What's New at Teamsters 320
On behalf of Teamsters Local 320 I want to thank all veterans and active duty service men and women of the United States Military. For Memorial Day, Local 320 will never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice to their fellow citizens and for all our freedoms.
This spring Teamsters Local 320 made a solid commitment to those who have served this country. Since Armed Services Day and Memorial Day were in the month of May, Local 320 decided through its Member Action Committee (MAC) to use the annual General Membership Meeting and Member Appreciation Night to raise donations for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization.
On Tuesday, May 16, 2017, Teamsters Local 320 invited DAV Chapter 1 Commander Jimmy L. Kline and Chapter 1 Adjutant Mark L. Jaruszewski to join us and address the membership. That night, Local 320 raised 754 lbs. of donations and issued a check for $1000 to DAV.
Let us never forget those who perished serving our country, but we must also constantly remember those who return with the scars of war and need the help and support of their community. These scars are not always visible, but they still cut as deep and maim as viciously as any noticeable injury. Commander Kline described the pain and suffering Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) causes for so many of our veterans and how DAV views PTSD as any other injury of war.
Local 320 is proud to have teamed up with such a positive organization as DAV. On this Memorial Day Teamsters Local 320 pledges to continue its support for disabled veterans and we wish all Teamsters and their families the best over the long weekend.
Minnesota Teamsters Public and Law Enforcement Employees Union, Local No. 320, held a press conference on Monday, May 22, 2017, at 9:00 AM with Assistant State Public Defenders, who are Teamster members, to discuss the State Legislature’s possible failure to reach a budget deal for the Board of Public Defense. Over 650 public defense employees are affected as the entire state court system is put at risk.
The Board of Public Defense requested an additional $17.476 million to its budget for 19 new Assistant Public Defenders, 7 new Dispositional Advisors to assist clients with mental health issues, and 11 new Legal Specialists. The biennial budget request was designed to bring attorney staffing levels to 75 percent of existing state and national standards.
In 2010, the Legislative Auditor’s (OLA) concluded in its report on public defense that: “High public defender workloads have created significant challenges for Minnesota’s criminal justice system.”
The “challenges” cited by the OLA include: 1) the inability to handle certain case types in anything like a timely manner; 2) aggravation of jail overcrowding; 3) postponement of trial settings, which are already far enough out to impinge on the right to a speedy trial; 4) deterioration in the quality of fact-finding, as witnesses become unavailable; and 5) increased strain on all the
other participants in the justice system.
“What the State Legislature did to public defense with its budget bill is a mockery of justice,” says Brian Aldes, Teamsters Local 320 Secretary-Treasurer and Chief Spokesperson for the public defense employees. “Minnesota State Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea said the Legislature is ‘jeopardizing public safety’ with underfunding the state justice system, and we agree.”
Teamsters Local 320 Secretary-Treasurer Brian Aldes addresses International Brotherhood of Teamsters Unity Conference in May 2017.
This week is National Police Week and from depths of my being I want to recognize and congratulate all peace officers and especially members of the Minnesota Teamsters Law Enforcement League (MNTLEL).
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund:
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others.
I could now describe the countless statistics regarding the high volume of law enforcement injury and death caused by the job, but I prefer to recognize the significant contributions that peace officers make every day. All peace officers are unique in the way that they rush into danger as most other people desperately avoid it. There is something truly special about the courage it takes to be in law enforcement.
Please join with Teamsters Local 320 in observing National Police Week and spare a moment to reflect on those who serve and protect our communities.