Strike savings

by Kymberly Hafner

Our contract expires next year on December 31, 2024, so let’s chat about

Hennepin County AFSCME workers fighting for a fair contract (Photo by Brad Sigal)
Hennepin County AFSCME workers fighting for a fair contract (Photo by Brad Sigal)

starting to save for a potential strike. Setting money aside now is crucial. It empowers us to make an informed choice on voting whether to accept or reject our next contract with Hennepin County.

I had a member reach out to me a few months ago who mentioned that since we are paid bi-weekly, there are two months each year where we receive 3 paychecks. Her suggestion was to save those 2 “bonus” paychecks as part of our ongoing strike savings!

The life of our contract is 3 years long and if we save one of those “bonus” paychecks each year, then we would already have a 6-week cushion built up. If you are able to set aside both “bonus” paychecks, then that doubles the amount to an astounding 12 weeks’ worth of rainy-day savings.

September happens to be one of the months where we receive 3 paychecks and I encourage each member to start saving now. Looking further ahead, March 2024, August 2024, and January 2025 are all three-paycheck months.

Hennepin County has already been making it clear with their steep 27% insurance premium increases that they think very little of us as employees. County Administrator David Hough has been caught lying and wants workers to just sit back and watch as they destroy our health insurance and hard-earned benefits.

We should all remember this when it comes time to vote on a strike in order to make our contract stronger and hold county administration accountable. We make Hennepin County run and we can strategically position ourselves to not make decisions out of financial fear. Instead, we can truly make an informed choice about the value of our labor and our future!

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