Letter from President Hoffman to AFSCME Members

February 28, 2019 

Siblings, 

So, a couple of things are on my mind this month as I write to you. First is workplace safety. I want to thank all of our members who volunteer to serve on their Campus/College Safety committees. You are the front line in keeping our members safe in the workplace. By being willing to serve and keeping your campus safe for everyone (especially our members), you do a great but sometimes unrecognized service. Remember if there are issues you can’t seem to get resolved at the campus/college level please work with your Chief Steward and Kevin Anderson (Local 4001’s Safety Officer.) 

The other thing on my mind is that we are currently getting ready to start contract negotiations. This is a great time to get your co-workers that may not have been asked to join our union to do so. When I visit a new potential member and am asked, “why should I join”, or “what will the union done for me”, I have always piped up right away saying we have a great contract, worker safety, vacation, sick leave, etc.  I can say for sure that I am 100% grateful for being a part of AFSCME. 

On February 9th I was going from my house to my garage, it was icy and I slipped down the stairs. I had damaged my knee and could not get up. Thankfully I was on the phone with our 2nd Vice president Mary Falk. I was in so much pain I was not sure if I could call for any help. Thankfully she called the ambulance for me from her home in the cities. First, THANK YOU MARY FALK!! Next, thank you to those who have negotiated out contracts. Due to my injury, I am looking at being off from work for between 1 ½ and 3 months to recoup. Without our last contract Short Term Disability would not have been reopened and I would not have additional help coming in. I also am so grateful for our great insurance covering all that it does. I just got the bill today for the ambulance. Without our insurance I could not have afforded the ride to the hospital. And finally, I am grateful for the wonderful sick leave and FMLA that we have available. Without that help I don’t know what I would do. I was speaking with a friend that does not work in a union environment and had a similar catastrophe happen.  They were just without a paycheck while recuperating. 

Also, Please, remember DAY ON THE HILL is March 26. You can sign up with Mary Falk or on the AFSMEMN.ORG website. Let’s try for a big turn-out. 

In Solidarity,
Joel Hoffman
President Local 4001