Negotiations Update #2: July 11, 2019

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On July 11, our U of M AFSCME negotiating committee had our second round of bargaining with University management. This session was just focused on our clerical contract.


 

Our union committee offered a number of proposals that ensure that front line staff are treated with dignity and respect. The University rejected 30 of 34 proposals, citing the need for “flexibility for departments”. 


 

Regarding wages, our AFSCME committee proposed 5% across the board in the first year and 5% across the board in the second year. We will also be bringing a comprehensive pay equity proposal and proposal to reduce the number of salary steps to our next meeting. For the past 10 years the University has refused to implement an agreement to move people to the top of the pay scale sooner. The University proposed 1.25% in the first year and 1% in the second year and eliminating the bottom two steps if there are no people on those steps. They have proposed nothing regarding moving the top up.  


 

The University likes to talk about equity and diversity, but when it comes down to it, their words are nothing but empty promises. Unionized workers are the most diverse grouping of staff at the U. We deserve to make real economic progress. The University needs to put their money where their mouth is. They need to give real wage increases and fix our step system so people move up in the wage scales faster and so that the top wages are higher.


 

In yet another example of their utter disregard for the well-being of the front line staff, earlier this week, the University proposed to eliminate the health insurance premium relief program which was set up to help low income workers afford University health insurance. Eliminating the premium relief program amounts to a wage cut for the lowest paid workers at the U and is absolutely unacceptable. 


 

Our next negotiations are scheduled for July 30. We are asking everybody to support your coworkers and our union by wearing green on Fridays. 


 

Please see the links below for union and management proposals.