Contract negotiations currently underway.

    Recently, I had the honor of attending a special dinner in Crookston, Minnesota for our great University, where I was informed that the function being attended had sold out of tickets very quickly. The function was the Farm to Table event and before dinner I was presented with a question of, “What did the Teamsters have to do with this?”

    Well, first of all, Teamsters do ALOT for our campus and sister campuses everyday, which includes Morris and Duluth! Second, the compiled list, I’m sure, will not include everyone and everything, as I’m sure I will forget someone or something, but let’s give it a whirl anyway!

    Teamsters overall and throughout every season of the year keep up the grounds from the finely groomed lawn and athletic areas, to the vegetable garden, flower gardens and field plots. The food court, itself, is managed by an outside vendor hired by the U, however, Teamster workers clean, prep, cook/bake, and serve the garden items for consumption. NOTE: The food itself is one major part of this program/scholarship dinner as there are four courses. VERY IMPORTANT, don’t you think?

    Teamster Building and Ground Workers set up the banquets, i.e. tables, chairs and cut, as well as cleaning and maintaining common areas, including, but not limited to, my personal favorite, the bathrooms! Upon completion of dinner the Teamster workers will wash the dishes (And let’s not forget, four courses of dishes!) and reverse the banquet process, by clearing the tables and stripping the banquet hall.

    Security, from Campus Security to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office/Posse, who opened with an informative presentation of what their duties encompass and their vast abilities to assist in chaotic situations that may occur, are also, you guessed it, Teamsters!

    And last, but certainly not least, are our maintenance workers, heating plant operators, electrician, HVAC mechanics and plumber personnel, which all throughout the year have to deal with many unexpected and crazy situations. (Just ask the refrigeration guy what he had the misfortune of having to clean last week, maybe not!)

    So, in closing, I regret that I did not have more time to chat with the lady that prompted me to generate this letter, nor do I know her name, but THANK YOU! THANK YOU VERY MUCH, now you have been informed what Teamsters do for the U!

    Teamsters, I should also note, are in negotiations at this time and are confident that the University will support us in a fair and timely negotiation process, with wages that will match the competitive job market, for all reliable, dedicated workers throughout the University system statewide.

    Pahlen is a UMN Crookston alum and member of Teamsters Local 320.