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.