University of Minnesota unions demand 'raises and respect'
Minneapolis, MN – Over 150 University of Minnesota frontline workers, faculty and students rallied for raises and respect outside the Board of Regents meeting, on the McNamara Plaza here May 8. University Unions united – which is made up of AFSCME Locals 3800, 3937,3260 and 380 – and Teamster Local 320 organized the rally as kickoff for contract negotiations.
Rank-and-file workers demanded an increase parental leave from two weeks to six weeks, full restoration of the Regents Scholarship, the right to use accumulated sick time and a substantial pay raise. One Teamster told the crowd that we are tired getting “scraps” from the University.
Cherrene Horazuk, president of AFSCME Local 3800 stated, “It’s not surprising, given that the regents are a group of CEOs and corporate leaders who want to run the university like it’s a corporation. The research is carried out in the interest of big pharma, agro and medical technology industries more than in the interest of the citizens of the state. And when it comes to labor relations, they want to run the U like its Walmart – where only those at the top get ahead, while those in the middle and the bottom fall further behind.”