Admin, service faculty at Minnesota State universities reach tentative deal, avoid strike

Administrative and service faculty at seven Minnesota State universities have reached a tentative deal on a new contract, avoiding a potential strike that could’ve started next week.

Teamsters Local 320 – the union representing the Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty – announced the agreement Thursday after nearly four months of talks and 16 hours of mediation.

The tentative deal includes a “significant” wage increase and requires the university system to conduct an equity and compensation study, the union says. It will cover nearly 900 employees at seven universities — Bemidji State, Metro State, Minnesota State Mankato, Minnesota State Moorhead, St. Cloud State, Southwest Minnesota State and Winona State.

“After marathon negotiations and a whole lot of solidarity, Local 320 could not be prouder to have secured a strong tentative agreement for MNSU Administrative and Service Faculty members,” Brian Aldes, secretary-treasurer of Local 320, said. “These workers play a pivotal role in the student experience at colleges and universities across Minnesota, and they deserve to be compensated for their important work. We are grateful to our members for their resiliency and to the students, faculty, and other allies who showed their support for Teamsters in this contract fight.”

Union members are set to start voting on whether or not to approve the deal on Aug. 31, with ballot certification scheduled for Sept. 7.

Aldes says the deal would offer the highest pay increases in more than a decade.

“Representatives from both sides worked very hard this week and I am grateful to everyone on the bargaining teams for their leadership and hard work,” Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Eric Davis said in a statement. “Through the collective bargaining process, we were able to structure a final offer that addressed priorities on both sides of the bargaining table and will provide for competitive compensation increases.  If the offer is ratified, it will still need to be approved by the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.”