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Union representing 1,500 UMN service workers announces deal to avert strike

MINNEAPOLIS — The union representing 1,500 service workers at the University of Minnesota announced a deal has been made to avert a looming strike.

Last month, Teamsters Local 320 said they were considering a strike as a move to counter “chronic understaffing, poverty wages, and abusive employment practices.”

On Saturday, the union tweeted that a three-year deal had been reached with the university, and the strike was being called off. The union members still need to vote on whether to accept the agreement.

On Sunday, Teamsters Local 320 announced details of the tentative agreement. The union said it includes a $20/hour starting wage for all members, a provision for a minimum of 30 hours of work per week in the summer and “extended health care benefits.” It also includes “market adjustments and cost-of-living increases” for members’ wages.

The union said members will vote on the agreement in the next two weeks.

“Teamster members are the backbone of UMN’s campuses and play a vital role in keeping the University up and running for its students,” the union said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to support our members’ essential work and voice on the job.”

The union represents the workers who prepare food, clean buildings, service dormitories, maintain HVAC systems, care for research animals, drive trucks and do other activities across the university’s five campuses.

Also last month, WCCO reported on university students being frustrated with what’s being served up at the campus dining halls. A problem that these on-campus dining halls are facing right now is staffing shortages. The University told WCCO they were more than 140 employees short, and they reduced hours of operation as part of mitigating that problem.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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