Region 15 leaders organize negotiations road show

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Region 15 leaders traveled  hundreds of miles for  negotiations road show

Region 15 Negotiations Representative Valerie Dorff and Director Bryan Kotta recently spent three days traveling hundreds of miles across their region to update members about contract negotiations and other issues. They began in Bemidji and traveled to Warroad, Roseau, Thief River Falls and East Grand Forks to meet with members from a variety of agencies including the Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Dorff and Kotta met with dozens of members during seven stops (a predicted snowstorm cancelled an eighth visit).

“Any day MAPE can get face-to-face time with members is a good day. I was surprised by the interest in the union in general,” Region 15 Director Bryan Kotta said. “The trip reminded me that everyone has issues, good or bad, and that listening is never a bad thing.”

“It was fun to meet people I didn’t know, there were a lot of folks who had never attended a meeting before,” Dorff said. “Members shared they have seen a decline in the value of state employment over the years and would like to see meaningful changes in the new contract.”

Bryan Kotta and Valerie Dorff meet with members in bemidji

Kotta said “wages to fight inflation” was one of the main topics members expressed interest in. Region 15 members also said health care, telework, employee retention, mileage and meal reimbursement were also important to them.

“Our members deserve wages that renew the State’s commitment to investing in workers who build careers in state service,” Dorff added.

Kotta said they are hoping to offer basic/refresher steward training courses at two Region 15 locations in July.

If you have questions about negotiations or other matters, reach out to Negotiations Representative Valerie Dorff at or Region 15 Director Bryan Kotta at