ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Teamsters, University of Minnesota reach tentative deal, avoiding strikes in Twin Cities and Duluth

Union members are set to vote on the new agreement in the next few weeks. It includes a $20 minimum wage for union members and at least 13% pay hikes over the next three years.

University of Minnesota Duluth and Lake Superior
An aerial view of the University of Minnesota Duluth campus and Lake Superior.
Contributed / UMD
We are part of The Trust Project.

A union of University of Minnesota service workers has reached tentative terms on a new contract with university management, veering both sides away from a strike late next week.

Teamsters Local 320, which represents about 1,500 cooks, mechanics, custodians, and other workers across the school’s five campuses, including about 150 at UMD, reached a three-year agreement with university negotiators around 2 a.m. on Saturday morning.

The agreement presumably avoids a strike, which union officials had scheduled for Oct. 26 at the university’s Twin Cities headquarters and Oct. 29 at UMD.

Teamsters members, who overwhelmingly authorized the strike earlier this month, are set to vote on the new contract over the next few weeks. If they OK the deal, it would then head to the U’s Board of Regents for approval.

By an overwhelming margin, Teamsters Local 320 members at all five campuses agreed to the action. Union leaders plan to file notice with the state and university.

“We are pleased to reach an equitable settlement that fairly compensates our Teamsters employees,” university system staff wrote Saturday . Communications staff at the university's Twin Cities headquarters did not have further comment.

ADVERTISEMENT

The new agreement includes a $20 minimum wage for union members, according to Brian Aldes, the union’s secretary treasurer and principal officer. That was foremost among the provisions union members sought at the bargaining table.

“That was the biggie,” Aldes told the News Tribune.

The new contract, on balance, will increase union members’ wages by at least 13% over the next three years, Aldes claimed, and preserves language that would have waived state-mandated negotiations on health insurance in future contracts.

Aldes said he hopes those wage increases keep pace with inflation.

“We all know that the Consumer Price Index and inflationary rates are high. There’s no doubt that the members could have used wage increases that were higher or…ensure that they keep pace with the rate of inflation,” he said. “But whatever there was to bargain for, the Teamsters got.”

This story was updated at 8:25 p.m. on Oct. 22 to indicate the University of Minnesota declined further comment. It was originally posted at 3:40 p.m.

Related Topics: EDUCATIONDULUTH
Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

You can reach him at:
What to read next
Zak McClelland, who also owns Mrs. Mac’s Towing and Transport in Duluth, has taken ownership of Bob's South Tower Auto Repair and added 24/7 towing to the business.
Investigators used wiretaps, intercepted packages and recovered a machine gun conversion kit during the execution of more than 50 search warrants, resulting in the seizure of roughly $1 million worth of drugs.
Preliminary information indicates a 64-year-old man from Watertown, Wisconsin, was standing on rail to pull a tarp when he fell to his death.
After admitting to the assaults of four women, Jesse Powell entered into a stipulation calling for his removal from the bar.