UMN and service workers reach contract agreement, avoid possible strike

More than 150 Teamsters workers will receive wage increases to $15 per hour.

Teamsters Local 320, a union group for public employees, hosted a march on the University of Minnesota campus on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 outside Morrill Hall on East Bank.

Ellen Schmidt

Teamsters Local 320, a union group for public employees, hosted a march on the University of Minnesota campus on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017 outside Morrill Hall on East Bank.

Kelly Busche

Unionized University of Minnesota service workers accepted a final contract offer from the University Tuesday after months of negotiations, avoiding a potential system-wide, 1,500-person strike.

According to a statement from Teamsters Local 320 — the union representing the University’s final contract offer — the offer includes:

• A wage increase to $15 per hour for more than 150 Teamster workers, which sets a wage floor for future Teamster workers.

• Union workers can use their accrued leave for six weeks without worry of losing their bid position or work location upon returning from leave. Current policy allows for two weeks.

• Teamsters within range will receive step increases and a $300 lump sum each year of the agreement.

• Union workers at the top of the pay scale will receive a 2 percent increase to base wages each year of the contract.

Employment issues will be solved continuously through a “meet and confer” process between Teamsters Local 320 and the University’s Office of Human Resources, according to a Teamsters statement.

“Though this vote today is a victory on many pressing items, issues surrounding dignity, respect and working conditions for University Teamsters remain unresolved,” Brian Aldes, Teamsters Local 320 secretary treasurer, said in a statement.