For Minnesota’s women workers, ‘Equal Pay Day’ no cause for celebration

Women working in Minnesota will earn $382,360 less than their male counterparts, on average, over the course of a 40-year career. As bad as that sounds, Minnesota’s lifetime wage gap is actually better than the national average. Pay disparities between women and men are in the spotlight today on “Equal Pay Day,” but it’s not […]

AFSCME members defend public services during annual lobbying day

  No one knows more about public services in Minnesota than the workers who deliver them, and state lawmakers had access to an abundance of wisdom today during AFSCME Council 5’s annual lobbying blitz. “The experts in public service are coming to the Capitol,” Council 5 Director Eliot Seide said at the close of a […]

Drazkowski threatens to derail state contracts with Right to Work ‘poison pill’

  It’s fair to say state Rep. Steve Drazkowski has a reputation for advancing extreme ideas. He’s supported logging in Minnesota’s state parks and eliminating the Pay Equity Act, even floated the idea of replacing health care workers with baby monitors. The Mazeppa Republican is at it again this session, inserting Wisconsin-style Right to Work […]

Unions praise Dayton’s approach to building a ‘state that works for everyone’

In his State of the State Address last night, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton called on legislators to join him in addressing the state’s racial and geographic disparities, and in making needed investments in public education, transportation and infrastructure. Afterward, union leaders from across the state praised Dayton’s speech. Education Minnesota President Denise Specht called Dayton […]

House Republicans play politics with unemployment extension for steelworkers

Steelworkers pleaded with members of a House committee yesterday to pass a clean bill extending unemployment benefits to workers impacted by the Iron Range mining slowdown, but they couldn’t convince Republicans, who continued holding the relief package hostage for $271 million in tax cuts for businesses. “Believe me, this is not an easy thing for […]

Unions: Dayton’s ‘jobs bill’ would strengthen state’s infrastructure and economy

Gov. Mark Dayton today proposed investing $1.4 billion in infrastructure improvements across Minnesota, including $82 million earmarked for projects in St. Paul. The governor called the bonding proposal a “jobs bill” and, drawing on academic research, estimated it would create work for nearly 40,000 Minnesotans. [The calculation does not include an additional $600 million Dayton’s […]

Students, teachers, unions urge lawmakers to invest state budget surplus

  The projected $1.2 billion state budget surplus, announced by state officials today, creates an opportunity for lawmakers to strengthen communities and continue growing Minnesota’s middle class in the 2016 legislative session, union members and allies said. And the first place lawmakers should look to invest is education. That’s the message three Metro-area legislators heard […]

Lawmakers split over state employees’ contracts, set to take effect next month

Contracts covering about 27,500 state employees, including members of AFSCME Council 5 and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, will go into effect next month after a legislative subcommittee failed to reject or approve the agreements. Members of the Subcommittee on Employee Relations split along party lines in a 5-5 vote yesterday. Under state law, […]

Shar Knutson: Thank you for everything

As autumn begins, my time as Minnesota AFL-CIO President will come to a close. As I head into retirement, I wanted to thank you and everyone in Minnesota’s labor movement for the opportunity to serve as your president. I especially want to thank everyone at the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, both past and present. […]

As lawmakers haggle, faces behind education budget speak out in St. Paul

As Minnesota lawmakers announced a breakthrough in negotiations over the state’s E-12 education budget yesterday, the faces behind the financial figures – students, parents and teachers – rallied against staff and programming cuts in St. Paul. “We cannot nickle and dime our kids’ future,” school board candidate Zuki Ellis, the parent of a first-grader in the St. Paul Public […]