State government employees call on Senate to approve their contracts Thousands of employees served on frontlines throughout the pandemic

Publish Date
Megan Dayton, MAPE Statewide President

State government workers have worked tirelessly to keep Minnesotans safe and state government running throughout the pandemic, often at great personal risk to themselves and their families. Four employees shared their stories and called on the Senate to approve their labor contracts. The workers are represented by IFO, MAPE, MNA and  Teamsters 

Every two years, state government employees’ contracts come before the Minnesota House and Senate for approval. In an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, the House has approved HF 3346, the 2021-2023 contracts for the government employees. The Senate has yet to schedule a hearing on this contract SF 3254. 

The contracts were fairly negotiated last year with most of them including

2.5% raises each year. The modest contracts were bargained within the biennial budget appropriations made in 2021, and therefore paid for.

The contracts are now in interim effect, but if the Senate fails to pass the contracts, it will mean a pay cut for frontline workers.

The stories below from today’s speakers represent just a handful of Minnesota’s state employees.  

IFO: Brent Jeffers, Professor, Southwest MN State University

Brant Jeffers, IFO President

“State university professors, coaches, and counselors did their part by taking a self-imposed pay freeze in 2021-2022. Now we need the legislature to do their part and approve the contracts. It’s a small token of support for the hard work of all state employees through the pandemic.”

MAPE Local 1102: Brian MacNeill, behavior analyst at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis

Brian MacNeill, MAPE Local 1101

“When our facility was in quarantine, when family and friends could not visit the veterans, we were there to hold their hands, to reassure them that we will get through this pandemic, that they are not alone. They risked their lives to make the world safer for all of us. We put their health above our own because it is our turn to keep them safe. Approve the state contracts so we can continue the work we do for our veterans and the people of Minnesota.”

MNA: MNA President Mary Turner, RN

Mary Turner, Minnesota Nurses Association

“For over two years, nurses and other frontline workers kept Minnesota hospitals, schools, and businesses running through a pandemic. These essential workers did all of this, and also kept our state government operating. Ratifying these contracts would be a sign of respect to the nurses and other workers who show up every day for the people of Minnesota.”

Teamsters 320 President: Sami Gabriel

Sami Gabriel President Teamsters Local 320

“The unions that represent state employees have all bargained in good faith and negotiated the contracts with a modest increase. It is up to the Senate at this point to honor and respect the employees that are the backbone of Minnesota.”