Workers object to U of M’s continued wrong priorities at Regents Budget Hearing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Workers object to U of M’s continued wrong priorities at Regents Budget Hearing Friday June 12, 2015
Cherrene Horazuk, AFSCME 3800, 612‐940‐0660
Gus Froemke, Teamsters 320, 612‐378‐8732
Press Conference at Regents Budget Hearing
McNamara Alumni Center (200 Oak St SE, Minneapolis)
Friday June 12, 2015, 12 pm
Friday June 12, University of Minnesota campus union workers will hold a press conference regarding the U of M proposed budget before testifying inside the McNamara Alumni Center (200 Oak St SE, Minneapolis) at the Regents public budget hearing. 
At the hearing members of U of M AFSCME and Teamsters Local 320, which collectively represent over 4,000 University workers, will testify on the U of M budget proposals. Union leaders have reviewed the budget published Friday. Cherrene Horazuk, President of AFSCME 3800, said, "President Kaler’s budget continues the fiction that the University has budget problems while it continues to prioritize high paid administrators. With all the unanswered questions surrounding the administration and the Board of Regents of late, frontline workers are asking tough questions about wage and benefit disparities and we expect answers.” 
AFSCME and Teamsters 320 have come together to demand adequate raises and respect for frontline staff. Mick Kelly, member of Teamsters 320 negotiating committee said, “Right now there are 400 Teamsters at the ‘U’ making less than $15 an hour. We are holding the University accountable, and insist on our right to a decent standard of living. We are tired of making due with less; we want and expect raises and respect.” 
Lorraine Haley, member of AFSCME 3800 stated, “I’ve worked at the University for 28 years, but the only way I’ll be able to afford retirement is if I get a part time job.” 
Horazuk concluded, “As the sixth largest employer in the state of Minnesota, and as the state's Land Grant University, it's time for the U of MN to close the gap between haves and have-not’s within its own workforce. This is a Public University not a private business where a few people on the top get CEO salaries while those on the bottom struggle to survive.”