Unionized campus workers receive final offer from University of Minnesota

Union members must now vote on the agreement or follow through with a strike proposed in November.

Hannah Bernardson, a business agent for the union group Teamsters Local 320, protests on Friday, Nov. 17 outside Morrill Hall in Minneapolis. The group is pushing for higher wages at the University of Minnesota.

Ellen Schmidt

Hannah Bernardson, a business agent for the union group Teamsters Local 320, protests on Friday, Nov. 17 outside Morrill Hall in Minneapolis. The group is pushing for higher wages at the University of Minnesota.

Carter Blochwitz

The union that represents University of Minnesota campus service workers and the University has reached a final offer on wages and working conditions. 

Minnesota Teamsters Local 320, which represents more than 1,500 University service workers, announced the final offer on Tuesday. Union workers must now vote to accept the two-year offer or follow through with a strike that was proposed in November.

“This offer is the culmination of nine months of negotiations and state-facilitated mediation between Teamsters and the University of Minnesota,” said Brian Aldes, Teamsters Local 320’s secretary treasurer and principal officer, in a press release.

Campus workers voted in November to authorize a strike if a compromise on a new collective bargaining agreement wasn’t reached. Better wages and longer vacations were among many demands workers were seeking. 

The University’s latest offer includes the following:

· More than 150 Teamsters workers at the University would now make $15 per hour. The move would set a wage floor for future Teamsters employees. 

· Union workers would be able to use accrued leave for six weeks without having to worry about losing their work location or bid position upon return. Current policy allows for just two weeks. 

· Union members within range would receive step increases and a $300 lump sum each year of the agreement. 

· Teamsters at the top of the pay scale would receive 2 percent increases to their base wages each year of the contract. 

· A “Meet and Confer” process would allow Teamsters and the University’s Office of Human Resources to work out other employment issues on a continual basis. 

“We will continue to educate the membership on the contract offer, but also continue to prepare for a possible rejection and work stoppage,” said Teamsters Local 320 President Sami Gabriel in a press release.