Local 454 Strike Updates

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Strike Update: 

AFSCME members reach deal with City of Virginia

VIRGINIA, MN – After 8 hours of negotiations, AFSCME members and the City of Virginia 
reached a deal that will end the strike. The tentative agreement was approved by the City Council in a session shortly after the agreement was reached. It was then approved by an overwhelming majority of the members of AFSCME Local 454 at a meeting this evening.

Read the full story at: https://www.afscme65.org/news/release-afscme-members-reach-deal

Contact City Leaders:


Liz Motley - 218-780-5595
Julianne Paulsen - 218-929-2100
Maija Biondich - 218-780-6221
Steven B. Johnson - 218-994-2094
Gary Friedlieb - 218-742-7721


Larry Cuffe - 218-780-9941

Statements of Support:

Representative Dave Lislegard:


PDF icon rep_lislegard_454_support_letter.pdf
Letter of Support from Representative Lislegard

Media Coverage:





















Virginia City Workers Announce Intent to Strike.

Virginia - City workers with AFSCME Local 454 have notified the city leadership of their intent to strike. The workers remain united in opposing City Council threats to cut benefits to cover budget mismanagement. The Council created a budget shortfall last fall by refusing to pass a levy that would fund city operations. As a result, six jobs represented by AFSCME Local 454 were cut, despite existing staffing shortages.

In mediation on Wednesday, February 21, the employer presented what they called a last, best, and final offer that would cut overtime pay, further lower employer contributions to insurance, and negatively impact other earned benefits.

The City Council has notified AFSCME leaders that the city will stop paying overtime to workers when they’ve had a sick day, vacation day, or a statutory holiday during the work week. If the city moves forward with this change, workers will not receive any recognition for extra time away from their families when asked to put in extra hours.

“The city has demonstrated no effort to reach a reasonable settlement.” said Scott DaRonco, President of AFSCME Local 454. “Despite our attempts to work with the city and find solutions to the issues they raised, they just threw us under the bus again and again with each proposal. They continue to demand our families shoulder the burden of their own mismanagement, and it’s clear they never intended to compromise.  Nobody wants to strike. We want to have fair wages and benefits to support our families in this community. AFSCME members want to continue to provide great service to the citizens of Virginia, however the employer is forcing us to strike to survive.”

The city’s proposal would offer less to AFSCME workers than what all other city employees received in recent contract settlements and would fail to keep the city comparable with other nearby employers. The city’s final offer includes a 10% reduction in employer contributions to insurance premiums over the three-year contract. The one-time wage increases and stipends the city proposed would not cover the annual increases to insurance costs, meaning employees would see a cut to hourly wages for each year of the contract.  

These dedicated public servants are asking to be treated the same as other City of Virginia employees. They want to support their families and help Virginia thrive. They cannot do that with rising costs and diminishing paychecks.

In 2020 and 2021, members agreed to save the city $127,474.69/year* by switching to a new health insurance plan. In 2023, the city budgeted $151,000 for its six part-time councilors and Mayor, who receive the same benefits as full-time police, fire, supervisory, and AFSCME employees.

As a result of the city’s demands, members of AFSCME Local 454 voted overwhelmingly to strike. Following the unsuccessful mediation session on Wednesday, Local 454 leaders notified the city of their intent to strike. Following the intent to strike notice, there will be a 10-day waiting period before the strike can begin. Another mediation session is scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, 2024.


AFSCME Local 454 represents City of Virginia workers in the following departments: Library, City Hall (Police Admin. Staff, Finance, and Engineering), Public Works, and Parks and Recreation (including Iron Trail Motors Event Center).

Listen to AFSCME Local 454 President address the Virginia City Council on January 23, 2024: https://qr.page/g/h01Z8zv4sy

*As of 2024 the average annual cost of insurance to the City of Virginia per employee is just $1,234.38 higher than it was in 2019, significantly below recent inflation.