What's New at Teamsters 320
Teamsters Local 320 Steward Seminar 2017
St. Paul Public School’s Nutrition Services Employees Vote to Authorize a labor Strike
October 5, 2017
St. Paul, MN- This morning the Joint Subcommittee on Employee Relations (JSER) voted down both the AFSCME and MAPE labor contracts with the state executive branch. It was a highly partisan committee meeting with all GOP representatives voting against the contracts whereas all the DFL representatives voted to pass the contracts.
Senator Michele Benson (R-Ham Lake, MN) proposed a resolution that was highly critical of the current negotiations process and it states: “Only employees whose performance is evaluated to exceed expectations should receive step increases.” Please refer to the attached document for the entire resolution.
“What we’re seeing from the State Legislature is a complete and utter assault on free collective bargaining,” says Brian Aldes, Secretary Treasurer and principal officer of Teamsters Local 320. “I advise all Minnesota public employees to take notice because what happens at the state level always seems to trickle down to the local level in one way or another.”
Teamsters Local 320 President, Sami Gabriel, was present at today’s hearing and is extremely troubled by the Committee’s rejection of the contracts.
“Local 320’s MSUAASF bargaining unit at the Minnesota State system must also pass their labor contract through the JSER Committee,” says Gabriel. “With the hyper partisan atmosphere on the Committee and Senator Benson’s resolution, I have become skeptical that we can pass any labor contract through the JSER process.”
State employees who work for the Board of Public Defense, State Court Administration, and the University of Minnesota are not subject to the JSER process.
Secretary Treasurer Aldes sums up the current political climate with a question to all Minnesota Teamsters:
“Next November union members and public employees in the State of Minnesota will have a choice to make – do we value our freedom to join with co-workers and negotiate a fair return on our work, or do we continue to lose our freedoms at the hands of anti-union politicians?”According to Aldes the answer has never been clearer.
Download: JSER RES 1052017.pdf
September 28, 2017
Park Rapids, MN- Teamsters employed by Hubbard County Social Services have voted nearly unanimously to accept a new labor contract. The vote happened only after the Social Services employees authorized a strike action in August.
“We’re happy to resolve this dispute without having to escalate the situation to a strike,” says Brian Aldes, Secretary Treasurer and principal officer of Teamsters Local 320. “I remain proud of this group of Teamsters for taking a stand during tenuous contract talks.”
The dispute was over unilateral changes to a tentative agreement by the employer that resulted in further miscommunications and ultimately confusion and frustration by the employees.
“I don’t understand why Hubbard County unilaterally changed its position after we agreed to language in the tentative agreement,” says Senior Information Systems Specialist and Teamster Kathy Melvin. “The County and Teamsters Local 320 eventually agreed to the original language and all the unilateral action did was muddy the process.”
Local 320 Business Agent and chief negotiator Roger Meunier was happy to get the deal done in Hubbard County and says: “Not only did we get the language issue corrected, but the Social Services employees received a decent COLA and an increased health insurance benefit moving forward.”
“We got a fair agreement this time, but we go back into negotiations in a year and a half and we must remain strong and united. If we hadn’t been able to come together as Teamsters and take action against the employer we surely would have been taken advantage of,” says Melvin.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it granted the plaintiff’s motion for a writ of certiorari in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 (i.e., it agreed to hear the case). The issue in the Janus case is identical to the one in Friedrichs last year: whether the Court should overturn Abood and find the taking of fair share fees unconstitutional.
There will be a briefing schedule for both parties, as well as amici (interested parties who are not a part of the litigation but wish to advocate for a particular result), that will last for several months. Finally, oral arguments will be scheduled. Once they are heard, the Court will deliberate and write the decision.The decision is expected in June, but it could come as early as March. Local 320 will keep you updated as this process continues.