AFSCME Hennepin County Locals: All six locals approve new contracts

Print

Members of AFSCME who work for Hennepin County voted December 6 to approve new two-year contracts. The agreements offer workers a $500 lump sum payment in January 2012 and across-the-board wage increases for 2013. Workers had been living with a wage freeze under the 2010-2011 contract and faced an initial proposal from county management which sought to continue the wage freeze.

Members of AFSCME who work for Hennepin County voted December 6 to approve new two-year contracts. The agreements offer workers a $500 lump sum payment in January 2012 and across-the-board wage increases for 2013. 

Workers had been living with a wage freeze under the 2010-2011 contract and faced an initial proposal from county management which sought to continue the wage freeze.

About 4,000 workers belong to the six Hennepin County AFSCME Locals — 34, 552, 1719, 2822, 2864 and 2938.

The ratification vote gave most of the locals a choice for the 2013 increase: to choose a 2.5 percent wage increase with no steps — or to choose a 1.5 percent wage increase with steps.

Locals voting to accept the 2.5 percent across the board 2013 increase, with no steps, included Locals 34, 2822, 2864 and 2938 (Legal).

Local 552 voted to accept the 1.5 percent across the board 2013 increase, with steps.

Local 1719 and Local 2938 (Essential) did not get to choose between the two options, but had the 1.5 percent across the board with steps increase as part of their contract proposal from the employer’s last and final offer.

The modest wage increases will be offset by rising health insurance costs.

“We’re not even close to keeping up with the cost of living,” observed Jean Diederich, president of AFSCME Local 34.

The contract settlement came after an all-night negotiating session. “We started at 10 a.m. November 14 and we got out of there at 9 a.m. November 15,” Diederich reported.