Member News

Senior Member Report March 2021 by Mark Hanson

Mark-Hanson

SENIOR MEMBER REPORT, MARCH 2021

People are always questioning why join the union! Being a person who has experience working both Union and non-union jobs, the answer for me is Union all the way. Unions are always the driving force behind the wage for both union workers and nonunion workers. With union jobs comes good safe working conditions, livable wages, 40-hour work week, paid holidays, paid sick time, overtime pay, health benefits, paid vacations, pension plans and so on. This list is very impressive and important. The most important thing a union member has that a non-union member does not have, is a voice. Voice to advocate for themselves for issues that affect them in their daily life in the workplace. Besides the voice they have professional individuals from the union to help them develop skills to bring these issues to their employer to resolve the issues in their contracts.

 

With this union solidarity much headway has been made in the past for workers’ rights. But as we work together for the future employees many gains in benefits and workers’ rights will be made for a stronger community as a whole, where pay equity, racial biased and poverty will be eliminated. As a union member, as a worker, and now the senior member in the union I’ve benefited from the strong contract that we negotiated in my working career. But also, as a retired member I’ve benefited from the contract in my retirement, with retiree health insurance, payout of sick leave and pension I was able to retire early.

I’ve been a union member since 1985 and plan on staying active in my union. Because my union has given me so much in my working career and in my retirement, I want to give back.  Participation is the best way to do this.  In life, much does not come easy, but when we work together wins are more possible and not as difficult as going it alone.  As a union member just starting your working career or in your retirement your voice makes a difference. Our union is only as strong as its membership! So now it’s time to roll up your sleeves, like that iconic picture of Rosie the Riveter! There are many issues our Union can use your help on, our union is each one of us, it’s just not the union staff or the executive board or the union steward. It is each of us working together that make our union work. We all have to work together, to sign up employees who are not members of our union, support each other to strengthen our contracts and work on social justice issues in our communities.

 

Solidarity brothers and sisters of Local 284!

 

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2021 Executive Board Election Results

The following seat was contested and was decided by mail ballot and announced and sworn in 3/18/21 at the General Membership Meeting:

*        Member at Large = Cindy Swaim

The following seats were uncontested and won by acclamation:

*       Executive Director = Kelly Gibbons

*       1st Vice President = Mark Krey

*        Trustee = Steve Miltich

*        Member at Large = Cynthia Gross

The above officers were sworn in 2/20/21 at the General Membership Meeting.

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April Food Share Dates

Working Partnerships continues to partner with unions and community organizations on USDA “Farmers to Families” Food Box Program distribution events.

April 17th – SEIU Local 26 – 826 18th Ave NE. Mpls. MN 55418 at 9:30 A.M.

April 17th – IBEW  Local 292 – 6700 W Broadway Ave. Brooklyn Park, MN. 55428 at 10:00 A.M.

April 24th – Wayman AME Church – 221 7th Ave No. Mpls. MN. 55411 at 9:00 A.M.

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2021 SEIU Local 284 Member of the Year: Catherine Johnsen

Catherine was recognized as the 2021 SEIU Local 284 Member of the Year at the February 20, 2021 Leadership Assembly.  Catherine (Cathy) Johnsen meets the challenges of District No. 186 in Pequot Lakes every day as an attendance and discipline secretary.  She’s been a fixture in the district for more than two decades.  In January of this year, she was nominated by coworker Carrie Chiodi to be named Local 284’s Member of the Year.   In typical Minnesota fashion, when Cathy learned of her nomination she remarked, “I’m not even sure why I’m nominated.  I feel that others deserve it more.” Cathy though, personifies the dedication of union work.

In the more than twenty years she’s been in the Pequot Lakes School District, the community has experienced growth and change. Expansion included additions to the fifth-grade wing, a new media center, a science wing with labs and classrooms, district and high school offices and an addition at Eagle View Elementary School, where Cathy works.  While coming from a family of teachers, Cathy’s head for numbers lead her to a clerical position.  That skill allows her to help others, explaining sometimes confusing payroll details to those looking for assistance. It’s a reflection of her strong union background and family ties to organized labor

Cathy has served on the negotiation teams for paras, clerical staff, food service and custodians.   When she saw some coworkers were being overlooked in step increases for longevity, she took measures to advance a correction.  This year she worked on delivering true benefits compensation for secretaries.    Although not a steward, she extends herself to fulfill many of the duties associated with that title.

SEIU Local 284 is pleased and proud to have Cathy Johnsen as a member.  She is described by a coworker as someone who is not afraid to fight for what she believes the non-certified staff are entitled to.  She is a staple in the lives of the students, with whom she celebrates with each interaction, presenting just the right demeanor to encourage students who may be facing consequences for their actions. Cathy is perhaps, best described in the words of the coworker who nominated her;  “Cathy finds ways in our school to bring joy to the daily lives of students and staff, whether it be in the form of decor for seasons or holidays, notes of encouragement, or private conversations. She is a champion in our district and our community.”

 

Congratulations Cathy Johnsen

SEIU Local 284 Member of the Year

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The agonizing choice that many of our members face every day.

Local 284 member-leader Melissa Grewe:  “From all my years of experience, I know how much students benefit from in-person instruction. But no one deserves to have to make this terrible choice between our paycheck and our health” Click here to read her story.

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Leadership Assembly/General Membership Meeting 2/20/21

Have you had a chance to register for our upcoming Leadership Assembly/General Member meeting?  If not, sign up today click here to register!

Date:                Saturday, February 20, 2021

Time:               9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Location:       Via Zoom

Topic:              SEIU 284 Leadership Assembly/General Member Meeting

Description:
9:00 AM – SEIU Local 284 General Member meeting:

  • Union Business Meeting:
    • Executive Board Nominations
      • Executive Director
      • 1st Vice President
      • Trustee
      • Member at Large
      • Member at Large
    • Legislative Updates
    • Recognition of SEIU Local 284: 2021 Member of the Year

10:30 AM – Trainings

  • Intro to Steward Role
  • Senior/Advanced Steward – Grievances

Trainings – Pick one from below on the registration form

Intro to Steward Role:
Roles of a steward, Weingarten Rights, What protections do stewards have, What is the Equality Principle, Tennessen Warnings, Do I really have to represent everyone?  And, how to sign up new members.
Senior/Advance Steward-Grievances:
You will learn advanced skills to advocate for the membership you represent, including  relevant labor laws, contract interpretation, building and presenting a case, and negotiating a grievance settlement.

Register in advance for this meeting, click here to register.  After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

In Solidarity,

Kelly Gibbons                                                                Keith Niemi
Executive Director, SEIU Local 284                         President, SEIU Local 284

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Brooklyn Center Support Professionals #EquityForAll

Brooklyn Center support professionals are fighting for #EquityForAll and a fair pay increase in negotiations. Sign their open letter for #EquityForAll now!

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2021 Executive Board Election

The SEIU Local 284 democratic process to elect a Executive Director ( 3 year term), 1st Vice President ( 3 year term) , Trustee ( 3 year term), and Two (2) Member at Large ( 3 year term), is about to begin.  An Election Committee will oversee the election.

**Please see below for Duties of Officers.

Nominations will be accepted at the February 20, 2021 Leadership Assembly during the General Membership Union Meeting.  Any nominee who is unopposed shall be deemed elected without the necessity for further procedures.  If  there is more than one nominee, election shall be by secret mail ballot.

Election Schedule:

1.      February 20, 2021 – Nominations accepted at General Membership Union meeting of SEIU Local 284.  If no contested seats all officers will be sworn in and no further action is needed.
2.      February 22, 2021 at 4pm – Candidate Profiles due for any contested seats
3.      March 1, 2021 – Ballot’s mailed to all Members **Only if any seats are contested  – Mail Ballot Procedure
4.      March 17, 2021 at 3pm – All ballots returned by U.S. MAIL and received by the Bureau of Mediation Services will be picked up **Only if any seats are contested – Mail Ballot Procedure
5.      March 17, 2021 at 4pm – All ballots will be opened and tallied at SEIU Local 284, 450 Southview Blvd, So. St. Paul, MN 55075 **Only if any seats are contested – Mail Ballot Procedure
6.      March 18, 2021 at 6:00pm – General Membership Meeting, Announcement of elected officers and swearing in.  **Only if any seats are contested

SEIU Local 284 Officer Nominations

Click here to download the Candidate profile form.
Click here to download the NOMINATING PETITION

Article V, Section 2-Any nominee who is unopposed shall be deemed elected without the necessity for further procedures.

Article V, Section 5- No member shall be eligible for nomination or election to the office of Trustee or Member-At-Large unless the member is actively employed under a collective bargaining agreement in Local 284’s jurisdiction at the time of the election. Any member may be nominated and elected to the office of Executive Director, President, Vice President and/or Sergeant-At-Arms.  No member shall be eligible for nomination or election to the office of Senior Member unless the member is 55 years of age or older, or retired from active employment in this Local Union’s jurisdiction.  No more than three of these five named positions shall be members who are employed by this Local Union. No member shall be eligible for nomination or election as an officer in this Local Union unless he or she has been a member two (2) years immediately preceding the nomination and continuously in good standing of this Local Union and is paying at least the minimum dues required for working members.

ARTICLE VII – Duties of Officers

Section 1 Executive Director  The Executive Director shall be the chief officer of this Local Union and shall advise, direct, guide and effectuate programs to meet the needs of this Local Union. The Executive Director shall be elected for a term of three (3) years pursuant to Article V, Section 1. It shall be the duty of the Executive Director to hire personnel. If it should become necessary to terminate personnel of the union, the Executive Director shall have that authority also, subject to terms and conditions of the staff Collective Bargaining Agreement and approval by the Executive Board. The Executive Director shall designate staff to negotiate all contracts and agreements in conjunction with the elected steward(s) and elected negotiating committee subject to the mandate of the membership, and to sign them on behalf of this Local Union. The Executive Director shall see that all grievances when submitted are handled prudently and shall keep a correct record of all communications and contracts for the benefit of this Local Union. In the absence of a steward at any unit meeting, the Executive Director or designated staff person will conduct the meeting according to the rules.  The Executive Director shall also preside at general meetings in absence of both the President and Vice Presidents.

The Executive Director shall be empowered to arrange for legislative assistance. The Executive Director and such members of the Executive Board, the membership and/or staff as the Executive Director may designate shall be authorized to travel and to attend such meetings and seminars as the Executive Director determines to be for the benefit of the Local Union and its affiliated members and the Local Union shall pay the expense incurred therefore.

The Executive Director shall be responsible for all financial records and transactions. The Executive Director shall collect all dues and other revenues of this Local Union and, upon request, issue official receipts for same, and notify all suspended members two (2) months in arrears of the amount of their indebtedness. It shall be the duty of the Executive Director to announce receipts and disbursements at each meeting; the Executive Director shall deposit all monies in a financial institution recommended by the Trustees; keep a correct record of all dues, payments, and all other money received and expended; submit financial statements quarterly at the membership meeting of this Local Union, pay all bills ordered by the Local Union; the Executive Director shall submit all books and receipts to the Trustees for their audit and approval when called upon to do so, and at the expiration of the Executive Director’s official term of office shall turn over to the successor all monies and property of the Local Union that may be in the Executive Director ‘s possession. All funds shall be deposited in a financial institution in the name of the Local Union, and all checks must be signed by the Executive Director and countersigned by one other person as designated by the Executive Board. The Executive Director shall keep all membership records and application cards and a record of all members admitted by initiation or otherwise, as well as rejections and suspended or expelled members. The Executive Director shall send to the International Union an accurate record of all dues, payments, and other revenue and shall forward to the Secretary‑Treasurer of the International Union the correct names and addresses with proper ZIP codes and member identification number of all members initiated or readmitted, and of all other persons from whom revenue is derived, as well as those suspended for non‑payment of dues or for any other cause; also a correct list of those who take a transfer or withdrawal card. The Executive Director shall promptly forward to the International Secretary‑Treasurer copies of all annual audit reports and copies of all financial reports setting forth a statement of liabilities and a statement of receipts and disbursements which are required by law. It shall be the duty of the Executive Director to serve as a delegate to appropriate assemblies as required. The names and addresses and member identification number (including e-mail address and phone number, if available) of all members should also be sent to the State Council with which this Local Union is affiliated.

Section 2  President – The President shall be elected for a term of three (3) years pursuant to Article V, Section 1. It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of this Local Union and conduct same in accordance with Parliamentary Rule and in conformity with this Constitution and Bylaws and the Constitution and Bylaws of the International Union; to execute the laws and order thereof; to vote on all questions where it is necessary, to appoint all committees unless otherwise provided for, of which committees the President shall be ex‑officio a member. The President shall, when authorized by the Local Union, have the full power and authority to sign all contracts and agreements or any other documents for or in behalf of the Local Union. It shall be the duty of the President to serve as a delegate to appropriate assemblies as required.

Section 3. Vice Presidents – The Vice Presidents shall be elected for a term of three (3) years pursuant to Article V, Section 1. There shall be two (2) Vice Presidents. The First Vice President shall be a member of the Executive Board and perform the duties of the President in the absence of that Officer. The First Vice President shall also be responsible for providing notification to the Secretary‑Treasurer of the International Union of the names and addresses, with proper ZIP codes, of all Officers elected to office within fifteen (15) days after the election. The Second Vice President shall be a member of the Executive Board and perform the duties of the First Vice President in the absence of that Officer. It shall also be the duty of the Second Vice President to keep a record of all proceedings of the Executive Board and General Membership, including minutes of all meetings, and keep a record of all Executive Board members present at each meeting of the Executive Board and General Membership. It shall be the duty of the Vice Presidents to serve as delegates to appropriate assemblies as required

Section 4. Trustees ‑ Three (3) Trustees shall be elected for a term of three (3) years, with a Trustee elected each year pursuant to Article V, Section 1. The Trustees shall see to it that all funds are placed in a proper financial institution in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and Bylaws. It shall be the duty of the Trustees to conduct a quarterly audit of the Local Union. It shall be the further duty of the Trustees to supervise all funds, bonds, properties, securities and investments of this Local Union, subject to the instructions from this Local Union; to inform the financial institution officials as to the proper signatures on checks issued by the Local Union. They shall prepare and execute the bonds of the Officers with a licensed surety company. It shall be their duty to recommend such measures as will safeguard the funds of this Local Union. It shall be the duty of the Trustees to serve as delegates to appropriate assemblies as required.

Section 5  Sergeant‑At‑Arms – The Sergeant‑At‑Arms shall be elected for a term of three (3) years pursuant to Article V, Section 1. The Sergeant‑At‑Arms shall attend the door and register all members attending the meeting of the Local Union, assist the President when called upon in preserving order, and perform such duties as may pertain to the Sergeant‑At‑Arms office or which the Local Union or the President may direct; allow no person to enter who is not a member in good standing or to retire from the meeting without permission from the Vice President. It shall be the duty of the Sergeant‑At‑Arms to serve as a delegate to appropriate assemblies as required.

Section 6. Members‑At‑Large ‑ Five (5) Members‑At‑Large shall be elected for a term of three (3) years, with at least one (1) Member‑At‑Large elected each year pursuant to Article V, Section 1. The Members‑At‑Large shall be members of the Executive Board and shall serve as delegates to appropriate assemblies as required.

Section 7 Senior Member The Senior Member shall be elected for a term of three (3) years pursuant to Article V, Section 1. The Senior Member shall be a member of the Executive Board, is the Chair of the Senior Member Committee and shall serve as a delegate to appropriate assemblies as required.

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Worried About How to Pay for Your Mortgage, Rent or Utilities? (Dec. 7th Deadline)

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A MESSAGE FROM KELLY GIBBONS!!!

I hope this finds you healthy and doing as best as possible during these challenging times.

I would like  to share a resource that may be helpful to you or someone you know as we work to make it through this challenging year.

Governor Walz and the state of Minnesota have a program to help support Minnesotans who have fallen behind on their housing payments during this pandemic. This program is open to all Minnesotans, but the deadline to apply is in just a few days.

If you or someone you know are behind on their rent, mortgage, or utility payments, you are encouraged to apply to Minnesota’s Housing Assistance Program by Monday, December 7, 2020, at 11:59pm.

We know these are challenging times. But we also know as Minnesotans and union members that we are stronger when we help each other out.

Whether it’s pushing our neighbor’s car out of the snow or cooking a meal when a friend is sick, Minnesotans look out for each other. Sometimes that means asking for help ourselves to get through a tough time. If you or someone you know are currently worried about paying your mortgage, rent or utilities, please look into this program.

I know that we will pull through these hard times by pulling together, but it’s going to take all of us giving what we can and asking for help when we need it. Again, any Minnesotan who needs support can apply to Minnesota’s Housing Assistance Program by Monday, December 7, 2020, at 11:59pm to request help.

I’m confident we are going to beat this pandemic and come out even stronger from this economic downturn, but in the meantime I hope we can all lean on each other to make sure that no Minnesotans lose their home as we head into the winter months.

If you have any questions about this or anything else, please reach out and we will do everything we can to help.

 

In Solidarity,

Kelly Gibbons
SEIU Local 284
Executive Director

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Member of the Year 2021

Nominations for the SEIU Local 284’s 2021 Member of the Year are due by 4:00 PM on Monday, January 18, 2021.  The Member of the Year program is designed to recognize a member who exemplifies the values of SEIU Local 284 and lives a life that exemplifies our mission statement.  Candidates must provide an outstanding contribution to the education of students as well as being involved in their union and community.  The 2021 Member of the Year will be recognized just as previous Member of the Year honorees have been.  Previous Member of the Year honorees are: Tom Ryan, 2020 Member of the Year:  Beverly Tinney, 2019 Member of the Year:  Mark Glende, 2018 Member of the Year:  Anna Gimberline, 2017 Member of the Year and Stella Sola, 2016 Member of the Year.

Click here to get a nomination form or you may contact our office to have one mailed to you.  Finalists will be interviewed by the Member of the Year Award Committee and the winner will be recognized at the first 2021 SEIU Local 284 Leadership Assembly.

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