Public Sector Unions in Minnesota

We have extensive expertise in the unique laws that govern public-sector labor unions in Minnesota.

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Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Act

Minnesota, unlike its neighboring states, respects the right of its public sector workers to organize and form unions. Minnesota’s public sector employees are protected by the Public Employee Labor Relations Act (PELRA) (Minn. Stat. § 179A.01 et seq.).

PELRA provides public sector employees with very similar rights to those that the NLRA provides to private sector employees. This means that covered public sector employees are free to engage with their coworkers to discuss their wages and conditions of employment, that they can form and join labor organizations, that public sector employers must bargain in good faith with their employees’ labor organizations, and generally that public employees have the same right to engage in concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection as those in the private sector.

Miller O’Brien Jensen has a decades long history of representing public sector employees and their unions. We advise public sector unions in all aspects of labor relations and employment matters, including:

  • Union organizing rights
  • Public sector election procedures
  • Collective bargaining negotiations
  • Discipline and termination grievances
  • Contract enforcement grievances
  • Arbitration
  • Enforcement of arbitration awards
  • Unfair labor practices
  • Labor strikes, picketing, boycotts, and injunctions
  • Duty of fair representation claims
  • Union governance matters

Our lawyers are some of the most experienced public sector labor lawyers in the Upper Midwest. We regularly represent public sector unions in arbitration proceedings, state level hearings before the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (“BMS”) and the Minnesota Public Employment Labor Relations Board (“PERB”), and in state court. We have represented employees who work for an array of public entities, including cities, counties, the State, school districts, and public universities and colleges.

Labor & Law

Having a law firm with an experienced team of attorneys who understand both labor law and the dynamics of labor-management relations and internal union affairs can make all the difference in assisting your membership and elected leadership. We are available to act as general counsel to your union or to give advice on a specific case or problem. Please contact us to discuss what Miller O’Brien Jensen P.A. can do for your union and members.