4/30/14 -- The parties met on April 28, 2014.  Both parties brought reasonable proposals to the table from their points of view but it is clear that the two parties are far apart with regard to the usual economic culprits of wages and health and welfare. Agreement was reached on including gender identity into the non-discrimination clause along with bringing the current leave of absence language into compliance with and exceeding FMLA.  
The parties are set to return to the table at the end of May. 

4/29/14 - Union Bargaining Committee Members from all of the major employers in St. Paul met with the Employers at the Local 1189 Union Hall to review funding shortfalls and discuss the Union's "supposal" (our thoughts on maintaining a sustainable affordable plan).  The information presented to the group included historical financial status of the fund, current fund reserves and the cost of maintaining current benefits (approximately $6 million).

Workers' Memorial Day is a day to honor those workers who have died on the job, to acknowledge the grievous suffering experienced by families and communities, and to recommit ourselves to the fight for safe and healthful workplaces for all workers. 

4/15/2014 - Initial bargaining for the Essentia pharmacist group began April 15.
Both sides brought good issues to the table and much discussion was had regarding vacation scheduling, safe staffing, preceptor scheduling/compensation, as well as off-premise OT/scheduling.
The Company has agreed to maintain all current benefit levels but doesn't agree with the Union wage proposal and wants the Union to come back with a reasonable proposal.
The parties are set to be back at the table on May 6 and 13.

The ARGA committee and the Employers met on April 15-16 in Duluth. We made some progress but not much. We have signed off on the tentative agreements that were done at the last meeting.
During the two days of negotiations, the Employer dropped nothing from their Meat proposal. We did agree to delete #5 b. which is "Vacation pay will be paid at the beginning of the vacation period, if requested." We also agreed to this in their grocery proposal. The Employer would drop their ACA proposal if we would drop #4, 11, 13, and 15. We did not agree to.

4/7/14 The parties met again today, April 7, 2014. At the table for the Employer were George Stunyo, Attorney, Jason Arnold, HR and Kurt Ogle, Store Director. For the Union were Joyce Berglund, Union Representative, Al Priolo, Union Representative, Linda Karnes, Cashier and Peggy Prestidge, Service Counter/Cashier.
The Employer asked the Union to explain the rationale behind their proposals. We did that.
The Union then asked the Employer (twice) to do the same. They declined, saying "The document speaks for itself" and wanted to conclude for the day.

Applications for the 2014-2015 academic year are now being accepted.  The Nellie Stone Johnson Scholarship is available to minority students from Union families attending or planning to attend one of the 31 technical colleges, community colleges and/or state universities in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.