YourMPEA believes that educated members are better equipped to help themselves and help their coworkers in times of trouble.
We demand that MPEA Leadership provide education to its members on discipline, grievances, workplace rights and protections, and Union stewardship.
The University of Minnesota offers low-cost or free courses on union leadership and skill building.
AFL-CIO: What Unions Do – Read about the purpose of unions from the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, founded in 1955.
AFL-CIO: Know Your Rights At Work – Learn about the basic legal rights of employees in any workplace.
The Minnesota Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) was created by the Legislature in 2014 to investigate, hear, and resolve unfair labor practice (ULP) charges and complaints in the public sector.
MN Dept of Labor: Worker Rights and Protections – The State of Minnesota regulates employer responsibilities to protect workers and ensure certain rights for employees.
NLRB: Weingarten Rights – Per the National Labor Relations Board, employees are allowed to request union representation in meetings that could lead to discipline.
Joining together in unions enables workers to negotiate for higher wages and benefits and improve conditions in the workplace.
Union members work together to negotiate and enforce a contract with management that guarantees the things you care about like decent raises, affordable health care, job security, and a stable schedule.
Unions DO a wide range of work for their members including:
1) representation during discipline meetings,
2) filing grievances, and
3) negotiating for fair pay and benefits.
Other perks of joining a union are connecting with coworkers, voting for the Board of Directors, and voting on the contract. Find out more about what a union can do for you: https://aflcio.org/what-unions-do
1) Protect low-performers. Work standards and conduct are just as important in a unionized workplace, and management still has a responsibility to address poor performance.
2) Harm the employer. Joining in unions also reduces costly turnover and makes the workplace safer.
3) Work without you. Unions are democratic, and union members vote on things like union dues, who represents you, and what protections and improvements you want in your contract
See also: Do I have to vote yes on the contract?
Dues are essentially a membership fee. While there are about 600 people at the City governed by MPEA’s contract, only dues paying members can vote on that contract, attend member meetings, and vote for MPEA’s Board of Directors.
Dues paying members are also eligible to receive services from the Union such as representation in discipline and filling grievances. Please note that probationary employees may not be eligible to receive full protections from the Union, even though they pay the full amount of dues. The number of dues paying members typically fluctuates between 300-400.
Currently, dues are set at about .75% of your paycheck (see: MPEA Bylaws). When you submit a membership card, payroll will automatically deduct dues from your paycheck.
No! You have to submit a membership enrollment card in one of two ways:
1. Fill out the online form at https://mpea.net/home/resources/request-an-enrollment-card/
2. Send a completed membership enrollment form to the Board Secretary at email@example.com
Unfortunately the MPEA Executive Officers set a restrictive date for member/voting registration. If you become a member after January 12, 2024 you are ineligible to vote in the 2024 elections. YourMPEA is disappointed in this decision and we ask MPEA to reconsider and extend this date before voting begins February 26, 2024.
1) Immediately ask whether the meeting could result in disciplinary action. If so, you have the right to have a Union steward present. You need to ask for your steward, your manager will not offer this.
2) If the meeting is not an investigation that could lead to discipline, you are not entitled to have a steward with you. But if the meeting ever changes to become about things you may have done wrong, immediately ask for your Union steward.
3) Whether the meeting is disciplinary in nature or not: take notes.
Every 3 years, MPEA collectively bargains new terms and conditions of employment for its represented employees. The formal agreement that MPEA and the City reach is commonly referred to as ‘the contract.’
It’s important that you read this contract carefully so you understand things like wages and benefits, promotions, discipline, grievances, seniority, and more. If you ever have questions about the contract, reach out to the union and they can help explain it to you.
If you feel that HR or your boss are violating the contract, report it to MPEA. They can gather more information and determine if they should file what is called a grievance. Grievances are a formal complaint with the City regarding the contract. An arbitrator or mediator will then determine the correct interpretation of the contract.
You should read the tentative agreement completely and carefully. It is the Union’s job to engage and inform the members of negotiations and the terms and conditions of the contract.
Ask yourself: Are the wage increases fair? Have there been any changes to the terms and conditions – like progressive discipline or seniority? Do I agree with those changes? How will this affect my job? How will this affect my coworkers? Am I happy with this contract until the next negotiation?
Then discuss the contract with your coworkers and fellow Union members to see how they feel. If you don’t understand what’s in the contract, ask a Union representative. If you feel the contract and wages are fair, then vote yes. If you disagree with any of the negotiated terms in the contract vote no.
Submit an appeal to the Grievance Committee. If none exists or your appeal is overturned, file an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) with the Minnesota Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).
1) Get involved. Show up to any/all member meetings that the Union hosts. You are entitled to that time by MPEA’s contract. If there are committees, join a committee.
2) Vote. Every year MPEA elects members to it’s Board of Directors. Get informed on who is running and what they stand for and vote your values. Every 3 years, MPEA negotiates a new contract, read it carefully and vote yes or no. Occasionally MPEA changes its Bylaws, these changes require member approval. Review changes carefully and vote yes or no. See also: ‘Do I have to vote yes on the contract?’.
3) Run for the Board! If you want to make the most change and feel ready to take on a leadership position in the Union, run for the Board. If your values align with YourMPEA and you’re interested in running, please send us an email or contact one of our members. We want to support your campaign. See also: Get Involved.
4) Join YourMPEA. We host engagement meetings where we connect with members on issues that matter to them. We believe in holding MPEA leaders accountable and increasing transparency in our Union. Sign up for our newsletter or send us an email.