The North Dakota Public Employees Association traces its beginnings to an organizational meeting in January of 1963. A group of representatives from 18 state agencies and boards, concerned with state employee policies, met to discuss what they considered to be inadequate employee benefits, salary levels, and job security. From this meeting a legislative committee was formed to review legislation regarding employee health insurance and retirement plans as proposed by the North Dakota State Highway Employees Association. A Legislative Advisory Committee was also appointed to give assistance and guidance during the coming legislative session. Although the proposed retirement bill was lost in the Senate, the Committee's efforts contributed to successfully passing an employee health insurance bill which included an amendment adding life insurance.

Encouraged by their success in the legislative session, the Committee sought out other employees interested in forming an organization to promote employee rights. As a result the North Dakota State Employees Association was established in May of 1964. The purpose of the Association, according to the Articles of Incorporation, was (in part) to promote and establish:

A merit system for all state employees.
A retirement or pension plan for all state employees.
The general economic welfare of employees.
Mutual understanding and good will among employees.
A newsletter for the purpose of providing communication among employees.

By the end of the first year the Association had increased to 1,610 members organized into seven chapters (as well as the Highway Employees Association) in the Bismarck area. Members targeted passage of an employee retirement plan as the primary goal during the 1965 Legislative Session. Their intensive work and study were rewarded when a State Employee Retirement Plan was passed by the senate in March of that year.

Over the next decade the membership and strength of the Association grew steadily. Due in part to lobbying by the Association, members at the state colleges received increased benefits, the Governor's Standard Personnel Policy was drafted, minimum wages were increased, and many other benefits were secured for state employees. In 1975 the State Personnel Board was formed to review the classification and merit systems, personnel policies and other employee programs with the intention of establishing a unified system for all state employees. The Personnel Board could also serve as arbitrator in settling grievances broached by the Association.

Membership in the Association was initially restricted to state employees and an ongoing debate centered upon the possibility of extending membership to county and city employees. In 1980, the title of the organization was changed to North Dakota Public Employees Association in order to reflect the importance of achieving improved benefits for these employees as well.

Since the inception of NDPEA, employee policies and benefits have changed substantially and many of the original goals have been accomplished. The initial concept of the Association remains the same -- to work towards fair and equitable policies for all public employees.


As North Dakota has grown, so has NDPEA. They've moved step-by-step with government, promoting change when change was necessary and tempering it when it worked against what was best for North Dakotans. One example of NDPEA's growth as an organization was their decision in 1989 to affiliate nationally with the American Federation of Teachers/Federation of Public Employees. This bold move bolstered NDPEA's ability to face emerging issues such as the privatization of public services and to extend its lobbying reach to Washington, D.C. where more decisions are being made that affect their jobs. It also added greatly to NDPEA's consistent drive to bring collective bargaining to all public employees. This will enable them all to have a stronger voice in determining their salaries, benefits and working conditions. As the foremost backer of collective bargaining, NDPEA is creating new opportunities for public employees to capitalize upon for improving their careers and the quality of the important services they provide.


Like you, NDPEA cares for their state and they know that quality public services are an important part of its promising future. So, while you work to keep North Dakota safe, healthy and on the move, they're working to see that North Dakota recognizes the value of your work and gives you the support and recognition you need to get it done. In your work site, in the Legislature and in the media, you can count on them to speak out aggressively on public employment issues and to address your individual concerns. But you can also count on them to act responsibly and to seek sensible, long-term solutions that all North Dakotans can live with tomorrow. Perhaps this is why NDPEA is known both as the most forceful representative of public employees and as a leading advocate of good government. Perhaps it's why you should join and support NDPEA today.

Their Accomplishments:

What NDPEA, AFT Has Done For Public Employees . . .

Assured all public employees they would continue to have fully paid health insurance coverage for themselves and their families.
Introduced legislative proposals for public employees to receive substantial pay increases.
Lobbied for and helped pass, legislation to enhance retirement benefits.
Introduced and lobbied for legislation to give public employees, in North Dakota, collective bargaining rights, and NDPEA, AFT will continue to seek bargaining rights for public employees. YOU DESERVE A CONTRACT AND A VOICE!
Employs full-time lobbyists at the North Dakota Legislature. A VOICE FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES!
Is the most recognized union for public employees by the Legislature, media and leaders in the State of North Dakota.
Introduced a resolution to study privatization of state agencies in North Dakota. NDPEA, AFT will continue monitoring potential privatization of public sector jobs.
Assists public employees to get medical bills paid when Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota denies claims.
Represents public employees before the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) Board to protect your retirement funds and health insurance coverage. NDPEA, AFT continues to serve on various PERS committees.
Is a public employee voice to the governor's office.
Monitors and testifies before the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, making sure higher education faculty and staff concerns are addressed.
For higher education faculty and staff NDPEA, AFT supports higher salaries, secure retirement benefits, employer-paid health insurance, ensure rights and academic freedom protection and improved higher education funding.
NDPEA's national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, provides a voice for North Dakota Public Employees at the Them Congress.
NDPEA, AFT pioneered a retirement system and secured health coverage for public employees.
Took the lead in safeguarding public employees' health care when Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Dakota proposed converting to a for-profit mutual health insurance company.


When you join NDPEA you have access to many additional benefits. Some are provided through their affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and others are provided by NDPEA.

NDPEA's Discount List will be found at the end of this page.

AFT maintains two types of benefits. One is comprised of different types of insurance programs, master card, home mortgage, car rentals, hotels etc. These can be found in your AFT Plus Benefits booklet that is sent out annually in the Public Service Reporter or you can get information on the AFT web site under Member Benefits by visiting their summary page.