University of Minnesota employees considering strike

Some employees at the University of Minnesota are considering a strike. Hundreds of workers, represented by the teamsters union, voted earlier this week on whether or not to walk off the job. On Tuesday, members of the teamsters union Local 320 presented petitions to President Eric Kaler, urging the administration to bargain fairly with the frontline workers. 

On Thursday, union leaders will count ballots from U of M employees who are voting on authorizing a strike. 

Teamsters Local 320 represents 1,500 employees at university campuses across the state – workers who take care of everything from building and grounds maintenance, food services even lab animal attendants used in research. 

The teamsters have been working without a contract since their contract expired in June. Union leadership says its members deserve better than a one percent raise over the next two years. 

"The University continues to negotiate with the Teamsters with the intent to come to an agreement," said a statement fromUniversity of Minnesota director of employee relations Patti Dion. "If members authorize a strike, there are still several process steps that would need to be taken before a strike would occur. If a strike were to occur, the University would remain open and it would continue its important teaching, research, and outreach work."

The union will announce the results of that strike vote at 4 p.m. Thursday afternoon. If the members approve a strike, there is no word yet on when employees would walk off the job.