Click HERE for Union Dues info (Due the 1st of EVERY Quarter) ……. General Membership Meeting/New Member Swear-In is TUESDAY, 11/10/2020 at the Owatonna VFW at 7 p.m

Union Dues: Due the first of Every Quarter (January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1)

*2021 RATES* $123/quarter for “A” members and $66/quarter for “BA” members ~

General Membership Meeting/New Member Swear-In is TUESDAY, 11/10/2020 at the Owatonna VFW at 7 p.m (135 Oakdale St., Owatonna, MN)

With election day approaching and COVID-19 still limiting political outreach for all parties in Minnesota, more and more resources are being channeled into phone banking. I’m sure many of you have been getting political calls urging you to vote for a candidate, providing unsolicited “did you know” information, or asking you to take surveys. As your local, we are also using phone calls to inform our members about the candidates we’ve endorsed, and why. The stakes have never been higher than they are this election cycle, and we want our members to get out and vote, and to have information on which candidates support union values.


I’m writing to remind our members that the people calling you are volunteers and are likely spending hours at a time on the phone, calling a list of potential voters. Being rude or swearing at them isn’t helpful, and just makes their day worse. If you don’t want to participate or listen, just tell them you’re not interested in taking part. You can also request to be taken off their list. Everyone is trying to do their part, so let’s be polite – either listen to the pitch or just say you’re not interested, then everyone can go on with their day. Oh, and please vote. Your voice is important. If you have any questions reach out by email or phone (507) 577-1109

Voting Early In Person

In Minnesota, there are many ways to vote, by mail, in person on Nov. 3rd, and voting early in person. There are many benefits for voting early in Minnesota, one of them being the ability to know your vote was counted and not having to wait in long lines. If this is something that you would be interested in, you can visit the secretary of state website to find a location near you. This year in Minnesota, we can become more union-friendly, with the possibility of real change. If you have any questions, please reach out by phone (507)577-1109 email

Notice of Vacancies for State Board of Electricity.

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State today released notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Minnesotans are encouraged to apply and serve in demonstration of public service. The newest vacancies are listed below, and the full list of 456 vacancies can be found on their website Open Positions.

Applications may be submitted online, and must be submitted within 21 days of the “Publish Date” listed on their Open Positions page, to be assured of full consideration by the appointing authority. Appointing authorities may choose to review applications received by the Secretary of State after the 21 day application period.

See their new instructions on HOW TO APPLY at the end of the message.


Below is a list of agencies with new vacancies.
Please visit their website for complete descriptions.

Board of Electricity
Vacancies: 1 Seat — Electrical Supplier In Rural Area
Vacancies: 1 Seat — Journeyworker Electrician
Vacancies: 1 Seat — Master Electrician – Contractor
Vacancies: 1 Seat — Power Limited Technician/Tech Sys Contractor
Vacancies: 1 Seat — Registered Consulting Electrical Engineer



Visit the Open Positions page.
Scroll down to find the correct Agency/Board/Council.
Choose the correct seat type, and click button that says APPLY
The system will walk you through creating an application profile.

Page 2 of the application will now allow you to attach the following documents:
• Letter of Interest
• Resume or Biography

Applicants are encouraged to use the online application as the Appointing Authority will have access to your information as soon as it is submitted.

Applications submitted via downloadable application may experience some delay in reaching the Appointing Authority.
Paper applications may be submitted by email to: Open Appointments or by mail or in person to:

Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.
St Paul, MN 55155-1299

Temporary Book Signing Policy

In an effort to help stop the spread of COVID and help to keep the office staff safe, IBEW Local 343 office will be closed. We will not be allowing book signing and re-sign in person. Book signing will temporarily be done by email. Re-signs will be done on-line, fax or mail, not in person. New book signing directions and forms will be located in the pickup box by the front door. Resign forms can be found there as well. Once filled out, place them in the dropbox. The new book signing rules can be found in the link below. All daily activities will continue as usual.

If you have any questions feel free to call anytime.

Temporary Book Signing Policy

We have gotten in some IBEW Union made facemasks and are for sale at the hall. The lightweight ones are $4, and the heavier weight ones are $9. We have also gotten some Proud Union Home signs that are available for free. Please call the hall before coming out to schedule a time to stop by.

Minnesota Unemployment update

Minnesota is now approved by the federal government to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program. LWA is a short-term emergency program. It will provide an additional $300 per week to most unemployed UI applicants due to COVID-19. States have the option to provide an additional $100/week benefit from their own Coronavirus Relief Fund. Minnesota has already allocated Coronavirus Relief Funds to critical public health initiatives and other measures to fight the pandemic.

To receive the LWA, you must be eligible for unemployment benefits for that week. Your weekly benefit amount for unemployment benefits must be at least $100, and you must be unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The additional $300 per week will not show on the “Payment Information” screen of your online unemployment account. The payment will be deposited to the bank account or debit card they have on file. If you use direct deposit, the additional $300 per week will show up as a separate transaction. If you are eligible for multiple weeks of the extra $300 per week, you will receive the amount in a lump sum.

Applicants don’t have to do anything extra to receive LWA payments. Just cotinine applying, they will review all the payment requests made for the week of July 26th going forward and automatically pay applicants eligible for LWA. The additional $300 per week benefit will be available until all federal funds are exhausted or until Congress passes a replacement program. Based on current projections, they expect that LWA payments will end in all states by the middle of September.

If you have any questions about anything, please reach out to me by phone (507)577-1109 or email

Executive Orders

President Trump signed several executive orders on Saturday. Workers earning less than $2,000 pre-tax dollars a week will have Social Security and Medicare taxes suspended. This will amount to 7.65% of your wages and will be in effect from September 1 – December 31, 2020. The president’s order also directs the Secretary of the Treasury to explore different avenues to eliminate the obligation to pay the suspended taxes, if nothing is agreed to the taxes will need to be paid back in full.


Another order may provide as much as $400 in enhanced unemployment benefits. For this to happen, each state must agree to enter a financial arrangement with the federal government for any unemployed person living there to receive additional benefits. The federal government would require states to pay for 25% (or $100) of the $400 each person may be able to receive weekly in additional aid. This benefit may not go into effect right away in Minnesota because an entirely new system to deliver the aid money would need to be established, which could take months.


Trump asked to renew the eviction moratorium what was in the CARES Act, to keep struggling Americans in their homes that initially expired on July 24, 2020, it would be extended until the end of the year. The last executive order relates to student loans held by the Department of Education and calls for the “temporary stop of payments and the waiver of all interest on student loans until December 31, 2020.”


Ultimately, the orders only come into effect once enforced. With democrats and Republicans still in negotiations, things could change quickly. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out by email or phone 507-577-1109.

Yard Signs

If any of our members are looking for signs for this year’s election, large ones or standard size, and need help getting a hold of one, please reach out, and I can help locate one for you by email or phone 507-577-1109