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Paynesville Press - April 12, 2006

City council holds special meeting about unionization

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville City Council held a special meeting on Tuesday, April 4, at 6 p.m.

The council approved hiring attorney Scott Lepak, who specializes in labor law, to help the city with a unionization proposal by city employees. Such a petition has been filed with the Bureau of Mediation Services.

The first step is to organize city employees into specific units, before any votes about unionizing can be held. If the city and staff cannot agree on the composition of the units, a hearing would be held with the Bureau of Mediation Services to decide on the units.

The personnel committee had met on Monday, April 3, and directed city attorney Bill Spooner to seek legal counsel for this labor issue. Spooner had contacted Lepak, of Minneapolis, prior to this council meeting.

Members of the personnel committee possibly were going to meet with Lepak on Friday.

The council was also informed that the Bureau of Mediation Services had granted the city an extension to fill the necessary paperwork in response to the union petition. The city now has until Monday, April 17, to respond.

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