AFSCME Local 668

About Local 668

The name of our union is Local 668. Our union is affiliated with the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area District Council 5 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

AFSCME Local 668 has a membership of approximately 400 members from various areas of the Metropolitan Council. Some departments include: finance, environmental services, communications, safety and risk management.

The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning agency for the seven county area and also oversees wastewater treatment, regional bus service and water quality.

Our History

In 1994, the Minnesota Legislature adopted the Metropolitan Reorganization Act of 1994 (MRA). This law provided for significant reorganization of the Metropolitan Council. Prior to the MRA, the Metropolitan Council was a relatively small planning agency. The MRA combined the planning and operating fuctions of independent governmental operating agencies and merging them into the Metropolitan Council. Those three (3) agencies were the Metropolitan Waste Commission (MWCC), the Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) and the Regional Transit Board (RTB).

Before the MRA, three (3) separate AFSCME Council 14 local unions represented employees at the Metropolitan Council. The original Local 668 represented about 360 clerical, technical, professional and interceptor service employees of the MWCC in wastewater collection and treatment. Local 668 began in 1971 as a union in the Twin Cities metropolitan area as Local 8, a member of the now defunct AFSCME Council 91. Local 8 transformed into Local 668 in 1976. Another union, Local 839, chose AFSCME representation in 1980 by a margin of five (5) votes. That decision to unionize followed two previous unsuccessful attempts to form a union in 1970 and 1973. Local 839 represented about 150 clerical, professional and technical employees working at administration and planning aspects of the Metropolitan Council. The third Council 14 union formed in 1994 after the MRA and represented about 25 clerical, technical and professional regional transit employees formerly in RTB.

In August of 1995, upon request of the local unions, Council 14 requested a hearing before the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS), and petitioned the BMS to combine the three (3) existing Council 14 locals in one (1) local union. The first hearing at the BMS was set for September, 1995. During this time, the Executive Boards of the three (3) locals were meeting and deciding on the future of the new union. Their discussions centered around a new constitution for the new local and how to handle upcoming contract negotiations.

The newly formed local union retained the name Local 668, even though there were differences from the original Local 668. The first meeting of the newly combined local occurred in March of 1996. During that meeting the union ratified its initial constitution and Art McGrane, a Technician at the Metro Plant, became the new union's first President. In May of 1996, Risk Management and Information Services employees of Transit were organized by Council 14. Since they had similar job classifications and duties they too were added to the new Local 668. This added approximately 50 additional members to the bargaining unit.

The first labor contract was time consuming (as all first contracts are) and was settled between the Union and the Agency in late November of 1996. This contract maintained most of the benefit levels for the three unions, and contained some grandfathered benefits for employees originally under the old union contract. Naturally, there were a few birth pains during the formation of the new Local 668. Nevertheless, as a union, we are now going forward from our creation and will continue to improve with your involvement.

 

 

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