Local 3141 - Department of Revenue

Budget Crisis, Shutdown and Staff Assignments.

From Eliot Seide

As you are all aware, a budget agreement must be reached in the next thirty days or we will have a shutdown of state services on July 1, 2011. Our position is clear and direct.

The Republican controlled legislature has produced a budget, rightfully vetoed by Governor Dayton, that would have cut 30,000 public and private sector jobs and increased property taxes for middle class Minnesotans. It's time for them to compromise with the Governor. There does not need to be a shutdown. If the richest 2 % of all Minnesotans simply pay their fair share of taxes we can stop risky cuts to vital public services and avoid a government shutdown. The Republican leadership needs to act responsibly and compromise with the Governor. Governor Dayton has already made significant moves twice that have gotten no response from the Legislature.

The Republican game plan is clear and disgusting. They want to use state employees as pawns in their cynical political game. The Republican majorities want to lock us out of work, threaten our families and our livelihoods and get us to pressure Governor Dayton to settle with them on their terms. We can't let them do that to us. If the Republicans win the budget battle and the Governor caves without taxing the richest 2% of Minnesotans, we will return to work only to pick up pink slips for thousands of state, local government, higher education and health care workers. The services that we deliver, our jobs and our communities will be gutted.

To avoid a shutdown and/or to stop one as soon as possible, we need to pressure key Republican legislators to break with the extremists in their caucuses and support the Governor's compromise solution that simply asks the richest 2% of Minnesotans to pay their fair share of taxes.

To that end, all field representatives will be working with you full time to mobilize our members to volunteer for phone banks, attend district meeting with legislators, doorknock in targeted districts and put pressure on the legislature to compromise with Governor Dayton. Unless staff have a scheduled arbitration or negotiations that cannot be rescheduled, I have asked them to work with you full time to call emergency meetings of your Boards, stewards and activists to mobilize our membership to protect our services, protect our jobs and protect our communities.

The choice is clear. We want to work for Minnesota. We do our jobs and now the legislature must do their jobs. The Republican leadership must act responsibly and compromise with Governor Dayton who has made major compromises twice. If the richest 2% of Minnesotans pay their fair share of taxes, we can stop risky cuts to vital public services and avoid a government shutdown. If the Republican extremists get their way, 30,000 public and private workers will lose their jobs, middle class Minnesotans will see property tax increases over 4.5%, we will be shut down and when we return to work we will get pink slips, not pay checks.

We want to work for Minnesota. Support the Governor's Budget. If the richest 2% pay their fair share of taxes, we can stop risky cuts to vital public services and avoid a shutdown.

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