Denise Rodriguez: ‘Our contract is the most powerful tool we have’

When she and her friends played school as kids, Denise Rodriguez was always the teacher. As a teenager she dreamed of teaching Spanish at Harding High School, just like her favorite teacher. Now Rodriguez, president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers for the last three years, is set to retire June 12 after 39 […]

Teachers kick off contract campaign by targeting corporate tax dodgers

  Anticipating negotiations with a school district that seems perpetually short on resources, St. Paul teachers launched their contract campaign today – Tax Day – by calling on the city’s wealthiest corporations to pay their fair share toward local public schools. St. Paul Federation of Teachers Local 28 kicked off its contract campaign early this […]

Minnesota union members marched against Trump in droves. Here’s why

  Dressed in hard hats and union colors, union members were among the estimated 100,000 people who joined the Women’s March in Minnesota one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, capping three days of protests – locally and nationally – that put the new administration on notice of popular opposition to his policy objectives and governing […]

St. Paul teachers answer Trump’s divisive rhetoric with wall of support for immigrant students

  Teachers, parents and community members lined the walkway outside LEAP High School in St. Paul yesterday, forming a protective wall around students at the school for new immigrants as they walked to their buses after dismissal. Organized by the St. Paul Federation of Teachers on the day before Donald Trump’s inauguration, the public action […]

Dreading Trump? Turn your anger into action at four Twin Cities inauguration protests

We’re a week away from seeing former reality-TV boss Donald Trump – a megalomaniac with a track record of not paying his employees, fanning the flames of bigotry and making “locker-room talk” about sexual assault – assume the highest office in the land. Whether the impending Trump presidency scares the hell out of you or […]

Janitors, teachers protest Kohl’s during back-to-school rush

  Looking to build on recent victories at Target and Best Buy, retail janitors in the Twin Cities put the pressure on Kohl’s Saturday – during the busy back-to-school shopping season – to do right by the workers who clean its stores. Janitors brought busloads of supporters, including union teachers, nurses and construction workers, to […]

Colleagues, labor community mourn Teamster fatally shot during traffic stop

Philando Castile, the man fatally shot during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights last night, was a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul and a member of Teamsters Local 320. Officers of Castile’s union today expressed grief at the sudden loss of their union brother, “an amazing person who did […]

Education secretary’s ‘Tea for Teachers’ taps St. Paul educator

  Erica Schatzlein was checking her email over lunch Feb. 23 when she found an invite to have tea with the U.S. secretary of education. The teacher of English language learners at Nokomis Montessori North was skeptical. “At first I was thinking, ‘Is this real? It looks real,’” she said. “I decided to respond and […]

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 […]

Community backs St. Paul teachers’ call for progress in contract talks

  Parents, students and community members rallied with members of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers outside school buildings across the city this morning, demanding progress in contract talks between SPFT and the St. Paul Public Schools, scheduled to resume tomorrow. Wearing hats and scarves in SPFT’s signature red, participants chanted and carried signs expressing […]