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Union election taking place this week in Nisswa

The Nisswa City Council learned Wednesday, Oct. 16, that a union election among supervisory city employees was to be held this week.

It is a mail ballot election, and all ballots have to be in by 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. Tabulation will be at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) in St. Paul. Results will be known immediately afterward.

Eight supervisory employees are proposed to be part of the Minnesota Public Employees Association (MNPEA) — city clerk, police chief, fire chief, planning and zoning administrator, Spirits manager, Pickle Factory manager, parks director and public works director. The BMS determined the potential members of the bargaining unit.

According to the MNPEA website, that group was established to provide public employees in Minnesota with an alternative to the standard national and international unions. While most groups MNPEA represents are from law enforcement or corrections, it does represent the city of East Bethel and the city of Jordan clerical workers.

Unionization arose after some city employees petitioned the BMS to form a collective bargaining unit in August. The petition was filed immediately after the city council suspended police chief Craig Taylor and offered him a resignation settlement a day later.

The council reinstated Taylor nearly a week later after learning the council couldn’t make any staffing changes until the petition for unionization was settled.