Bargaining with Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) and their team of agency representatives began on April 19th. Opening proposals were exchanged the first day. MMB presented 93 proposals covering 23 pages. This number of proposals far exceeds the number of proposals presented by MMB in any past round of bargaining. MMB’s proposals are calling for drastic changes to our contract language that has been in the contract for many years, in some cases since the original MMA contract dating back to 1981. There were 4 more days of bargaining between the parties.
In order to make progress in the negotiations, the parties went into mediation on Tuesday, June 29th. Mediation is a process where a neutral party (mediator) from the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) helps facilitate voluntary agreements between the parties in meetings that are closed and confidential. We have additional meetings scheduled this month and early next month with MMB and the mediator. Because we are classified as essential employees under provisions of the Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act (PELRA), in the event a voluntary agreement is not reached, we would go to interest arbitration to resolve outstanding issues.
We will keep you updated as the bargaining/mediation process continues.