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Public Sector Labor Relations: Minnesota

Public Sector Labor Relations requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Mark Mathison, Gray Plant Mooty

Summary

  • Minnesota's Public Employment Labor Relations Act (MNPELRA) governs labor relations between most public employees and their employers. See Public Sector Employees.
  • The grant of collective bargaining rights under MNPELRA extends to most public employees, including supervisors and professional employees and court employees. See Public Sector Employees.
  • A separate statute, the Charitable Hospitals Act, governs "charitable hospitals" owned by a political subdivision of the state. Employees under CHA have collective bargaining rights but no right to strike. See Public Sector Employees. Both MNPELRA and the CHA are administered by the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services. See The Bureau of Mediation Services.
  • MNPELRA sets the criteria for the establishment of collective bargaining units, provides procedures for election of exclusive representatives, and contains procedures for resolving impasses in bargaining. See Public Sector Employees.
  • Currently approximately 90 percent of the work force employed directly by the state itself is represented by unions. See Public Sector Employees.
  • "Essential employees" such as police, firefighters, supervisors and managers and confidential employees, are subject to special rules under MNPELRA. See Public Sector Employees.
  • MNPELRA requires public employers to bargain on certain subjects, and variously permits or prohibits bargaining on others. See Collective Bargaining Process.
  • MNPELRA proscribes certain unfair labor practices for employers, employees, and labor organizations, which are subject to resolution in the district courts. See Unfair Labor Practices.