In Minnesota, public-sector workers building power from the inside out

They may no longer be on the brink of a Supreme Court-imposed Right-to-Work rule, but Minnesota’s public-sector union members aren’t celebrating. They’re organizing. “What we got was a reprieve, not clemency – and surely not a pardon,” Education Minnesota attorney Meg Luger-Nikolai warned a standing-room-only audience of activists last night at the East Side Freedom […]

Workers see corporate power grab behind court case challenging their union rights

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in a case with big implications for Minnesota firefighters, teachers and other public-sector workers who benefit from the collective bargaining process. At a press conference inside the Firefighters Hall and Museum in Minneapolis today, public workers warned that the case, Friedrichs v. CTA, is an attempt by corporate […]

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 […]

Trumka at U of M: ‘There’s a way for workers to win, and it’s together’

In a policy address at the University of Minnesota yesterday, the nation’s highest-ranking labor leader pointed to “thousands of little groundswells” from across the country, including in the Twin Cities, as signs of a renaissance for collective action in American culture. “Right now workers are standing together and asking for a better life – and […]

Ellison to U of M researchers: Use collective action to reverse dwindling federal support

  Frontline researchers alerted U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison to the impacts of dwindling federal and institutional support for their work in a meeting at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities yesterday. Ellison, a DFLer whose 5th District includes the Twin Cities campus, pledged to continue supporting research funding in Congress, and he praised U […]

Over Laborers’ concerns, Mendota Heights district awards work to ‘problem contractors’

School board members in Mendota Heights yesterday awarded construction contracts to two firms despite concerns about unsafe working conditions and poor oversight on other projects handled by the contractors. Independent School District 197 accepted bids to oversee renovation work on two elementary schools from Derau Construction and Ebert Construction – both “problem contractors,” Mendota Heights […]

For working families, 2015 session yields mixed results – and uncertainty

The frenzied finish at the Capitol yielded mixed – and uncertain – results for Minnesota’s working families. Although the Legislature approved a record investment in long-term care before adjourning last night, unions said lawmakers squandered an opportunity to use the state’s $1.9 billion budget surplus to restore cuts to public schools, expand access to pre-kindergarten […]

Hamline adjunct faculty members vote to join union

In the first union-organizing election among faculty members at a private college in Minnesota, adjunct instructors at Hamline University in St. Paul voted to join Local 284 of the Service Employees International Union. Eligible faculty members at Hamline cast their ballots by mail earlier this month. A vote tally took place this morning at the […]

Unions: Dayton, DFL legislators delivered for working families

Progress is what Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton promised he’d deliver if given pro-worker majorities in the Legislature. Progress on job creation, better schools, economic justice and budget stability is what Dayton and House DFLers will point to when they campaign for re-election this fall. In the 2014 session, Dayton and legislators picked up where they […]

Macalester won’t stay neutral in faculty union vote

Despite public appeals from students, instructors and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison to take a neutral stance, Macalester College administrators last week announced their opposition to efforts by contingent faculty members to organize a union. Macalester President Brian Rosenberg and Provost Kathy Murray revealed their opposition in a memo sent May 2 to the school’s tenured […]