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Minneapolis park workers vote to authorize strike

Morning headlines from June 19, 2024
Morning headlines from June 19, 2024 02:08

MINNEAPOLIS — Workers with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board voted to authorize a strike on Tuesday evening.

Roughly 94% of the ballots cast were in favor of strike authorization. 

"Our members have reached a breaking point after years of disrespect and neglect from the Park Board. Despite our endless hard work, skill, and dedication that makes Minneapolis' parks the best in the nation, management continues to treat us with contempt." said union business manager AJ Lange.  

The union — LIUNA Local 363, which represents more than 200 park board workers — is fighting for fair and competitive wages, worker protections, more affordable health insurance, and streamlined grievance procedures among other demands. 

"We demand that the Park Board treat us with respect. We expect a fair contract that ensures worker dignity, well-being, and future livelihoods," Lange added.

The union says that management has been trying to remove procedures that "ensure fairness and prevent bias and discrimination," as well as expand managerial power, reduce overtime opportunities and expand part-time schedules with uncertain hours for seasonal workers.

The union will return to mediation on Thursday, and has authorization to file a strike notice "if no significant progress towards a fair contract is made."

In response, the park board said it has "been negotiating in good faith since December 3, 2023, with Local 363 representatives for a multi-year contract for park employees that is competitive, fair and equitable. Negotiations have included multiple mediations and offers."

"We will continue to negotiate in good faith, including a mediation session scheduled for Thursday, June 20. We are hopeful that MPRB and Local 363 leadership can reach an agreement," the board said in a statement.

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