Contract Negotiations Update #4

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Update on Day Four of Negotiations

On Tuesday, August 13th, we returned to the negotiating table with the University Administration. Watch a video update on the latest round of negotiations and find details on our ongoing organizing for affordable healthcare and a livable wage at the U

 

Our AFSCME table committee rejected the University’s proposed health care increases, and instead proposed that the University institute a %-based sliding scale system for health insurance premiums, based on the participation of all employee groups at the University. We proposed that the details of a sliding scale plan be developed in a joint working group between AFSCME and the administration.


In July, AFSCME 3800 created an online petition opposing the cost-shifting and asked University employees to let the administration know what the impact would be of these shifts. On August 5, more than 75 members of the University community delivered copies of 1300+ petitions to President Kaler and Employee benefits. The 1300+ signatures are nearly equally distributed between unionized workers, faculty, civil service and P&A employees. Hundreds of people have shared personal stories of how increased costs are already forcing them to forgo care or stretch prescriptions. Many respondents also expressed their support for a sliding scale premium plan where those employees who make more money would pay more for insurance while those who make less would pay less.

 

All University employees deserve access to quality affordable health care and we call upon the administration to stop the cost shifting. Please join with AFSCME and other concerned staff and faculty in saying no to needless increases in Health Insurance costs and yes to a sliding scale premium plan! Sign our petition saying no to these cost shifts. You can find the petition here.

 

In addition to our sliding scale health insurance proposal, AFSCME modified our wage proposal to an average increase of $1.31 an hour in the first year of the contract and an average increase of $1.51 in the second year (down from our original proposal of $1.88 in each year.)

 

The University made no change to their original proposal for across the board increases of 0.75% (an average of 14 cents an hour) in each year of the contract.

 

Get involved in the fight for sliding scale premiums and livable wages at the U – Join the AFSCME Clerical Assembly!

The AFSCME Clerical Assembly is a committee of your clerical coworkers from all around the University (including the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota) who have come together to strategize about contract negotiations, to gather input and disseminate information about negotiations to our coworkers, and to organize for a strong contract. Our talking papers on wages and health insurance, our online healthcare petition, and our rally to deliver our petitions were all developed by our Assembly members. Our efforts are currently focused on our sliding scale premium proposal and livable wages for all University workers.

 

The Assembly meets via videoconferencing and in person over the noon hour, as well as consulting online. We elect new members of the Assembly at each membership meeting – and we encourage all members who are interested to join us. If you have questions or would like to be Assembly please contact President Cherrene Horazuk at 612-940-0660 or cherrene67@gmail.com or contact our local office at afscme3800@gmail.com or 612-379-3918.

 

Clarification regarding State Negotiations versus University Negotiations

We have received a number of questions regarding AFSCME’s contract negotiations with the State of Minnesota. You may have read in a recent AFSCME Council 5 email or newsletter that AFSCME and the State of Minnesota recently settled their contract, and state employees will be receiving 3% raises in both years of their two year contract. Though the University is a public/state institution, University employees are not covered by the same contracts as state employees. AFSCME locals at the U (locals 3800, 3801, 3260, and 3937) are still in contract negotiations.