Council 5 reached a tentative agreement on a new two-year contract with Hennepin County at noon November 15 after a 27-hour marathon of bargaining.  The negotiating team (pictured above) unanimously recommended acceptance of the package listed below. 

“It’s time to celebrate – Hennepin County workers will now receive their first cost-of-living raise in three years,” said Eliot Seide, executive director of Council 5.  “Most workers will get a 4% raise – or more – for both 2006 and 2007.”






2.5% or $0.38/hour, whichever is greater

2.5% or $0.38/hour, whichever is greater

Top step increases

1.5% (employees at top step receive a total step and wage increase of at least 4%)

1.5% increase for new top step (employees at top get 4%)

Lump sum – cash

$100 for employees whose rate of pay is at or below $15/hour as of Dec. 24, 2005

$100 for employees whose rate of pay is at or below $15/hour as of Dec. 24, 2005

1% Market Adjustment


For these job classes:

§         Librarian

§         Librarian Associate

§         Service Center Rep

§         Service Center Rep Senior

§         Correctional Officer

§         Correctional Officer Senior

§         Office Specialists II & III

§         Real Estate and Tax Specialists I, II and III


2% Market Adjustment

For these job classes:

§         Human Services Rep I

§         Legal Secretary


3% Market Adjustment

For these job classes:

§         Clinical Nursing Specialist

§         MHPMedical Services Coordinator

§         Licensed Practical Nurse

§         Public Health Nurse


Health Insurance – Single Coverage

Employer pays 100% of Single Coverage = $433.75/month

Employer pays 100% of Single Coverage =

$481.46 /month

Health Insurance – Family Coverage

Families pay 24.28% = $294.26/month

Families pay 25% = $336.36/month

Dental Insurance

Employer pays $0.01/hour, Employee pays $0.01/hour

Employer pays $0.01/hour, Employee pays $0.01/hour

The union successfully fought off the employer’s attempt to force singles to pay monthly health care premiums.  This victory will save employees more than $1 million over the life of the contract. 

In addition to a raise, nearly 29% of bargaining unit members will receive a 1% to 3% market adjustment to bring wages of certain job classes up to marketplace levels.   

The contract includes more improvements that will soon be communicated. 


Union members fought hard for everything they got from the employer.  A vigilant action team deserves much credit for the success.  Their solidarity rallies and food energized the negotiating team during the 27-hour marathon bargaining session. 

Timeline for contract ratification:

Nov 15 – Negotiating Team unanimously recommends approval

Nov 21 – Master Committee will vote on a recommendation to membership

Nov 29 – Contract explanation meeting and contract vote at Minneapolis Convention Center

Dec 1 –   Members continue to vote at work sites – locations to be announced