MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group of Augsburg University staff on Thursday announced plans to unionize.

The Augsburg Staff Union, which is comprised of approximately 170 staff ranging from admissions to IT, is being organized with the Office and Professional Employees Union (OPEIU Local 12).

A majority of professional and clerical staff are set to deliver a public letter to Augsburg President Paul Pribbenow, requesting he grant voluntary recognition to their union.

“As staff that provide support to ensure the success and wellbeing of our students, we know that having a voice will mean strengthening our ability to achieve that mission,” said Maxwell Poessnecker, director of LGBTQ+ Student Services and Equity and a member of the Augsburg Staff Union Organizing Committee. “As a progressive institution in the community, we expect the Augsburg Administration to walk the walk by voluntarily recognizing our union now that a majority of our staff have had the courage to come forward and request it.”

The staff hopes to address a number of priorities through collective bargaining, including racial and gender pay gaps, affordable health insurance, parental leave, advancement opportunities, tuition credit, retirement benefits that were recently eliminated, and COVID-19 safety protections.

According to the staff union, Pribbenow has been given one week to respond to their letter.

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