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Minnesota State system to pay $1.9M in unpaid wages to faculty

ST. PAUL — Minnesota State has agreed to pay up to $1.9 million to settle a wage dispute with faculty at its two-year colleges.

The Minnesota State College Faculty union has been fighting since 2010 over wage calculations for faculty who do certain jobs, such as teaching independent studies or coordinating internships, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

The union prevailed at arbitration in 2016 but argued the public higher education system refused to comply with that ruling. The faculty sued Minnesota State in Ramsey County District Court in December 2017, alleging unfair labor practices.

Minnesota State said it paid faculty in accordance with the arbitration ruling but maintained it was not required to change practices going forward. The settlement announced Wednesday, May 22, brings an end to that lawsuit.

As part of the agreement, Minnesota State promised to pay faculty going forward with a formula that includes both credits and contact hours.

Faculty members have until Oct. 31 to file claims. Minnesota State will pay a referee up to $50,000 to decide who qualifies.

The union says between 180 and 700 instructors are owed back pay. Payments were capped at $1.9 million.

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