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U of MN workers rally for affordable healthcare

By staff |
September 26, 2013
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 Presidents of U of M AFSCME Locals speak at AFSCME rally
Presidents of AFSCME Locals 3800, 3260 and 3937 speak at AFSCME rally for affordable health care. (Fight Back! News/Staff)
Billy Bragg performs at U of MN AFSCME protest
Billy Bragg performs at U of MN AFSCME protest

Minneapolis, MN – About 300 University of Minnesota (U of M) workers and their supporters gathered on Northrup Plaza, in front of the administration building Sept. 26, to rally for accessible and affordable healthcare. U of M workers are angry about proposed cuts to their health care benefits.

The well-known musician Billy Bragg preformed at the rally.

The U of M administration wants to take $1.8 million a year out of the pockets of U of M workers and put it in the general fund. These take-backs would increase every employee's out of pocket health care costs and punish the lowest paid workers and those with chronic conditions.

Cherrene Horazuk, president of AFSCME Local 3800, the university clerical workers, said, "We are leading the charge in our collective bargaining sessions to stop these changes to our healthcare. We reject the U’s proposal for higher co-pays and deductibles and other cost-shifting schemes. We are also proposing a sliding scale plan that is equitable and doesn't punish the lowest paid workers."

Barb Bezat, President of AFSCME 3937, the university technical workers, added, "The university admitted last week that its salaries for most staff are not comparable to other institutions. They claim that benefits like healthcare make up for the difference on one hand, while planning to shift more benefit costs to employees."