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Union of teachers, public employees off the ground

North Dakota State Flag
North Dakota State Flag

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- A new union that combines the North Dakota Education Association and the North Dakota Public Employees Association officially turns 2 days old on Labor Day.

The merger that has been in the works for several years gives the group more than 10,000 members, making it larger than all other unions in the state combined.

The new organization is called North Dakota United.

The two former groups have not always agreed on issues in the past, such as the last gubernatorial election when the teachers supported Republican Jack Dalrymple and the public employees backed Democrat Ryan Taylor.

But leaders say the new marriage is based on common themes like protecting pensions and other benefits for workers.

North Dakota United has scheduled its first official board meeting this weekend in Fargo.