WSU administrative and service faculty seek to advert impending strike

Informational picket at WSU Thursday.
Informational picket at WSU Thursday.(MGN)
Published: Aug. 9, 2023 at 10:29 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WINONA, Minn. (KTTC) – A strike could be headed for Minnesota’s public universities- but before that happens, administrative and service faculty are trying to raise awareness.

The Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty (ASF) will hold an informational picket at 4:15 p.m. Thursday at Winona State University’s campus for high wages.

Faculty has been in contract mediation with the Minnesota State System since April and haven’t been able to come to an agreement on wages. There are also negotiations for an equity and compression study.

ASF is a bargaining unit for WSU and will negotiate with the system again on August 14 and 15.

“Specifically, we are looking for the economic priorities that we have as a bargaining unit and wanting to make sure that our members are paid fair and equitable wages for the work that we do as well as a livable wage. That is extremely important to us because many of us hold master’s degrees and don’t even make what the state of Minnesota considers to be a livable wage,” statewide grievance officer Tracy Rahim explained.

If the association cannot come to an agreement, ASF has voted by 97.5 percent to authorize a strike. It has not filed an intent to strike yet. This would be the first time ever the union has gone into a strike.

“We have ever goal and hope that we will come to a tentative agreement and with our management so that we can settle our contract. If that does not come to formation and we cannot reach an agreement by the end of the 15th then we may be authorizing our right to be able to strike,” Rahim stated.

Vice chancellor of human resources for Minnesota State, Eric Davis explained the state system is seeking to reach a settlement through good-faith negotiations at the bargaining table. In the meantime, the state universities are developing plans that will provide a continuation of essential services in the event of a strike. Davis said the system is confident the universities will remain open.

Minnesota State seeks to reach a settlement on the 2023-2025 MSUAASF bargaining agreement through good-faith negotiations at the bargaining table. In the meantime, our state universities are developing contingency plans that will provide for continuation of essential services in the event of a strike, and we are confident that our universities will remain open and ready to serve our students with the seamless, quality higher education experience our students deserve.

Eric Davis, vice chancellor of human resources

Faculty at the other public universities across the state have held their own informational pickets.

WSU’s will take place on campus Thursday at 4:15 p.m. at Main Street and Broadway.