Minneapolis parks workers announce intent to strike

Minneapolis Park workers to start strike July 4

Minneapolis Park workers to start strike July 4

More than 300 Minneapolis Park Board employees will be on the picket line on Thursday if they can’t reach an agreement with the park board.

They’ve been at the bargaining table for months and the LiUNA Local 363 members explained this was the last resort.

On a summer holiday where parks are packed across Minneapolis, park board workers want their absence to speak volumes and picket signs to tell their story.

“We know these services are so valuable and the July 4th holiday shows that,” Kate Black, volunteer said.

Minneapolis Park Board workers maintain the city’s parks, golf courses, athletic fields and rec centers.

Employees with the union have expressed concerns over pay, benefits and working conditions.

“It seems like they turned their backs on workers, the negotiations and on the residents of Minneapolis,” LiUNDA local 363 union representative, said.

According to a union study, Minneapolis Park Board workers are making about $6 to $10 dollars less than their counterparts in surrounding cities.

They’re demanding a $5 market adjustment.

“I don’t want to strike. I’m upset it’s going this far,” Lanel Lane, Minneapolis Park Board worker, said. 

The Minneapolis Park Board said in a statement their team is negotiating in good faith to reach an agreement and calls the proposal fair, equitable and competitive.

The board’s final offer is a pay increase of a 10 percent raise over the next three years.

“In addition to contract language changes, the wage-related details of this offer include a 10.25% wage increase over three years plus two market adjustments for 13 positions. Due to previous wage scales and increases, this increase exceeds the total wage package of the City of Minneapolis’ 363 workers over the same three-year period,” the Minneapolis Park Board said in a statement.

The Minneapolis Park Board said in a statement if the strike does happen on July 4th, they will adjust maintenance services to minimize the impact on people who visit the parks.