Pickets up at University of Minnesota


Picket signs went up across the University of Minnesota at 7 a.m. Wednesday as clerical, technical and health care workers walked off the job on the second day of fall semester classes.

Talks between the university administration and AFSCME Locals 3260, 3800, 3801 and 3937 failed to produce a last-minute deal late Tuesday night.

“Our union negotiating committee negotiated with management until almost midnight yesterday, trying to negotiate a settlement to avert a strike,” Local 3800 said in a statement. “Unfortunately, management still wouldn’t change their across-the-board wage proposals — 2.25 percent across-the-boards for clerical and technical workers, and 2.5 percent across-the-boards for health care workers.

“They would only talk about the possibility of one-time lump sums that would not add to our base salary to help us keep up with inflation. This is just days after the U negotiated a 3% across-the-board increase plus steps for Teamster workers. We know they have the money. They are making us fight for it. We are on strike.”

View video from a recent rally in support of the university workers:

Early Wednesday, picketers carrying signs reading “On Strike” were joined by students and others who held up green “I Support U of M Workers” signs.

The union said the main picketing sites in the Twin Cities are:

• West Bank: Humphrey Institute turnaround (19th Ave S & 3rd St S)
• East Bank / Med Area: Washington Ave & Union St
• East Bank / Dinkytown: Donhowe Building (University Ave & 15th Ave S)
• St. Paul Campus: Student Center (2017 Buford off Raymond Ave)
• CUHCC Clinic (Franklin and Bloomington – parking lot)
• 29th and Como Ave (near Printing Services)

AFSCME represents about 3,500 workers on the Twin Cities, Duluth, Crookston, Morris and Rochester campuses who perform a variety of tasks, from providing clerical support for professors to library services, computer operations and hospital and clinic appointments.

The university said classes and all other university services would go on as scheduled during the walkout.

For more information
Visit the unions’ websites, www.afscme3800.org, www.afscme3937.org, www.afscmemn.org and www.d.umn.edu/~afscme/
To provide support, see www.uworkers.org and www.afscmemn.org
For information from the U of M Office of Human Resources, http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/er/negotiations/afscmeproposal.html