President’s Corner: October filled with election work and more
Needless to say, it has was quite a week waiting for final results from Election Day 2020. I want to thank you, MAPE members, not only for voting and making your voices heard, but for working hard to elect pro-labor candidates. I also want to give you an update on some of the many ways our members and leaders are working to build our power.
Together, we completed more than 700 election shifts, or about 2,100 hours of calling, texting, and dropping campaign literature across the state. We are now one vote shy of a pro-labor majority leader in the senate (34-33). with Minnesota’s record-breaking voter turnout, we know MAPE members had an undeniable impact on the 2020 elections.
During the campaign, we launched our member-to-member calling program. We kicked it off with over 50 members, and a practice phone bank featuring Governor Tim Walz. The Governor thanked MAPE for keeping the state running during a pandemic and also for our efforts to advance the interests of working people statewide. We called more the 2,500 members to check-in and see how they were doing- and learned which issues are most important to them.
After months of hard work, the Minnesota Legislature passed the bonding bills and supplemental budgets intended to ensure the solvency of several state agencies- and the jobs of countless public employees. Thank you, members, for taking the time to reach out to your elected officials. It is so important they hear from you to show them the important work of public servants and public services alike. We keep Minnesota running, especially during a pandemic.
In October, you’ve likely seen the COVID-19 survey; which was created and promoted by our Meet and Confer Chairs. We collected over 9,000 responses; the best completion rate to date for a member survey! We’ll use the results to identify opportunities to help our members advocate for workplace safety and member engagement.
As we look forward to the rest of November, I’d like to talk a little about negotiations. Our Negotiations Representatives have been working hard since their convention in September, and are gearing up to negotiate our next contract. I am so excited about their plans to implement listening sessions and member outreach, and am grateful for the dedication and enthusiasm this team has shown. Through these listening sessions, we hope to hear about your priorities at events in your region. There will be a lot more information coming about listening sessions, contract bargaining, and building our power in the upcoming months- keep an eye on your inboxes and an ear to your coworkers.
Ultimately, I am thankful for you – each and every one of you – our ~16,000 MAPE-represented employees. You show up, every day, in a once-in-a-century pandemic, put your life on the line to care for inmates, work tirelessly to control COVID, work to keep the economy of Minnesota running, and countless other tasks to keep giving Minnesotan’s peace of mind. Your work is so important, and I want to continue to highlight the importance of what you do. Please take a minute to briefly tell us about your work and the impact it has on Minnesotans.