9/14/07

AFSCME boss OK's University strike-breakers

Angelika Huglen, AFSCME Local 3800 boss at the University of Minnesota, Crookston stated in an email to the Times Wednesday that there are actually four AFSCME members on campus still on strike, not two, as reported to the Times Wednesday by UMC. Fourteen AFSCME members initially went on strike last week.

"The ten employees who returned to work totally support the cause, but felt they had to return to work for various personal reasons, which we respect," Huglen said. "It is unfortunate University frontline workers have to give up pay to stand up for our standard of living." There are 36 AFSCME members on the UMC staff.

Huglen said the striking AFSCME clerical, technical and healthcare workers hope the University "will come back to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith soon." She said the impasse is mostly rooted in the Minnesota legislature this past spring approving a 3.25 percent raise, but the University offering 2.25 percent.

"It is my understanding all state employees across Minnesota received the 3.25 percent raise - except, of course, our AFSCME unit of 3,500 employees," Huglen said in her email.

She said that letters of support for the AFSCME position, many from key state legislators as well as one from U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama, are posted at the AFSCME website

(crookstontimes.com)

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