AFSCME members who work for Hennepin County would face another two-year wage freeze under the terms of the County’s initial contract proposal.
The current two-year agreement, which expires December 31, included a two-year wage freeze.
The County’s initial proposal, presented September 26, also would eliminate step increases and stability pay.
Health insurance benefits would be cut and premiums would rise, including a jump in single workers’ premiums from $40 monthly to $174 monthly.
The proposed jump in workers’ health insurance contributions would take $8.5 million out of workers’ pockets, reported a negotiations update for members of the six AFSCME locals at Hennepin County.
“Food has gone up… Gas has gone up… But our wages have not gone up. They’re asking us to pay more and more,” said Jean Diederich, president of AFSCME Local 34, which represents social services workers.
Diederich noted that Hennepin County AFSCME workers have had to live with a wage freeze for four of the past eight years.
“If ever there was a year to strike, this is it,” she said.