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MADISON, Wis. – CUNA Mutual Group wants to see labor negotiations with its union, the Office of Professional Employees and International Union Local 39, move back to the local level. Former CUNA Mutual President/CEO Mike Kitchen met twice with OPEIU’s international president Michael Goodwin in a month. Goodwin is based out of New York and is not part of the Local 39, but oversees all OPEIU locals. Acting CUNA Mutual President/CEO Jeff Holley wrote Goodwin a letter on Aug. 6 stating, “CUNA Mutual Group has decided that subsequent bargaining negotiations should occur at the local level, where we believe the proposals of both parties may be more appropriately addressed. I have instructed our bargaining team to be available for such discussions.” According to a Local 39 representative, the union has no objections with negotiations on the local level. The union representative said the two parties have not yet scheduled any new meeting dates. In a separate Holley letter also dated Aug. 6 to OPEIU Local 39 Business Manager John Peterson, Holley said that he will provide “overall direction to our negotiations team and remain apprised of what’s happening.” He also wrote that negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement is a management responsibility and does not directly involve the CUNA Mutual board.

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