The Subcommittee on Employee Relations assists the legislature by providing interim approval of negotiated agreements, arbitration awards, and compensation plans for employees in the executive branch. It also monitors the state civil service system and makes recommendations regarding certain state and local government salaries.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) employs over 2000 people. The majority of these employees are represented by occupationally-based bargaining units. These unions/associations negotiate collective bargaining agreements that establish the terms and conditions of employment. Traditionally, these agreements are valid for two years and coincide with the state biennium. The Minnesota Management and Budget Department represents management and negotiates on behalf of the state with the exclusive representatives.
Once a tentative settlement has been reached, employees in the bargaining unit vote to ratify the agreement. The contract is then presented to the subcommittee, which must accept or reject the agreement within 30 days. The subcommittee may not modify a collective bargaining agreement. If the subcommittee does not approve or reject it within 30 days, the contract automatically goes into effect.
Two of the bargaining units are defined as "essential" which, under Minnesota Statutes, prevents them from engaging in a strike. If one of these bargaining units reaches an impasse, either party may request binding arbitration to resolve the issues at impasse. The arbitration award must also be approved or rejected by the subcommittee.
The remaining DPS employees are not represented by a union. The terms and conditions for these employees are determined in one of two compensation plans: the Commissioner's Plan and the Managerial Plan. These plans are also reviewed and approved by the subcommittee. The subcommittee may modify a plan, and the plan does not go into effect until the subcommittee has approved it.