Local 517 Washington County


Local 668 members dig in to find better housing options for working families.


Twenty-five years ago this month, the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. Especially as the nation ages, it is not just people with permanent disabilities who benefit from ADA.


One of the core principles of being a union member is: You are not on your own. One of the best examples of this is that union workers have Weingarten Rights. No other workers have this protection.


Members who work for the State of Minnesota Executive Branch will vote the week of Aug. 17 on a proposed two-year contract. A complete list of locations and times for in-person voting, plus details of the tentative agreement, will be posted on Council 5’s website. Members who need to vote by mail must file a Request for Mail Ballot no later than Monday Aug.


Corporate bosses make more in 6 hours than we make all year.


If you read the American history books that most high school students open every day, you wouldn't learn much about labor unions. And what you did learn would lead you to believe that unions haven’t done much since the early 1900s. Hmmm...


DHS workers stand up for staffing and common sense to keep patients, the public – and themselves – safe.


AFSCME International threw down the challenge: It dared locals to sign up 50,000 new members before its July convention. Members in Minnesota and across the country responded – big time.


Across the state, members are rising to the challenge to defend themselves, each other, and their union. In Grand Marais, they learned that power and principle go hand in hand. In Mankato, they reversed a bad deal on health insurance. And in the Proctor school district, their direct action turned the tables on takebacks.

Firefighters in Brooklyn Park and Roseville have become the first part-time crews in Minnesota to unionize.



Minnesota child-care providers are pioneers in new training that helps them recognize potential signs of autism in the kids they care for, then intervene effectively on their behalf.

An unprecedented collaboration between Local 404 and DHS administrators at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter created more than 40 new full-time jobs, wiped out thousands of hours of mandatory overtime each month, and re-arranged schedules in a way that cuts costs, eases pressures on workers, and provides better treatment for patients.

Innovative programs for teens are doing more than help St. Paul library branches become stronger parts of their communities.

Union workers make $10,400 a year more, on average, than nonunion workers. That’s like getting a raise of $200 a week, or $5 more an hour. That’s one of the facts hidden in a report from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Last time, we exposed ALEC’s legislative and corporate members. This time, we expose their ‘stink tanks.’

These days, it’s hard to track where cars, trucks, and SUVs really are made. Here’s a list of vehicles that are built union – either by United Auto Workers members in the U.S., or by members of their partner union in Canada. The most-up-to-date list of vehicles from 2014 (or earlier years) is available on the UAW’s website.

AFSCME is part of a new ground-level campaign that’s turning the tables against those who try to outsource public services to for-profit corporations. The “Taxpayer Empowerment Agenda” provides specific ways to hold states, counties, cities, and school districts accountable if they even think about outsourcing services or selling off public infrastructure.

Workers at Human Development Center had a union, but it was a union on paper only. This year, they changed that in a hurry.


Workers at a DHS mental-health hospital were fed up. Conditions were out of control and getting worse. Members of Local 1307 decided that, if there was any hope of turning things around, they had to take matters into their own hands. So they did.

Fifty years after Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, women still make less than men. Except in Minnesota. For public employees, there is no pay gap. It didn’t happen by accident.

Don’t take rights, respect, or a decent standard of living for granted, early AFSCME activists say.


When flash floods inundated northeast Minnesota in June 2012, hundreds of AFSCME members fought them, repaired the damage, and kept communities functioning as normally as possible. Whether these members worked for schools, prisons, street or highway departments, nursing homes, or city or county agencies, they put the public first -- even when their own homes were festering in floodwaters.

The prison grounds at Stillwater are filled with projects that trades crews did in-house. They’ve laid yards of concrete, built gatehouses, installed landscaping, patched up masonry, put in energy-efficient windows, and replaced rotting steam lines with hot-water systems. That’s on top of day-to-day upkeep. By doing it themsleves, they save taxpayers millions of dollars.

As public employees, we aren’t the only workers seeing our pay, benefits and careers under attack. The cashiers, meat cutters, and clerks at union supermarkets are in the same fight.

Learn More about Family Leave

The Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division has published a free, 16-page booklet that explains the Family Medical and Leave Act and answers common questions about who qualifies and what protections the law provides.

Finding the Union Label Gets Easier

A one-stop website to find union-made, American-made goods and services is now available. The site is far from complete, but is a place to start and is expanding gradually..

The U.S. Department of Transportation requires that all tires sold in the United States be stamped with a code. Here's how to decipher the code to make sure the car and truck tires you buy are union-made.

Whether you’re looking for holiday treats, snacks for a football party, or simply for a snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, here are candies, cookies, chips and more that are union-made in the USA.

Minnesota's largest air carrier now is less unionized than ever. How do other airlines that serve the state stack up?


In practical terms, their strike failed. But more than 30 years later, The Willmar 8 still hear how they changed working conditions for women around the world.

The Willmar 8's AFSCME connections

Retirees aren't the only ones who benefit from a pension they can count on.

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