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AFSCME Council 5



Members of Local 2385, under the umbrella of AFSCME Council 5, are a part of the largest and most influential union in Minnesota:  AFSCME.  The joined forces of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are able to provide its members with advantages far beyond those attainable by smaller organizations and individuals.

SALARIES:  The average union member earns 19.4% more than nonunion workers.

BENEFITS:  In addition to our access to superior health insurance, the combined bargaining power of the MinnState locals with AFSCME backing has provided us with access to other benefits such as life, disability, prescription, dental and vision coverage; generous options for paid and unpaid time off work; pensions and tuition waivers.

JOB PROTECTION:  While layoffs may be inevitable during economic hard times, your union contract provides you with advance notice and call-back options not afforded to workers in the private sector.  Your union also provides clear procedures your employer must follow, eliminating much of the uncertainty faced by workers elsewhere, as well as support during and after the layoff process. 

ADVOCACY:  Our union represents and supports you if your contract has been violated or you've been treated unfairly.

VOICE:  Representatives from your local's Executive Board meet regularly at Meet and Confer labor management with top administration to ensure a free exchange of information and concerns.

PARTICIPATION: Members can serve as union officers or representatives to a variety of important university and union committees and task forces. Members also have the right to vote on contract ratification, officer elections, constitutional changes, and union position statements.  The opportunity is also available to provide input as the Council 5 Master Negotiation Team negotiations contract proposals every two years.  If you have suggestions for future contract language changes, please send them to


In 1960, we united to improve the quality of our workplace.
We’re proud of the victories listed below.

  • Workers’ Rights and Recognition
    • Before, there were no internal hiring rights. Now, vacancies are posted and qualified internal candidates must be interviewed.
    • Before, discipline occurred without representation. Now, trained union stewards are there to support you and enforce your contract.
  • Job Security
    • Before, you could be laid off without notice. Now, our employer must give you four weeks notice.
    • Before, you could work for 20+ years and still be treated as a temp. Now, temporary jobs are limited.
  • Flexibility for Working Families
    • Before, schedules were imposed. Now, flexible work schedules and job sharing can be negotiated.
    • Before, your supervisor could tell you when to take your vacation. Now, your right to take care of yourself and your family is protected by our contract.
  • Salaries and Benefits
    • Before, we had no power over wages and forced furloughs. Now, we bargain with our employer as equals. This state contract:
      • we refused to take 48 days of unpaid leave, equal to a 10 percent pay cut;
      • we beat back wage cuts of 1.5 percent each year;
      • we won annual step increases of 2.5 percent in year two;
      • we held the line on our health care benefits; and
      • we mitigated layoffs during a budget crisis and recession.


Workers like you make our union strong.
Choose how you’d like to get active.

  • Attend your Local 2385 semi-monthly union meetings  (Notices sent by campus mail and email)
    • Meet your co-workers.
    • Offer input.
    • Vote on your contract.
    • Run for union office.
    • Elect your union officers.
    • Get political.
    • Help organize.
    • Grow the union.

AFSCME Council 5
300 Hardman Ave. S., South St. Paul
3rd Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Jennifer Swanson, President, x6565
Open, Vice-President
Jamie Leonard, Secretary, x7222
Jorun Ahmann, Treasurer, x6573
Tim Farrell, Executive Board Member, x7107
Cathryn Sleiter, Executive Board Member, x7205
Debra Porter, Executive Board Member, x7205
Open, Chief Steward
Eric Halvorson, AFSCME C5 Field Representative, (651) 287-0495

State Committees
Minnesota State State Employee Policy Committee (SEPC) - Jen Swanson
AFSCME Safety Committee - Deb Porter

Last Modified: 4/12/23 2:11 PM | Website Feedback