Strike averted for now

A potential strike involving 200 Minnesota State employees, along with members at six other universities in the Minnesota State system, was averted earlier this month when the two sides reached a tentative agreement.

The agreement, reached Aug. 15, will go before union members for approval Aug. 31. Votes will be counted Sept. 7. 

Since April, the 2023-25 contract has been under negotiation. In a salary comparison on, since 2010, Minnesota State University Association of Administrative and Service Faculty’s (MSUAASF) average increase in wages is 2.33%. The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees’s (MAPE) average is just over 6%. 

Union members say Wages haven’t kept up with inflation. The strike would have affected multiple areas on campus such as athletics, financial aid and admissions, residential life, student activities and advising. 

“We think that the work we do is really critical to supporting students and we want to be able to support our staff who are doing that work,” Women’s Center Director Liz Steinborn-Gorley said.

The strike was supposed to take place on the first day of classes. There are More than 200 MSUAASF members among MSU’s employee ranks. Other campuses with MSUAASF members include Bemidji State, Metro State, Moorhead State, Southwest Minnesota State, St. Cloud State and Winona State. 

Prior to the recent agreement, about 98% of MSUAASF voted to authorize a strike. 

MSU faculty held a practice strike Aug. 3 before negotiations began. Faculty walked around campus near the intersection of Stadium Road and Ellis Ave. They waved homemade signs and chanted while cars honked as they passed. 

Steinborn-Gorley said the practice strike was staged to show a significant number of faculty would be impacted. 

“We’re not weak. We have an incredible impact on the student experience,” Steinborn-Gorley said, prior to the tentative agreement being reached. “Management will harm our students if we are forced to go on a strike because we don’t get an equitable contract at the bargaining table.”

Write to Emma Johnson at

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