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Bonus ahead for U of M's non-union workers

minneapolis -- Non-union workers at the University of Minnesota will get a $300 bonus in their paychecks next month -- equal to what unionized workers got as part of their contract settlement following a fall strike.

minneapolis -- Non-union workers at the University of Minnesota will get a $300 bonus in their paychecks next month -- equal to what unionized workers got as part of their contract settlement following a fall strike.

The money will go to some 5,000 non-union civil service employees and cost the university about $1.5 million.

The university wasn't required to pay non-union workers a bonus. But officials said they try to reward the contributions of all employee groups. A Thursday memo announcing the payment cited appreciation for work done amid "special challenges" this fall.

Those included a two-week strike by union workers with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

AFSCME workers won't share in the bonus announced Thursday. But Phyllis Walker, president of Local 3800, said that she was happy her non-union colleagues will get the bonus and that they deserved it.

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"I certainly hope they recognize that the reason the university gave them the $300 lump sum is because the AFSCME locals" negotiated that for their members, she said.

Had the U not paid, it would have signaled to non-union workers "that in order to get better salary increases you need to form a union ... [University officials] don't want that."

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