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Stillwater City Council Will Hold 'Executive Session' to Discuss City Labor Negotiations

Contract negotiations between the city of Stillwater and 17 of its AFSCME Local 517 union employees have been going on for more than a year now. The City Council on Tuesday will go into closed session to discuss labor negotiations.

The Stillwater City Council is expected to go into executive session Tuesday night to discuss labor negotiations between the city of Stillwater and a number of its union employees.

Contract negotiations between the city of Stillwater and its AFSCME Local 517 union employees have been going on for more than a year now.  

AFSCME—which includes 17 city employees who work as building inspectors, city planners, engineers and administrative professionals—have been working without a contract since December 2011.

City workers are taking issue with the fact that they have not received a raise in four years while the cost of health insurance is on the rise.

In recent years, the city has cut about 25 percent of its work force due to reductions in state aid, City Administrator Larry Hansen told Patch last month.

At that time, Hansen said union representatives had presented him with “a rather outrageous request, expected negotiations would continue and was hopeful the city and the unions could come to an agreement.

In 2013, the city will lose about $2 million in local aid. The city’s budget for the coming year is proposed to be about $11.5 million.

The Minnesota open meeting law permits governmental bodies to hold a closed meeting to discuss strategy and proposals for labor negotiations conducted under the Public Employment Labor Relations Act.

The statute specifies procedures for tape-recording of these meetings, and for the recordings to become public when negotiations are completed.

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