Members of AFSCME Local 3800 rallied in the cold wind and rain today on the Northrop Plaza at the University of Minnesota. Clerical workers are demanding respectful wages and anti-bias language ahead of contract negotiations with the university on Oct. 30. The union hopes to bring their demands to the top of recently inaugurated UMN President Joan Gabel’s list of priorities.

“President Gabel has been lauded for breaking the glass ceiling, becoming the first female president in the 150-year history of the U,” said AFSCME 3800 vice-president Steph Taylor in a statement. “Clerical, technical and healthcare workers are predominantly women. We are always told to wait, well we are done waiting.”

The short rally drew a moderate, yet boisterous, crowd of union members, allies, passer-bys and two state legislators. 

“Our whole approach to revenue, both at the federal and state level, has led to where we are, which is stagnating wages for workers and inflating tuition prices,” said DFL Representative and Taxes Committee member Aisha Gomez, “We need to fulfill our obligations to the people of Minnesota and adequately fund public services.”

The union is also bargaining for reasonable across the board wage increases, a faster path and increase to the top of the pay scale, and no healthcare costs increases.

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