After appeal, unionization push revived

Brian Edwards

The push for unionization at the University of Minnesota will regain some traction because of a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision on Monday.
The court denied a request by the University that challenged whether the state’s Bureau of Mediation Services could review the classification of 10 job units at the school. 
BMS needs to review which faculty members are eligible to take part in a union vote.
The University objected to BMS’s proposed hearings, and school leaders said the group was classifying job units without the proper authority under state law. 
Because BMS had not made any final decisions regarding employee classification, the court denied the appeal, calling the school’s request “nonappealable.” 
“The court’s decision is not surprising as it often prefers to review final actions by agencies,” said Vice President of the Office of Human Resources Kathy Brown in an emailed statement. “We’re prepared to move forward under the BMS process.”
She said in the statement that the school still plans to argue to BMS that adding the 10 classifications to the bargaining unit conflicts with state law.
The hearings are set to begin Tuesday for the unit classifications and could last weeks.