Negotiations Update #8: October 30, 2019

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Today was a day of highs and lows. We were joined at the bargaining table by over 50 members from all of our locals, including members from the Rochester, Morris, and Duluth campuses who joined via videoconference. 


We continue to be inspired by our members’ determination to win a fair contract that respects frontline workers and gives us raises that allow us to move ahead.  Following the rally that we held last week, the university made a significant move in year two. They put 2.25% on the table plus steps. This is following years of the U reducing the across the board increase by saying steps cost them. 


However, they were unwilling to find additional money in year one and refused to put money toward the economic needs of long term workers. For clerical and technical workers, the U won’t increase the top of the range or grant equity adjustments for those members that are stuck at the top of the pay scale or for long term employees who sacrificed repeatedly in times of economic downturns, but have only been able to break even when the economy improved. For healthcare workers, the U’s proposal is slightly better -  giving lump sums of $400 for workers with 15 years of seniority, and adding steps at the top, but it does not go far enough. It is clear that we need to continue to apply pressure on the university to get them to do the right thing and respect long-term workers. 


After 10 years, the U has finally made movement to reducing the number of steps, thanks to the ceaseless efforts of members over the past decade, those who have signed petitions, worn AFSCME green and attended rallies. The proposals are different for each bargaining unit, so please see the written proposals for details or talk to a member of your bargaining team.


We have repeatedly told the University that they need to address our 4 economic priorities: 

1. Across the board increases without steps costed in and with retro pay. 

2. Reduce the number of steps per the 2009 MOU

3. Internal equity adjustments for long term employees.

4. Increase the top of the ranges. 


Due to pressure by members and supporters, the U has moved on 2 of our priorities. We need to turn up the heat to get the University to address the needs of long-term workers and those at the top of the pay scale. Wear your AFSCME green shirt on Fridays, sign our petition, and if you are not a member, join our union and join the fight for our future!