On September 14, union and county representatives met for 12 hours. Locals met separately with their departments on supplemental contract issues specific to their bargaining units. We also came very close to a settlement on health insurance, however, work remains and we are unsure an agreement will be reached in time for open enrollment. Please stay tuned for ongoing updates on health insurance and keep in mind what you may see in open enrollment may not be the final agreement.
The union proposed 5% in 2016 and 5% in 2017 cost of living increases (a two or three year contract has yet to be agreed upon). The county has proposed 1% for employees at top pay and .75% for employees still in the range and who also are eligible for step increases. The County has agreed to step increases for those who are eligible for the length of the contract and we have agreed. Our Union has been raising staffing issues and we have been heard! County Administrator, David Hough, proposed a 4.5% levy increase, one of the largest proposals in the last 10 years. The proposed increase is based on the need to increase staffing. County Board Chair, Jan Callison said in the Star Tribune that the demand for services is high and “We need to pay them (employees) their value…”
While it is rewarding to hear the County Board and the County Administrator and our Union agrees on the need for staffing and wages, we need to support the commissioners to ensure this levy passes. County residents do not always understand how these increases affect them or the workers who serve them every day.
Please help your union bargaining team by wearing green on Tuesdays, distributing the table talk’s in your area and sign the petition to support your bargaining team!
We need this levy to pass and we need to support our county commissioners on this issue. You can assist by calling your county commissioner and tell him/her you support David Hough's levy request and his budget that adds line staff positions and moves Hennepin County closer to becoming the employer of choice. If you don't live in Hennepin County, call Board Chair Jan Callison. County Commissioners need to know we support this levy and we support their efforts to increase staffing and wages.