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Legislators back AFSCME strikers; Hunger strike enters day two

by staff |
September 15, 2007
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Minneapolis, MN - State Senators John Marty and Patricia Torres-Ray and State Representative Frank Hornstein held a press conference, Sept. 18 support of striking University of Minnesota AFSCME workers.

State Rep. Frank Hornstein, D-Minneapolis, said, "I speak for many of my colleagues in demanding that the collective bargaining process resume and the university come back to the table." He added, "We don't want the leadership of this institution to squander the goodwill they now have. We don't want the strike to last a day longer."

State Sen. John Marty, D-Roseville, said, “The 2007 increase in the university's appropriation was a response to Bruinink's request to fund increases in compensation. We didn't expect the pay raise would be dished out so that the people at the bottom of the pay scale get the least. But that's what's happening here. President Bruininks, I appeal to you and the Board of Regents. I think it's time to get back to the bargaining table. Do the right thing."

State Sen. Patricia Torres Ray, D-Minneapolis stated, "I am incredibly disappointed with the administration's actions. This is an issue of equity and fairness. I am going to make sure that in the future, we question the appropriation for the university in the Senate."

Brian Senske, AFSCME Local 3937 member and technical worker at university Medical School said, "We work hard and we love our jobs and we love this institution. But we can't afford to make any more sacrifices for it. We need to get back to the table and back to work but we deserve a fair wage increase that keeps us up with inflation."

In related a developments, a hunger strike by students who are in solidarity with university workers entered its second day. Also, strikers converged on campus loading docks, delaying and turning back trucks making deliveries.