IUPAT DC 82 Annual Picnic

District Council 82 will hold our Annual Membership Picnic for all our members and their families. 

This year, our picnic will be held at:
Minnesota State Fair Grounds – International Bazaar
1265 Snelling Ave N.
Falcon Heights, MN 55108
(On the corner of Underwood St. and Judson Ave.)

Sunday, June 30, 2024
11 AM – 2 PM

Prizes and activities for all children ages 0 – 17

Lunch will be served at noon

Adult drawing will be held at 1 PM

We extend a personal invitation to you and your immediate family for an afternoon of fun and relaxation. We look forward to seeing each and every one of you.

MinnPost: You should know the risks of using solvent-based paint

Minnesota has failed to keep workers and consumers safe from deadly substances that require stronger regulation. The Legislature should act.

by Zach Thoemke

Originally published April 17, 2024 in MinnPost

I’m a professional commercial painter. I deal with toxic chemicals daily. In one of my first painting jobs, I worked 10-hour shifts overnight in a non-union company wiping down windows with an acetone-soaked rag, with no access to gloves, a respirator or other personal protective equipment.

No one told me or the other workers on the site of the life-changing dangers associated with the unprotected use of acetone, a dangerous solvent, and I continue to be impacted by skin injuries from my exposure to this day, over 10 years later.

This isn’t a case of a single bad actor company — it’s emblematic of the pervasive failure of our state to keep Minnesota workers and consumers safe from deadly substances that require higher regulation.

When private consumers use or are around hazardous solvent-based paints, they’re being put at risk for disfiguring chemical burns, permanent neurological damage, irreversible blindness, infertility, and so much more. In the worst-case scenario, you can die if you inhale a Category 1 solvent, like xylene, a paint thinner. It smells innocuous and sweet, but it’s deadly.

Today, I’m a professional commercial painter and a member of IUPAT DC 82. Learning about the extreme levels of risk I took on working with solvents in non-union environments was eye-opening, and that is why I’m speaking out to warn Minnesotans about those dangers. Nothing this hazardous should be so readily available without increased worker and consumer protection.

Solvent-based paint is what we use in infrastructure coatings projects, like on steel bridges and water towers. They’re very heavy-duty and can withstand large temperature and humidity fluctuations over time. For professional painters to use these paints safely, we train for years, and when they’re used, we wear hazmat-like suits, eye protection and respirators and contain the painting area with hundreds of yards of tarping to protect our neighbors from inhaling or coming into contact with these paints. 

The average homeowner does not need to take these extreme precautions if they’re painting their home, interior or exterior, because they do not have to use solvent-based paints to get the job done.

Every day, home and business owners use solvent-based paint in their homes and offices with no protection to understand the risks. We have to do better. 

Even in the most well-trained job sites staffed by workers with years of specialized training and experience, the risk of solvent injury is still present. You’d be hard-pressed to find a professional commercial or industrial painter who hasn’t at least gotten minor chemical burns on the job or felt light-headed after work, even while using the best protective equipment money can buy. The public simply doesn’t have to take that kind of risk.

The best way to protect workers and consumers is to ensure that only trained and licensed workers use these professional-grade products. Workers and the public should be educated about the hazards presented by these products if misused. Average homeowners should still be able to purchase paint and safe quantities of solvent-based products to complete home improvement projects. Irresponsible contractors that expose untrained workers to unlimited quantities of these products should be held accountable. 

Now is the time for the Minnesota Legislature to establish common-sense guidelines for the use of professional-grade paint products.

Zach Thoemke, of New Brighton, is a commercial painter and organizer with IUPAT District Council 82 in the Twin Cities.

Join DC 82’s Core Committees

DC 82’s Core Committees are multifaceted member ally groups that serve our communities and members in a variety of ways:

  • Camaraderie and friendship
  • Fostering skill and career development
  • Intersectional activism
  • Community volunteering
  • Amplifying member voices
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
  • Leadership training, and much more

Director of CORE Committees: Art Hill, [email protected]


Sign up to become a volunteer


Black Core Committee

The IUPAT Black CORE Committee is committed to recruiting and retaining Black finishing tradespeople.

The IUPAT Black Core Committee is dedicated to empowering black members by fostering skill development, nurturing creativity, and providing the necessary knowledge to excel as influential leaders in their communities and within the IUPAT. By uniting brilliant minds, we strive to dismantle barriers and cultivate unity within our union.

Contact Committee Chair Art Hill to sign up: [email protected]


Latino CORE Committee

Somos el Comité CORE Latino y estamos comprometidos a trabajar por las necesidades que enfrentan nuestros miembros latinos día a día. Mientras nuestro enfoque es animar a nuestra gente trabajadora, nuestro objetivo principal es enfocarnos en los problemas que afronta la membrecía latina y darles una plataforma y voz dentro del IUPAT.

We are the Latino C.O.R.E. Committee and we are committed to working for the needs that our Latino members face every day. While our focus is to encourage our hardworking people, our main goal is to focus on the issues faced by the Latino membership and give them a platform and voice within the IUPAT.

Contact Committee Chair Grecia Palomar to sign up: [email protected]


Women’s Committee of DC 82

Our mission is to provide structure and support for all women craft workers of DC82, by uniting women within our ranks to become active, informed, and leaders in their crafts and their unions. Our purpose is to recruit, mentor, retain, and develop women leaders in DC82 crafts through action. Our activities support DC82’s continuous efforts to improve market share, training, wages, working conditions, and the quality of life of our members and their families.

Contact Committee Chair Jean Fields to sign up: [email protected]


Young Workers Committee

The Young Workers Committee supports the up-and-coming leaders of DC 82. Young apprentices and journeypersons volunteer in the community and form lifelong friendships with their union brothers and sisters.

Contact Committee Chair Zach Thoemke to sign up: [email protected]


If you are interested in chairing or joining the DC 82 LGBTQIA+ Committee, email Art Hill at [email protected]

Sign up now! Day of Action: April 20, 2024

Brothers and Sisters,

We have two new opportunities to get out and serve your community on Saturday, April 20 for our Day of Action! This is the perfect time to dedicate a couple of hours of your time to use your skills to help make our community a better place to live.

Sign up now!

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For all DC 82 members: Citywide Spring Cleanup 

WHERE: Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary
265 Commercial St
Saint Paul, MN 55106
WHEN: 9 AM – 11:30 AM

Celebrate Earth Day at the 38th annual Citywide Spring Cleanup!

Join forces with your neighbors to clean up the litter in our parks and neighborhood streets exposed to melting snow.

The Citywide Spring Cleanup is hosted by Saint Paul Parks & Recreation, Saint Paul Public Works, and local organizations. This is a rain-or-shine event.

For DC 82 Women’s Committee members

WHERE: Missions Inc.
3409 E Medicine Lake Boulevard
Plymouth, MN 55441
WHEN: 8 AM start time

This event will include patching and painting the ceiling and walls in the common area of Missions Inc. which provides housing, emergency shelter, and supportive services to domestic abuse survivors and those seeking recovery from substance use disorders. They offer a collaborative and safe community for clients to heal and transform their lives.

Learn more about their work at www.missionsinc.org

Questions about joining the Women’s Committee? Contact Jean Fields at [email protected] or call/text to 612-636-9892.

Can’t attend this event but want to learn about future volunteer opportunities?
Sign up to get alerts!

Scholarship Opportunities from the MN AFL-CIO

From the Minnesota AFL-CIO:

The Minnesota AFL-CIO is proud to have scholarships available for union members and their dependents.

The scholarship application deadline is May 1, 2024.

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship programs offered by the Minnesota AFL-CIO, visit the MN AFL-CIO website or contact Jessica Martin at 612-666-7106 or email her at [email protected].

Please download the PDF of the application below to view all submission instructions and requirements, or visit their website at https://mnaflcio.org/about/scholarships-awards:

Invitation to Benefits Day 2024

Members of Locals 61, 386, 681, 880 & 1324

Saturday, May 4, 2024
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM
3205 Country Drive, Little Canada, MN
RSVP to Brittany Hanson at [email protected]
(651) 379-9667

For the Metro Benefits Day, you will be assigned a time slot to attend when you call or email to RSVP.

All members must RSVP by April 12*

*Retirees are not required to RSVP, as they do not need to request any
pension estimates.

Please share the following information when you RSVP:

  1. Name
  2. Phone number and/or email address
  3. Local Union
  4. Date of birth
  5. Choose one date for a retirement estimate:
    a. If you would like multiple estimates, it would be in your best interest to contact Wilson-McShane on your own, as more than one estimate will hold up the flow of Benefits Day.
  6. If you are married, we will need your spouse’s date of birth

Per Wilson-McShane’s request, all RSVPs will need to be made on or before April 12 for them to prepare the pension estimates. If you fail to RSVP by April 12 or request more than one estimate, the estimates will be prepared and mailed from the Fund Office to the member’s home address on file within 30 days of the event.

Representatives from the International Pension Office (Metro area only), Wilson McShane, Blue Cross Blue Shield, SavRX (Metro area only), Milliman (Metro area only), Fiducient Advisors, T.E.A.M. and United Health for Retirees (Metro area only) will be there to discuss your benefits and answer questions.

We Hope to See You There!

2024 Scholarships Announcement & Deadlines

DC 82 Members in good standing,

You are all encouraged to share these two scholarship opportunities with your children and/or legal dependents. Please download the attached informational forms to begin the application process.

The applications will also be available in the Fall issue of the IUPAT Journal and on IUPAT.org, but we encourage all who apply to get a head start on writing their materials.

The deadline for the IUPAT to receive both scholarship applications is May 29, 2024.

S. Frank “Bud” Raftery Scholarship

Frank “Bud” Raftery
IUPAT Member
General President
March 1965—June 1984

At the 25th General Convention held in Washington, D.C. in August 1984 a resolution was passed, creating the S. Frank “Bud” Raftery Scholarship Fund, to honor his service to the International Union all of his adult life, his accomplishments, and his progressive thinking.

At the 27th General Convention held in Washington, D.C. in August 1994, General President A.L. “Mike” Monroe and the General Executive Board passed a resolution to increase the S. Frank “Bud” Raftery Scholarship Fund to $20,000, allowing for ten (10) scholarships of $2,000 annually. This was done because of their strong beliefs in the principles for which the Scholarship Fund was created, and the need to continue and enhance the Convention theme of Organizing, Education, and Training, which was designed to bring all of our membership and their families into the strategic planning and operation of our International Union through educational programs.

Sons, daughters, or legal dependents of IUPAT members in good standing, are eligible to apply for scholarships within this fine program.

The selected topic for 2024 is as follows:

2024 Presidential Election: Protecting Our Democracy & Communities.

Many Americans are fearful of a looming recession, continued inflation, federal policy response and the state of our job markets. To add to these fears is political polarization and how it will impact the future of the U.S. during the November 2024 Presidential Election. Our democracy is clearly at stake and Americans are preparing to brace themselves for what will inevitably be an historical Presidential Election this coming November. Labor unions, civil groups and our local governments will need to unite to defend our democratic rights – not only during this pivotal election but into the future.

Understanding the charge of unions, explain how unions protect our democracy and impact our communities. The scholarship awards are contingent upon the student attending a certified college, university, vocational tech./trade school or other such institute of higher learning.

Award winners must enroll in the school of their choice within a year of the award date or forfeit the award.

This year, the scholarship applicant submission deadline date for the S. Frank “Bud” Raftery and A.L. “Mike” Monroe/Ralph D. Williams, III Sports Scholarships is May 29, 2024. Winners of both scholarship awards will be announced in the month of June 2024.

A.L. “Mike” Monroe/Ralph D. Williams, III Sports Scholarship

At the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Convention in 1999, the A. L. “Mike” Monroe and Ralph D. Williams, III, Sports Scholarship was introduced and ratified into the Union’s Constitution. 

This groundbreaking program was created to offer student athletes the opportunity to pursue their athletic ambitions while earning an advanced educational degree at the academic institution of their choosing. 

Despite their athletic talent, neither man had the resources to attend college and instead joined the Union at a young age. This scholarship, named in their honor, gives IUPAT members’ children the chance to attain a higher education. In 1000, words describe why you should receive this award! 

All applicants must meet the following requirements: 

  • He/she must be a legal dependent of an IUPAT member in good standing.
  • Supply an official high school transcript. 
  • A complete history of athletic participation and special recognition in high school.
  • Register with the NCAA Clearing House and declare the athletic program in which he/she will be participating.
  • A letter of recommendation must be submitted from the coach or athletic director of the institution the applicant has been accepted and has chosen to attend.
  • A complete record of additional financial aid. 

The award is contingent upon the student enrolling in the school of their choice within one year of the award date or the award is forfeited.

Scholarship applications must be submitted and received by May 29, 2024. Please submit your applications to the IUPAT-A. L. “Mike” Monroe/Ralph D. Williams, III, Sports

Scholarship, 7234 Parkway Drive, Hanover, MD, 21076 or via email to [email protected]. Winners will be announced June 2024.

Holiday wishes & mental health resources from DC 82

Happy Holidays, DC 82 family!

As we gather with loved ones during this festive season, we take a moment to treasure the blessings in our lives and reflect on the principles that bind us together. The staff at DC 82 wishes all of our members a year of peace and prosperity.

The holidays embody gratitude, solidarity, and charity — values that serve as the cornerstone of our union. They serve as a time to acknowledge the strength we derive from standing as one, supporting each other, and setting new goals for advocating for fairness and dignity in our workplaces and communities.

The holiday season isn’t festive for everyone – symptoms of depression, addiction, grief, and more can feel far worse as the nights grow longer and there’s so much social pressure to have a good time and be happy.

Remember, we have each others’ backs.

Call TEAM for mental health support 24/7:
  • Toll-free number: 1-800-634-7710
  • Local numbers: 651-642-0182 & 218-727-8589

You don’t have to deal with it on your own. DC 82 and FTIUM have our Care Team on call 24/7 to help get you through the New Year and all year round.

This year’s Children’s Christmas Fund was a triumph, thanks to DC 82 members helping DC 82 families. We supported 56 families with gift cards, brightened their holiday tables, and brought gifts to 117 kids.

Huge thanks to all who volunteered, especially Jamie Joseph for shopping, packaging, and wrapping so many gifts. Your enthusiasm made a real difference. From Jamie and all of us, a heartfelt thank you to donors and volunteers.

We’d like to acknowledge Wilson-McShane Corporation for helping families in our community this winter. So many of us go through life-changing events and struggle a little extra over the holidays, and we’re proud to have signatory contractors who are willing to lend a hand.

Our union’s values revolve around inclusivity, fairness, and respect for all. Let’s celebrate these shared values during this holiday season, uniting us and empowering our quest for a brighter future for ourselves, our union, and our families.

May your new year be filled with warmth, appreciation, and a reaffirmation of the ideals that make us proud members of DC 82.

In solidarity,

Jeff Stark
Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer
IUPAT District Council 82

Happy Thanksgiving from IUPAT DC 82

Dear DC 82 brothers and sisters,

As we gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s a time to appreciate the blessings in our lives and reflect on the values that bind us together. 

Thanksgiving is about gratitude, unity, and solidarity — the same values that form the foundation of our union. It’s a time to recognize the strength we derive from standing together, supporting one another, and advocating for fair treatment and dignity in our workplaces and communities.

Our union values emphasize inclusivity, fairness, and respect for all. They remind us that every worker’s voice matters and that collective action can create positive change. This Thanksgiving, let’s celebrate these values that unite us and empower us to strive for a better tomorrow for ourselves, our union, and our families.

May this holiday be filled with warmth, gratitude, and a reaffirmation of the principles that make us proud DC 82 members.

From all the staff of DC 82, we wish you and your loved ones a joyful and meaningful Thanksgiving.

In solidarity,

Jeff Stark
Business Manager/Secretary-Treasurer
IUPAT District Council 82


Holiday Background

Happy Holidays!

Dear DC 82 Officers, Reps, & Members,
We have started this year’s Children’s Christmas Fund fundraising!

Can you please help our brothers and sisters of District Council 82?

We accept cash and toys. You can make checks payable to:
Children’s Christmas Fund
District Council 82
3205 Country Drive
Little Canada, MN 55117

For questions, please call or email:
Amanda [email protected]

If you need help for your children, please make sure you meet the criteria and fill out a request form.

Thank you for the continued support of the District Council 82 Children’s Christmas Fund!

*Please remember all donations are not tax deductible!