1 min read

Season 4, Episode 160

New contract gives Minnesota public defenders a much-needed pay raise



Guest Name:

Brian Aldes

Guest Website:


Guest Social Media:






Teamsters Local 320 Secretary-Treasurer Brian Aldes appeared on the America’s Work Force Union Podcast and discussed the Local’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Aldes also talked about the Local Union and the wins it gained within its recently ratified contract.

Teamsters Local 320 represents over 11,000 public employees across all 87 Minnesota counties. These members comprise police officers, firefighters, utility workers and more within the Minnesota governmental support staff. Among their membership is the the State Board of Public Defenders, who accounts for approximately 620 members. 

In 1999, the state’s public defenders initially voted to unionize. Aldes was the Organizer who brought them into the union. At the time, these employees were woefully underfunded and underpaid when compared to their private sector counterparts, he said. Almost 20 years later, conditions deteriorated to the point that members voted to strike in order to pressure their employer for better funding. Just this month, members of Local 320 ratified their second contact since the strike and gained some key wins.

After tough negotiations and some help from state officials, their employer secured a large enough source of funding to give the workers a much-needed raise. The budget for the State Board of Public Defenders was increased by nearly 50 percent, which brought the public defenders within a comparable salary to their private sector counterparts, Aldes said. Additionally, the funding increase was large enough to allow the Board to hire more defenders to help eliminate the high caseload for individual lawyers, he added.

For more on Teamsters Local 320, click the play button above.

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: American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Auto Workers, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.


Group 342

Group 341

Group 398

Group 343

Group 339

Group 397