The second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators. This concept was envisioned by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff’s Office in 1981, but was not nationally recognized until 1994. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced H.J. Res. 284 to create “National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.”
President Bill Clinton set forth Proclamation 6667:
America’s public safety telecommunicators serve our citizens daily in countless ways. The work of these “unseen first responders” is invaluable in emergency situations, and each of these dedicated men and women deserves our heartfelt appreciation […]
The Congress, by Public Law 103–221, has designated the week beginning April 11, 1994, as “National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week” and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.
Teamsters Local 320 is fortunate to represent over 20 bargaining units of public safety telecommunicators throughout the state of Minnesota. Simply put, the actions of these agile men and women save lives. They support local police, fire, and EMTs who use public safety telecommunications to swiftly respond to emergency calls.
On the second full week of April our Local Union recognizes the difficult and daring work of public safety telecommunicators and we enthusiastically support National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
The Minnesota House of Representatives is taking up H.F. No. 3014 (law designed to protect public sector workers’ rights).
This bill would create a Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) under the Bureau of Mediation Services. The Board would handle Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges (listed under PELRA) administratively, replacing the current practice of handling ULP charges through the district courts. This bill would only apply to public employment—not the private sector—private sector employees are covered under the National Labor Relations Act.
PELRA (179A.13) lists unfair labor practices by employers and unions. ULP charges can be brought by unions against employers, employers against unions, or individuals against employers and/or unions. The current process of bringing charges through district court is very expensive, cumbersome and time consuming. Individuals or organizations bringing charges need to hire attorneys, and the typical cost is $50,000 to $75,000, and it can take years to get a decision. This makes the current process of going through the courts prohibitively expensive for individuals, unions, and even small public employers.
When a ULP is handled administratively, the party bringing the charges does not have to have an attorney, and typically spends around $5,000 to bring a charge. Parties bring charges do not need an attorney. In states that use an administrative system like this, most charges are either settled or dismissed for lack of merit at the investigative stage—before they even go to a hearing. The timelines are also much quicker than the district court processes.
The Association for Government Accountability (AGA), a citizens group that has made a mission of shutting down safe driving classes in Wabasha County and elsewhere is now getting involved in union contract issues in Wabasha County.
AGA has publicly attacked Teamster health benefits for Sheriff’s Deputies, Correctional Officers and 911 Dispatchers. Teamsters Local 320 will not stand for these attacks and we will fight back!
H.F. No. 2117 provides that the cost of a Veterans Preference Hearing be paid by the employer (state, political subdivision, County, municipality, or public agency). Currently, the employee-veteran is on the hook for the costly expense of a hearing. Teamsters Local 320 feels strongly that no veteran after serving their country should have to cover the cost of the hearing.
Groups like the League of Minnesota Cities and Minnesota County Association are opposing H.F. No. 2117 on the grounds that it will cost too much money. That’s just wrong! No veteran should be turned away because their government and employer cannot afford to help. Veterans deserve better!
Some legislators want to gut the bill and put half of the cost on the employee-veteran—wrong again! Veterans deserve better!
Please help Teamsters Local 320 support veterans by contacting your state representative. Tell them to support H.F. No. 2117!
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The Sartell Police Department is saddened to announce the passing of Police Officer Joe Schmitz. Officer Schmitz died after complications from surgery. Schmitz has been with the Sartell Police Department for about two years. Prior to working in Sartell, Schmitz worked for the Paynesville Police Department for 19 years. Schmitz also worked part time for the Cold Spring/Richmond Police Department.
Schmitz died the afternoon of March 27th with his family at his side. Schmitz is survived by his wife Stacy Landborg-Schmitz and their 4 year old son.
Sartell Chief Jim Hughes stated “Joe was an outstanding officer for the Sartell Police Department. He was tall in stature with a big heart and a smile just as big. Even though Joe was only with Sartell for under two years, he stepped right in as a seasoned,experienced officer. He will be missed by the people he was sworn to protect and by the members of the department.
There is an account set up for Schmitz at the Central Minnesota Credit Union branches at “Joe Schmitz 7907.”
When Hayden Carlo was stopped for an expired registration, he was blown away with the treatment he received from the police officer. You won’t hear of something like this happening everyday, this is just remarkable!
Dealing with trauma, stress, PTSD and depression. Informational handouts from MNTLEL Training “Surviving the Attack.”
Teamsters Local 320 Lobby Day video!
Teamsters Local 320 Rocks the Capitol!
On Wednesday, March 19 Teamsters Local 320 rocked the Capitol for its annual Lobby Day or Day on the Hill. Over 60 Teamsters ascended on the Minnesota State Capitol to lobby their legislators on issues important to working families.
Secretary-Treasurer Brian Aldes kicked off the event describing how Local 320 tripled its Lobby Day participation from last year and how the Local Union hopes to get even more for next year. Over 100 Teamsters originally registered for Lobby Day, but due to inclement weather many from Greater Minnesota could not make the trek to St. Paul.
The majority of Teamsters who participated were from state universities and they had major issues regarding fair compensation through the budgetary process in addition to basic support for Governor Mark Dayton’s bonding list. Teamster member Adam Klepetar testified at the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee in support of the MnSCU supplemental budget to provide a fair settlement for MSUAASF members in contract negotiations.
Teamsters in public defense met with Representative Debra Hilstrom to discuss building equity for judicial branch employees. Rep. Hilstrom is the Teamsters Joint Council 32 DRIVE endorsed candidate for Secretary of State.
Other Teamsters from all over the state from county social services to corrections had an opportunity to discuss their issues with legislators and important committee chairs.
In the afternoon, both Rep. Hilstrom and Lt. Governor Candidate Tina Smith (Governor Dayton’s running mate) addressed all Teamsters at the Capitol. Rep. Hilstrom thanked Teamsters for support and told the crowd how her grandfather was a Teamster and a 1934 striker. Rep. Hilstrom’s grandfather was involved in both the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters Strike and the 1939 WPA Strike led by Teamsters Local 574 Federal Workers Section (FWS).
Lt. Governor Candidate Tina Smith thanked Teamsters for support of Governor Dayton’s supplemental budget and bonding list and made it clear on no uncertain terms that Gov. Dayton’s administration has been a true friend to the Teamsters Union. All Teamsters know how important a strong governor can be to help maintain strong public sector budgets.