Letter from President Hoffman

July/August Letter to AFSCME LOCAL 4001 

Dear Sisters and Brothers: 

So much has happened since I last wrote to you. We have had our first month post Janus, our International Union held its 2018 convention in Boston, and summer is beginning to wind down as we are getting ready to start a new school year! 

First, I want to report that we continue to make positive strides towards increasing membership. We were all very apprehensive about what was going to happen to our Union once the Janus decision came down. I need to report on that first day, Council 5 actually was happily surprised, and maybe a bit overwhelmed by the number of people who called in and joined the union that day. For me personally this was a huge affirmation that yes we will be OK, yes we are going to come out of this even stronger. 

Next, the 2018 AFSCME International Convention was one of the best experiences I have had the pleasure of being a part of.  Prior to leaving for the convention I received a call from our International Union asking if I would be willing to help introduce how Council 5 is utilizing members to talk to members about the union and the importance of the coming election. I have to admit I was a little nervous at first but standing in front of the 5,000 AFSCME delegates and guests, I felt empowered and re-energized for the fights ahead of us. It reminded me that if we “RISE UP” together we can do great things and we will keep our union “AFSCME STRONG!” 

This may sound a bit corny, but I try to post an inspirational quote on my office door at M-State to help boost the confidence of our nursing students when classes and the semester start getting a bit overwhelming. I found one that is particularly useful for 4001 and AFSCME as a whole right now. I’m not sure who first said it but, “Success is not for the Lazy!” This is so true.  We all need to take the Janus decision as a wakeup call and work to keep our union. If you have a co-worker who is new or maybe they are not new but have never signed a membership card, ask them to join us! You do not have to be a steward to ask someone to sign up. Show them the Council 5 web site, AFSCMEMN.ORG and click on MEMBERLINK at the top, right of the page.  They can sign up right there. 

As if there wasn’t enough going on, we are also in the election season now too!  As we have been saying during the past several election cycles, “Elections matter and this is the most important election to date.” We need to elect a worker friendly Governor and work to getting back majorities in the legislature. Remember, “SUCCESS IS NOT FOR THE LAZY!” Please get out and talk to people about the consequences if we are not successful! We do not want to be WISCONSIN or IOWA! 

In Solidarity,
Joel Hoffman, President
AFSCME Local 4001