Minnesota public defense attorneys, support staff authorize first-ever strike
Strike could come within 10 days if agreement isn't reached, leaving clients without representation
March 11, 2022
Minnesota's criminal public defense attorneys and their support staff overwhelmingly authorized a potentially first strike Thursday, one that could come in as soon as 10 days if an agreement on new contracts isn't reached.
At issue are pay disparities with other agencies, staffing levels and the flexibility to work from home. Public defenders say staffing shortages lead to crushing caseloads that hurt their clients, who mostly are indigent and minorities.
"For a state that is actively trying to reform its criminal justice system, this is a good place to start," said Kyle MacArthur, an investigator in the Fifth Judicial District in Mankato.