News

Across the nation, women are creating change for working families more than ever before. The Women’s Leadership Academy is ready to train more AFSCME women to be leaders of that change.

It’s not a secret that drug prices in the United States are rising much faster than inflation.

EMS Week is a time to recognize the sacrifices that EMS professionals make for their communities and to honor these skilled heroes who rush into danger when we need them most. AFSCME EMS professionals play an essential role in the emergency response system, but their stories—and the wounds they suffer on the job—are often overlooked.

Some people have wild stories about their coworkers. Jill’s, though, are unique.

Jill Erzar is a zookeeper at Como Zoo in St Paul. Her coworkers are giraffes, bison, reindeer, kudu, zebra, and other hooved animals of all shapes and sizes.

Growing up, Jill always loved animals. She considered becoming a veterinarian, and was studying animal health in college before she took an internship at Como Zoo.

“By Day Two, I was a goner,” Jill said. “I knew this was what I wanted to do.”

Minnesota winters are tough. In Rochester, several blizzards brought the entire town to a standstill. Major roads and highways were closed, sometimes for days at a time.

When weather makes it unsafe to travel, Jeff Paulson – better known as Scuffy – hits the road. Scuffy works at MnDOT District 6, which covers Southern Minnesota. In the summer, Scuffy and his MnDOT team inspect bridges, maintain signage, and fix potholes and other road damage. But in the winter, they plow snow.

Members of AFSCME’s law enforcement community take countless risks to keep our communities safe. When those brave heroes make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, our obligation is to never forget them.

National Police Week is a time to honor fallen law enforcement officers, as well as a time for the law enforcement community to stand in solidarity with each other.

During National Nurses Week, we celebrate the heroes who, with skill and compassion, care for the sick. This year, we’re honoring their hard work and dedication by supporting the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, a bill that seeks to raise the bar on safety standards and protect nurses from preventable incidents of violence at work.

While we’re known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota could just have easily adopted the moniker ‘Land of Abundant and Delicious Walleye,’ and no one this side of the Wisconsin border would have batted an eye.

Each spring, anglers across Minnesota gear up for one of our state’s most popular pastimes: walleye fishing. But for AFSCME members who work at DNR fish hatcheries, walleye season never ends. From spawning eggs to stocking our beautiful lakes with finger-sized adolescent walleye, our DNR workers labor year-round to ensure a plentiful walleye season for the rest of us.

The day after he was released from a hospital, a bruised and swollen Kelvin Chung told a state Senate committee that state employees like him need collective bargaining rights to advocate for safety on the job. “I want you to see my face. We need a voice on the job, so this doesn't happen again to anyone else,” said Chung, a corrections officer.

AFSCME Local 66 encompasses most of St. Louis County and the Iron Range and is made up of 19 bargaining units, with a membership comprised of workers from all walks of life – from the sanitation workers who keep our communities clean and healthy, to social workers who travel the region caring for our vulnerable and elderly.