the current process of going through the courts prohibitively expensive for individuals, unions, and even small public employers.
When a ULP is handled administratively, the party bringing the charges does not have to have an attorney, and typically spends around $5,000 to bring a charge. Parties bring charges do not need an attorney. In states that use an administrative system like this, most charges are either settled or dismissed for lack of merit at the investigative stage—before they even go to a hearing. The timelines are also much quicker than the district court processes.
The Association for Government Accountability (AGA), a so-called “citizens group” that has made its mission shutting down safe driving classes in Wabasha County is now getting involved in union contracts in Wabasha County.
AGA has publicly attacked Teamster health benefits for Sheriff’s Deputies, Correctional Officers and 911 Dispatchers. Teamsters Local 320 will not stand for these attacks and we will fight back!
On Wednesday, March 19 Teamsters Local 320 rocked the Capitol for its annual Lobby Day or Day on the Hill. Over 60 Teamsters ascended on the Minnesota State Capitol to lobby their legislators on issues important to working families.
Secretary-Treasurer Brian Aldes kicked off the event describing how Local 320 tripled its Lobby Day participation from last year and how the Local Union hopes to get even more for next year. Over 100 Teamsters originally registered for Lobby Day, but due to inclement weather many from Greater Minnesota could not make the trek to St. Paul.
The majority of Teamsters who participated were from state universities and they had major issues regarding fair compensation through the budgetary process in addition to basic support for Governor Mark Dayton’s bonding list. Teamster member Adam Klepetar testified at the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee in support of the MnSCU supplemental budget to provide a fair settlement for MSUAASF members in contract negotiations.
Teamsters in public defense met with Representative Debra Hilstrom to discuss building equity for judicial branch employees. Rep. Hilstrom is the Teamsters Joint Council 32 DRIVE endorsed candidate for Secretary of State.
Other Teamsters from all over the state from county social services to corrections had an opportunity to discuss their issues with legislators and important committee chairs.
In the afternoon, both Rep. Hilstrom and Lt. Governor Candidate Tina Smith (Governor Dayton’s running mate) addressed all Teamsters at the Capitol. Rep. Hilstrom thanked Teamsters for support and told the crowd how her grandfather was a Teamster and a 1934 striker. Rep. Hilstrom’s grandfather was involved in both the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters Strike and the 1939 WPA Strike led by Teamsters Local 574 Federal Workers Section (FWS).
Lt. Governor Candidate Tina Smith thanked Teamsters for support of Governor Dayton’s supplemental budget and bonding list and made it clear on no uncertain terms that Gov. Dayton’s administration has been a true friend to the Teamsters Union. All Teamsters know how important a strong governor can be to help maintain strong public sector budgets.
Teamsters Local 320 Organizing Victory: Rogers Police Department
Rogers, MN- On December 31, 2013 licensed officers from the City of Rogers Police Department voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 320. The bargaining unit is comprised of 10 Police Officers.
Teamsters Local 320 Secretary-Treasurer, Brian Aldes, led the organizing effort and welcomes the new unit into the powerful Teamsters Union.
“Local 320 is pleased that Rogers PD chose Teamsters”, says Aldes. Adding that “all Teamster law enforcement officers are part of the influential Minnesota Teamsters Law Enforcement League (MNTLEL).”
MNTLEL is a fraternal, non-partisan division of Teamsters Local 320. MNTLEL advises the Local Union on legislative, training and representational issues affecting law enforcement officers. MNTLEL provides a national legal defense fund and a critical incident hotline for its law enforcement members. For more information on MNTLEL please visit www.teamsterslocal320.org/MNTLEL
Memoriam for Teamsters Local 320 members who passed away in 2013 as well as our troops serving in the United States Armed Forces and Law Enforcement Officers who risk their lives everyday keeping our communities safe.
Governor Mark Dayton talks about a projected billion dollar surplus for the state of Minnesota. He says he won’t formally make proposals until the February forecast, but he plans to eliminate three business to business taxes that were added last session and provide $205 million in tax relief to the middle class. Asked about bonding that could be used to build and repair infrastructure, Dayton mentioned that the roof on the west wing of the Governor’s residence two nights ago. He doesn’t use the west wing, but says if someone was in it at the time they would have been killed.
On Wednesday Nov. 6, 2013 Teamster Local 320 members testified at the Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement on priority bill(s) H.F. No. 884, S.F. No. 998. The testimony from 911 Dispatchers, Ramsey County Probation and Hennepin County Security was profound and informative. It was well received by friend and foe alike.
H.F. No. 884, S.F. No. 998 expands the PERA Correctional Pension to include 911 Dispatchers, county-level Probation Officers and Hennepin County Security Officers.