Letter from President Hoffman to AFSCME Local 4001 Members

January 12, 2018 

Local 4001 Sisters & Brothers 

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season! As well as a great start to another year!  

As you all know we have had a push on to get all of our members switched over to the new Maintenance of Membership cards or “MOM Cards”. We have done a pretty good job so far, thanks to the hard work of our Stewards, Chief Stewards, and Board Members. 

For those that have not heard of them here is a brief description; Council 5 first began to switch to the new card as a way to help combat the effects of the Friedrichs lawsuit that was being heard at the Supreme Court and possible decision that could have made the entire country ‘Right to work’. That threat ended when Justice Scalia died. Now they will be hearing Janus vs. AFSCME Council 31 on February 26 (additional information below). By signing the new card, you are affirming that YES, you want to keep our Union and keep the protections of our contract. Our goal is to get at least 94% of our sisters and brothers to sign these cards so that if and when “right to work” comes to Minnesota, we can continue the fight for fair contracts and to enforce them when the bosses try to go around them. 

The coming year is sure to bring challenges for us -  

First, we have to fight to get the Legislature to approve our contract. A contract that was negotiated fairly and in good faith with Governor Dayton’s administration. We need to remind the legislature that the contract is not out of line and we deserve it, especially compared to the 45% raises that they received. We deserve respect! 

Second, we need to get out and fight to keep a worker friendly Governor. We need someone that will stand up for us against those that want to decimate our Great Union. We also need to get more legislators elected that will support us so that we do not have to go months without a fair contract again. 

Third, we need to prepare for the inevitable result of the Janus lawsuit which will take away our right to collect fair share dues but still require us to represent and negotiate on their behalf but without the ability to charge them for those costs. This is just the most recent attempt to take away our rights and we cannot stand for it. You can go to this link to find out more about Janus: https://www.afscme.org/now/what-janus-v-afscme-is-really-about

It is not all doom and gloom, I believe that with the diligence and perseverance of the great team that we have in place; our Executive Board, Chief Stewards, Stewards, and every single one of our Members, we can continue on the path we are on and make this an even better Union and State for ALL of Minnesota. Because after all “WE MAKE MINNESOTA HAPPEN” and as Paul Wellstone said, “We all do better when we all do better.” 

If you have not yet signed a MOM card and would like to, please contact your Steward, Chief Steward or me and we will get you set up. If you have a coworker that needs to sign up let us know as well.

Keep up the good work! 

Joel Hoffman, President
AFSCME Local 4001