MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – One day after a strike authorization vote, public defenders in Minnesota have reached a new contract agreement.
Roughly 700 Minnesota public defense employees were poised to go on strike as early as Tuesday, citing rising workloads and short staffing.
But they secured a contract on the first day, as negotiations stretched late into Friday night.
The new contract with the Minnesota Board of Public Defense secured cost-of-living adjustments through 2023, significant overhead costs for part-time public defenders, and salary reopen language.
Union members will vote on the contract in two weeks.
“After over nine months of hard bargaining for fair working conditions and better pay, both with are essential to retaining good quality attorneys and support staff, we are excited to have reached a deal with the Board that will help us more justly represent Minnesota’s indigent defendants,” said Ginny Barron, a public defender in the Fifth Judicial District for 10 years.
Teamsters Local 320 represents public defense employees including attorneys, paralegals, investigators, IT personnel, legal office assistants, and dispositional advisors.