Several letters have been sent to University of Minnesota President Bob Bruininks concerning settlement with AFSCME union strikers. Of specific concern is a 3.25% state supplement package awarded to the University for salary increases. Representative Tom Rukavina, Chair of the Higher Education and Workforce Development Policy and Finance Division, co-authored a letter in response to a statement Bruininks posted on the University's website. Bruininks' projects a cooperative message saying, ...we are committed to fair and comparable compensation packages for all of our employee groups and that's why we stand ready and willing to go back to the bargaining table to settle this strike. Chief negotiator Gladys McKenzie says the University would not be financially disturbed by settling with the union workers. Rukavina says the University has a budget, but it shouldn't be at the cost of the clerical, technical and health care workers.
This story was submitted by Lauretta Dawolo on September 13, 2007.