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Subcommittee on Employee Relations

The Subcommittee on Employee Relations (SER) assists the legislature by monitoring collective bargaining agreements for state employees and providing interim approval of compensation plans for unrepresented employees in the executive branch. It also monitors the state civil service system and can make recommendations regarding the collective bargaining process. (Minnesota Statutes 3.855)

State Employee Negotiations

The executive branch of the State of Minnesota employs approximately 50,000 people. About 90 percent of these employees are placed in one of 17 occupationally-based bargaining units, which are represented by one of eleven unions. The unions negotiate collective bargaining agreements that establish the terms and conditions of employment. Traditionally, these agreements are valid for two years and coincide with the state biennium. Minnesota Management and Budget represents management and negotiates on behalf of the state with the exclusive representatives.

Once a tentative settlement has been reached, employees in the bargaining unit vote to ratify the agreement. The contract is then executed by the Commissioner of Management and Budget. (Under legislation adopted by the 2023 Legislature, the SER and the Legislature no longer are involved in the contract ratification process.)

Six of the bargaining units are defined as "essential" which, under Minnesota Statutes, prevents them from engaging in a strike. If one of these bargaining units reaches an impasse, either party may request binding arbitration to resolve the issues at impasse. The arbitration award is implemented by the Commissioner of Management and Budget

About 10 percent of state employees are not represented by a union. The terms and conditions for these employees are determined in one of four compensation plans: the Commissioner's Plan, the Managerial Plan, the MnSCU Personnel Plan for Administrators, and the HESO Unclassified Compensation Plan. These plans are reviewed and approved by the subcommittee. The plan does not go into effect until the subcommittee has approved it

The subcommittee tracks various costs related to the collective bargaining agreements and compensation plans in a tracking sheet called a Salary Settlement Chart. Settlement sheets dating back to 1992 can be found by selecting the "Subcommittee Data" dropdown box above.

Combined Meetings