PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times reports President Trump's tax returns show chronic losses; and will climate change make it as a topic in the first presidential debate?


2020Talks - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times obtains President Trump's tax returns, showing chronic loss and debts coming due. And Judge Amy Coney Barrett is Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Workers Bid to Close Pay Gap At University of Minnesota

PHOTO: With the University of Minnesota budget set and contract negotiations getting underway, employees such as AFSCME member Ruth Martin say it's time to narrow the gap between the best and worst paid. Photo by Michael Kuchta/AFSCME Local 3800.
PHOTO: With the University of Minnesota budget set and contract negotiations getting underway, employees such as AFSCME member Ruth Martin say it's time to narrow the gap between the best and worst paid. Photo by Michael Kuchta/AFSCME Local 3800.
June 25, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. – As contract negotiations get underway, front-line workers at the University of Minnesota say it's time to close the gap between top and bottom pay.

Cherrene Horazuk, a university clerical worker and president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3800, says 15 years ago the university president made about nine times what a typical clerical worker made. Now she says that ratio is 19 times.

"This isn't a big corporation. It's a public institution where people are committed to public service and the greater good of the state," says Horazuk. "How we want to educate the state of Minnesota, but also how a workforce should be treated."

AFSCME and the Teamsters represent nearly a fifth of the 19,000 employees across the University of Minnesota system.

Contract negotiations covering pay and benefits for the next two years are expected to continue for the next several months. Horazuk says hundreds of employees at the state's land-grant university make less than $15 an hour, and many of them struggle or live in poverty. She cites the example of one long-time employee.

"She's given 28 years of her life to this university," says Horazuk. "And she plans to retire in June and will need to get a part-time job in order to make ends meet."

The university says it can't afford substantial raises for front-line and hourly employees. Horazuk says the University of Minnesota system has "huge" reserves, which administrators are perfectly willing to spend when they see fit.

"The men's basketball coach just got a $400,000 raise. That's the equivalent to a half percent for all the 1,600 clerical workers at the university," she says. "They find the money when they want to, and they need to find it for front-line staff."

The university says it wants to limit raises to keep tuition down, but Horazuk describes that as a distraction that aims to pit employees against students.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - MN