May 19

Contract Negotiations Officially Begin

Negotiations for the 2017-2019 contract between U of M AFSCME locals 3260, 3800, 3801, and 3937 and the University of Minnesota formally opened on May 17, 2017. 

May 09

U of M Unions Standing Together!

Four thousand front-line University of Minnesota workers, members of AFSCME Locals 3260, 3800, 3801, and 3937, and Teamsters Local 320, start negotiations this month for our 2017-2019 contract. Our priorities are to make real economic progress, especially for long-term workers and those nearing retirement, to win six weeks paid parental leave for all parents regardless of gender, to expand education benefits, and to ensure respect for our workers and the contributions we make to the University.

May 09

Welcome to Morris, Chancellor Michelle Behr!

The Co-Chairs of the Morris AFSCME group, Janel Mendoza and Laura Thielke, presented new Chancellor Michelle Behr with a gift of a Morris blanket from the AFSCME Clerical and Technical units. Janel and Laura also delivered a card filled with welcome messages from several Morris Clerical and Technical workers who also contributed to purchase the blanket from the Bookstore.
 
May 09

Fighting for Affordable Higher Ed

The University used to offer free tuition to workers, but cut that benefit back. Now workers must pay 25 percent of their tuition for graduate work. Unlike many colleges, the U doesn’t offer free or discounted tuition to workers’ children and spouses. Even with her discount, Weimerskirch Plager’s master’s degree cost her more than $10,000, and her husband’s studies will cost $145,000.

 
 
AFSCME Local 3937 president Mary Austin says the university keeps trying to get rid of full-time staff and bring in contractors instead, which ends up costing more money. Meanwhile, the cost of tuition is skyrocketing: Over the past decade, tuition and fees went up 65 percent for undergrads and 89 percent for graduate students, according to an SEIU report. But that money isn’t going to instruction: The U cut spending per student by about $1,000 over a 4 year period, adjusted for inflation. Tuition is so expensive, academic
May 09

Turning Up the Heat at the Capitol

We, as U of M staff, always make a point of using the opportunity to specifically speak up about issues important at the U, such as our personal experiences as workers here, and asking legislators to fund Governor Dayton’s higher education budget proposal. The U has recognized the value in having its front-line workers show up at the capitol and raise these issues. So, next spring, I’ll see you at the capitol!

Apr 12

UMD Local Fights with Renewed Spirit

AFSCME members at UMD are under-going an awakening about just how essential their union is.
Years of budget cuts have put pressure on workers, and more cuts are expected at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Workers are concerned about what that will mean for already over-burdened employees, especially with the Trump administration’s stance toward public education and public services. 
Apr 12

Member Spotlight: Wendy Plager

Growing up, I didn’t know much about unions, because no one in my immediate family was part of a unionized work force. I generally knew that unions were good for working people, but I had no direct connection...I thought.

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