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Season 5, Episode 107

AFSCME Local 1539 wins new contract at Minnesota Prison

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Guest Name:

Amanda Biggins

Guest Website:

AFSCME Local 1539 

Guest Social Media:





Supportive Documents:

Amanda Biggins, President of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1539, joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about her Local’s new contract with the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City. Biggins also talked about approved legislation that will ban private prisons in Minnesota.

Local 1539 recently negotiated a new contract that Biggins said will help them better serve inmates and the community. The new contract includes increases in pay and improvements to benefits. She also talked about how the pay improvements will help address staffing shortages – one of the biggest issues plaguing the facility. Biggins said she is hopeful the improved pay and benefits will help attract and retain more qualified corrections officers.

Privatizing the correctional industry has been a hotly contested subject. Biggins discussed examples where the privatization of prisons has led to officers and inmates being placed in unsafe and unhealthy environments. A private prison often becomes a profit-focused business, which then places other priorities above the conditions of facilities and the safety of the inmates and corrections officers, Biggins said, adding that she has yet to see a union help these workers in the private sector. With strong outreach by Local 1539 leaders, Minnesota legislators recently passed Minnesota House File 1200, which bans private prisons in the state.

Biggins also shared details about her journey to becoming a corrections officer, which was led by her desire to help people. After many stops, she found herself at the Rush City Correctional Facility, an adult, all-male prison in Minnesota. In 2022, Biggins was elected president of AFSCME Local 1539, representing about 200 corrections officers and support staff at Rush City.  

Listen to the show above for more about the new contract for AFSCME Local 1539.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


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