Voters back labor-endorsed candidates, referendums in local elections

Labor-endorsed candidates performed well in municipal and school-board elections across the East Metro area Nov. 7, while voters in four large suburban school districts approved major school-funding requests that drew support from local unions. Kera Peterson, political director of the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, which issues unified labor endorsements in local races, credited endorsed […]

Bobby Kasper: Union candidates share our values, amplify our voice

Every election cycle our unions interview and consider endorsing candidates for public office, from local school boards and city councils to the Legislature and Congress. We want to know which candidates share our values. We want to know who stands with us on issues that matter to working families, like affordable health care, quality schools […]

Union plumbers step up to keep St. Paul Schools’ water safe

Union plumbers are stepping up to make sure drinking water is safe for students and staff in the St. Paul Public Schools. The district recently finished testing all water fixtures in its buildings for lead. While more than 95 percent of fixtures passed the initial test, maintenance staff identified 233 fixtures that needed replacing. At […]

Community support gives North Branch teachers momentum as contract talks resume

North Branch teachers rallied with supporters on back-to-back days this week, sending a clear message to school board members and administrators before contract negotiations resumed today. “We’re not in this alone,” industrial tech teacher Irv Geary said. “We’re all in this together. And it’s not just a teacher issue; it’s a community issue.” Geary, a […]

Four for Change: Meet the Labor-endorsed St. Paul school board candidates

    Four candidates for four open seats on the St. Paul school board have been endorsed by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers and the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. Here are brief profiles of the candidates that appeared in The Union Advocate’s Election Guide in advance of the Nov. 3 election. Zuki […]

In new report, St. Paul teachers give ‘cookie-cutter’ policies a failing grade

  There is no one-size-fits-all solution for improving under-performing schools, according to a report issued yesterday by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers. To achieve lasting improvement, district leaders must engage a school’s surrounding community and address the unique, underlying challenges in students’ neighborhoods, homes and lives. That’s the conclusion policy researcher Michael Diedrich, author […]

Five running for St. Paul City Council gain labor endorsement

Five candidates for St. Paul City Council, including one in the contested Ward 2 race, will take labor endorsements from the East Metro’s largest union federation into precinct caucuses Feb. 3. Delegates to the St. Paul Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, voted Jan. 14 to endorse Darren Tobolt in Ward 2, where Council Member Dave Thune […]

School board to senators: Raise minimum wage to boost student achievement

School board members weighed into the minimum-wage debate this week, when all seven members of St. Paul’s Board of Education signed a letter urging state senators to help close achievement gaps in their district by supporting a substantial wage hike this session. Louise Seeba, a board member and AFSCME Local 3757 member, spearheaded efforts to […]

Community rallies behind teachers’ campaign for ‘schools our kids deserve’

Wearing red scarves, hats and shirts to show their solidarity with union teachers, families packed the parking lot outside St. Paul Public Schools headquarters yesterday during a rally in support of smaller class sizes, expanded pre-kindergarten and other community-driven priorities teachers have brought to the table in contract negotiations with the district. “Parents are standing […]

As talks move out of public eye, teachers keep up community outreach

To prepare for negotiations on a new contract, the St. Paul Federation of Teachers reached out to parents and the general public, using the feedback they received to craft an innovative, community-driven set of guiding principles for their contract talks. So you can imagine teachers’ frustration when the St. Paul Public Schools asked the state […]