Negotiations Update #6: No movement from the U

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The clerical committee of U of M AFSCME Locals 3800 & 3801 returned to mediation with the University of Minnesota administration on September 6, 2017 at the Bureau of Mediation Services.

The University provided no new information on issues that they had committed to research since the last bargaining date. Instead, they gave the same proposal given on July 18th. The University said that they would not move on the issues of parental leave expansion or the full restoration of the Regent's scholarship. They were not interested in discussing workplace bullying issues and they claimed to have no money for raises in year two of the contract.

On the other hand, our clerical committee made a number of moves. We agreed to one of the University’s proposals, dropped one of our own proposals, and modified one of our language proposals. Regarding wages, we moved from a proposal of 5% across the board each year of the contract to 3.5% across the board in both year one and in year two of the contract.

We also presented to the University a comprehensive proposal to fix our step system in order to ensure equity for long term workers and to ensure there are no more than 19 steps for any our classifications. This step framework was agreed upon with the University over 8 years ago in contract negotiations, but we have not reached agreement on a concrete plan for fixing the steps. The University said they wanted to be done with negotiations and didn't want to discuss our proposal for fixing our steps. The Bureau of Mediation Services instructed the University and our union committee to set up negotiating sessions to discuss the proposals and to call when we were ready to return to mediation. Our committee has proposed a next date for negotiations, but it hasn't been confirmed yet.

Since this session, AFSCME and Teamsters have rallied at the Board of Regents to let President Kaler and the University administration know that front-line staff are worth more than the wage proposal that the University has presented. We are bargaining for our families and future, and we deserve fair raises each year to keep up with the cost of living.

We are standing together for our standard of living and invite all of you to join us. Wear your AFSCME t-shirt every Friday in solidarity with your coworkers and our union. Continue to let the Administration know that we are worth more! Go to AFSCME3800.org for more information or to get involved.