What's New at Teamsters 320
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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 emergencies.
On the second full week of April, our Local Union recognizes the difficult and daring work of public safety telecommunicators. Teamsters Local 320 enthusiastically supports National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week!
On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, nearly 100 Local 320 Teamsters made their way to the Minnesota State Capitol to meet with their elected officials. Teamsters talked about public services, pensions, and workers’ rights.
“Teamsters held the politicians’ feet to the fire on very important issues,” says Secretary-Treasurer Brian Aldes. “We were both respectful and forceful when it came to discussing our jobs, our pensions, and our rights!”
The highlights of the day were captured for our website and can be viewed here
The night before Teamsters met at the State Capitol, Local 320 hosted a reception for all attendees of its annual Lobby Day. House Minority Leader, State Representative Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park), addressed the reception audience and spoke of her values and the values which guide her caucus. Representative Hortman said the Democratic Party must regain its foothold with working Minnesotans and focus on economic issues that improve people’s lives.
Teamsters were also greeted and educated by Iowa AFL-CIO President Ken Sager by video. Sager discussed the public sector collective bargaining restrictions that recently occurred in Iowa. He told of the devastation to working men and women and how it is important to participate in union activities.
As Teamsters spent morning meeting with their individual legislators, the afternoon consisted of meetings with special guests Representative Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center) and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson.
Representative Debra Hilstrom is the Ranking Member on the House Public Safety Committee and a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Representative Hilstrom described the challenges public safety faces in obtaining state-wide funding for training. She also addressed the unnecessary assault against public services and public employees currently taking place at the State Legislature. She said we must have each other’s backs through this difficult time and we must support Governor Dayton as he vetoes many bad bills.
When Teamsters met with Attorney General Lori Swanson she greeted every individual one-by-one and invited the group into her office. Secretary-Treasurer Brian Aldes thanked her for her past support in filing Amicus Curiae, or a "friend of the court" brief against national right-to-work in the public sector. Attorney General Swanson filed the brief against the former U.S. Supreme Court case on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. She then made it clear in no uncertain terms that she would do so again with the pending case Janus v. AFSCME which could also create a national right-to-work system in the public sector.