UM System continues to meet with labor union

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COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri System will meet next week for mediation with a labor union. The union represents maintenance workers, custodial employees, and cafeteria workers.

The Laborers' International Union of North America Local 773 (LiUNA) and the UM System have not yet reached an agreement since their contract expired in August. The UM System implemented a 1% across-board merit-based pay increase in October.

A merit-based pay system is also known as pay-for-performance, which rewards employees for good work.

MU, MU Health Care, and UMKC are represented by LiUNA. The union covers around 1,000 staff jobs like custodians and cafeteria workers.

LiUNA representative Regina Guevera said in October she was frustrated with the UM System and their inability to reach an agreement.

"From the very beginning they [the UM System] said they weren't going to force merit-pay down our throat. Well, that didn't happen," Guevera said. 

UM System Communication Director John Fougere said it was their priority to ensure pay is market competitive.

"The university has put in hundreds of hours trying to work with the union to reach agreement, focusing on enabling our union eligible employees to gain greater salary through merit increases and expanded pay ranges than what they might have under the longstanding union compensation structure," Fougere said.

The mediation between the groups is set for January 25 and January 26.