Dear Members of AFSCME Local 844,

 

I wish I could write you in better circumstances, but in this situation we seem to have been pulled into the battle.   The district administration seems intent on furthering the culture of fear that they have been working on cultivating for some time now.  Threatening our jobs and our healthcare is just business as usual for them as they choose to not find creative solutions to real problems that face our district. 

If the district follows through on their threats, our non-essential workers will face layoff for an undetermined amount of time. You can immediately apply for unemployment insurance but will not be paid until after the first full week of lay off.  Our health insurance coverage will end at the end of the month that the layoff is initiated in.  We will have the option for COBRA coverage to pay for it ourselves.  Also due to the change in job situation we will have the option to enroll in MNSure and receive coverage possibly cheaper in the interim.  We will not have the option to use sick or vacation days during this period.  They also will not pay out your vacation time like they normally would when someone is laid off since they know that you will return and they don’t have the funds.  They will be extending school to make up the days so we may make up some of the time off in the summer.  This however may conflict with summer school which I know some of you work during as well.

 We will be looking for resources to help out those who face economic hardship through this.   Many of our resources do check union cards so if you never got one or have misplaced yours please call Julia Hendel at (651) 287-0542 to order a new one.  If you are currently fair share there has never been a better time to join.  Because of limited resources we will limit our help to our Members. With our own negotiations coming up we need a strong membership base to face the harsh climate of the district these days.  Let us know and we will get a membership card to you.

 There is the likelihood based on the recent Chicago teacher’s strike that the district will shut down the staff email servers in order to limit the teacher’s communication.  This will also limit our communication with you, so we would ask that you please send us your personal emails so that we can update you in case of a strike.

 Solidarity wins strikes.  I’m sure this situation has been overwhelming for some of you and some of you are feeling a bit helpless.  We won’t be taking the strike vote; we are not at the negotiating table; we don’t have a magic wand.  So what can we do?  The first and most important thing is that we pressure the Board of Education to sign a contract for the teachers.  We need all of you to make a couple calls to let them know how the administration is threatening you.  Right now 2 board members are on board to end it, 2 are close and 3 are repeating administration propaganda like it was their own.  We need 4 members to end the strike and once we get 3 everyone will want to be the hero to be the fourth.  Here is a chart of members and their current positions.

 

Louise Seeba

louise.seeba@spps.org

651-335-4263

Please call and thank her for supporting the teachers.

John Brodrick

john.brodrick@spps.org 651-645-7500

Please call and thank him for supporting the teachers.

Keith Hardy

keith.hardy@spps.org

651-200-5032

He is close on supporting the teachers.  Please call and tell him to settle before a strike.

Chue Vue

 

chue.vue@spps.org

651-291-8569

He is close on supporting the teachers.  Please call and tell him to settle before a strike.

Jean O’Connell

jean.oconnell@spps.org 651-295-1623

 

We recently gave $500 to her campaign.  She has been repeating district talking points as if they were her own. Please call and tell her to settle before a strike.

Mary Doran - Chair

mary.doran@spps.org

651-387-2361

 

She has been outspoken in supporting Silva. Please call and tell her to settle before a strike.

Anne Carroll

anne.carroll@spps.org

651-690-9156

There’s no way she will ever come around.  Just look forward to replacing her in two years.

 

 

We also have a breakfast meeting with Keith Hardy on President’s Day Feb 17th at 8 A.M. at Key’s Café in downtown St. Paul 504 Robert St N St Paul, MN 55101.  Please RSVP with us so we can reserve a table.  One more opportunity to support the teachers is to attend a rally at next week’s Board of Education meeting.  Tuesday Feb 18th at 5:15 at 360.

 

Sincerely,

Martin Hoerth

President, AFSCME Local 844

Field Support Technician, Saint Paul Public Schools

Martin.Hoerth@gmail.com

(612) 978-7929