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State of Minnesota ON STRIKE

"I have a problem with the fact that government workers can organize at all. State workers are paid out of our pockets, employed by the people." ... more


State workers speak
Oct. 12-14
Oct. 11-Sept. 28

Public reaction
Oct. 12-13
Oct. 11-Oct. 5
Oct. 3-Sept. 28

  The Latest

Feb. 13 - Gov. Jesse Ventura's administration won't try to renegotiate a contract with state workers, despite a threat the House will reject it, Employee Relations Commissioner Julien Carter said Wednesday. The House Rules Committee voted 11-9 to send a resolution to the floor that objects to the contract because it provides benefits to same-sex partners of state workers. The measure has no force of law. But House Speaker Steve Sviggum, a Kenyon Republican, said Ventura should consider it a warning the House will reject the contract and ought to start working to renegotiate the deal. If the House follows through on its threat, state workers may go on strike again.

Additional stories from MPR

State employees begin voting on new contract
Nov. 12 Members of Minnesota's two largest state employee unions are voting on a contract deal reached last month. The state and the unions reached the tentative deal after union members had been on strike for two weeks. Many workers are upset about the proposed package of wages and benefits, and say they'll vote against it. The leader of one union says the vote is too close to call, while the head of the other is predicting members will ratify the contract.

Ventura says state workers shouldn't strike
Oct. 23 Gov. Jesse Ventura said that he thinks state workers should be prohibited from striking. "That's a philosophical viewpoint I have," Ventura said during an interview on Minnesota Public Radio's Midmorning program. He said it limits the state's ability to provide services to citizens and puts the government in a "very precarious position."

Back to work
Oct. 15 With a mixture of relief and anger, state employees returned to their jobs Monday after a two-week walkout. Meanwhile, a poll taken just before the settlement showed Minnesotans favored the Ventura administration over the strikers.

Settlement reached in strike
Oct. 14 State negotiators have reached a tentative contract agreement with union leaders that is expected to end a two-week old strike by state workers.

Profile: Jim Monroe (MAPE)
Oct. 11 As a college student in the late 1960s, Jim Monroe worked in the coal fields of Kentucky. Since then, the executive director of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees has worked in top leadership positions for public employee unions or causes in three states.

Negotiations resume
Oct. 11 State negotiators and union leaders brought hopes of a settlement as they sat down Thursday for the first formal talks since nearly half of Minnesota's government workers went on strike at the start of the month.

With talks set to resume, unions display solidarity
Oct. 10 Union leaders say if the state of Minnesota wants striking state workers back on the job, it will have to settle with both unions.
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Unions insist state has money for a better offer
Oct. 9 State officials and leaders of the two largest public employee unions are set to resume contract talks on Thursday, but Gov. Jesse Ventura says he doesn't see any way to satisfy the demands of striking workers short of cutting government payrolls. Union leaders, however, say if more money isn't available, there's little chance for movement when talks resume.

Profile: Peter Benner
Oct. 9 Peter Benner, executive director of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 6, is the only one of the four top government and labor officials involved in the current public employees strike who went through the last state workers strike in 1981.

Striking health care workers in difficult spot
Oct. 8 Developmentally disabled patients in state-run treatment homes have National Guard troops as replacements for their normal care providers. Many striking employees of these homes feel they've been placed in a difficult position.
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Setting a strike standard
Oct. 8 With state workers ranging from soup-servers to nut-tighteners on strike, Minnesota's weeklong walkout may go down in the annals of the labor movement as one of the most expansive public-sector strikes in recent history.

Ventura offers to meet with strikers
Oct. 5 Gov. Jesse Ventura said Friday that he would meet with striking state workers any time - as long as the media isn't around. "I have no fear of seeing my workers at all," Ventura said
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Ventura threatens layoffs
Oct. 5 As many as 22,000 state workers remain on the picket lines with no new talks scheduled and little prospect for a quick resolution to contract negotiations. Gov. Ventura, who has maintained a low profile up to and during the strike, is repeating his warning that the state simply doesn't have additional resources to put on the table; union members believe otherwise.

Unions explain reasons for strike
Oct. 3 On the third day of Minnesota's largest state employee strike, many of the workers walking the picket lines say their main reason for striking is the health insurance package offered by the state. State officials say years of double-digit health insurance increases leave the state with no choice but to pass some of those costs onto employees, just as the private sector has done.
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Health coverage is top issue in strike
Oct. 2 Union leaders believe the first state employees strike in two decades was forced on them by a state health insurance proposal that could eat up a large chunk of workers' take-home pay and a last-minute wage offer that was less than the one that preceded it.
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MnSCU short-staffed during strike
Oct. 2 More than a quarter of the workers in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system walked off the job when the state's two largest public employees' unions went on strike. The 34 schools in the system are entering largely uncharted territory. The Minnesota Council of State, County and Municipal Employees last went on strike in 1981 - before MnSCU existed.
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Impact of strike registers quickly
Oct. 1 The state employee strike is already having an impact. Several agencies, like the Health Department and the Department of Agriculture, are scaling back their inspection services. Some Minnesotans are finding it especially difficult to receive vehicle licensing services.

National Guard substitutes at state health facilities
Oct. 1 The state employees strike includes a couple dozen workers at a state veterans home in Luverne, in southwest Minnesota. National Guard troops are filling in for the strikers. On the first day of the work stoppage, world events were as much an issue as labor disagreements.
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The strike begins
Oct. 1 The largest state employee strike in Minnesota history - the first in 20 years - began Monday morning, when as many as 28,000 members of the state's two largest employee unions walked out. That's more than half of the state's workforce. Leaders of AFSCME and MAPE authorized the strike after contract talks with the state broke down over the weekend.


(9 a.m.- 1 p.m)
Continuing coverage from MPR news.

Gov. Jesse Ventura
Midday (10/9)

The prospects for a settlement
Midmorning (10/8)

How to Listen


AFSCME Council 6 Web site

Minnesota Association of Professional Employees

State of Minnesota