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 […]

TruStone Financial workers enlist teachers’ help to fight union busting

  TruStone Financial has opened two new suburban branches in the last three months, but the credit union isn’t just upgrading its facilities. Workers accuse TruStone of using the relocation process as an opportunity to splinter their union. TruStone opened a new branch in Burnsville last Monday, two days after shuttering its nearby Apple Valley […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tellers, teachers, Somali immigrants take on big banks during St. Paul rally

Been targeted with a high-pressure sales pitch at your bank recently? You’re not alone, according to a report released earlier this month exposing a “new era of predatory lending” in the industry. But Wells Fargo employee Michael Lewis offered this plea to frustrated customers yesterday: “The average bank workers, they want to work with you,” […]

Films, stories, lectures celebrate Black History Month at East Side Freedom Library

The East Side Freedom Library will mark Black History Month with a series of free, public programs at 1105 Greenbrier Street, St. Paul. “Brooklyn Castles” (flier). St. Paul Federation of Teachers Local 28 will co-sonsor a screening and discussion of the film, which follows students at an impoverished school who win national championships in chess, […]

‘Freedom Writers’ screening at East Side Freedom Library

“Freedom Writers,” a feature-length dramatic film based on the real-life story of Los Angeles students labeled “low achievers” during the mid-1990s, is next up in the East Side Freedom Library’s film and discussion series. Inspired by a creative teacher, the students learned to support each other as a community and commit themselves to changing both […]

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 […]

Parents, students support teachers’ walk-in demonstrations across St. Paul

On days when the cold or snow delays the start of school, some students trickle into Ryan Long’s classroom at American Indian Magnet school, while others stay home altogether. Sadly, it’s on these rare occasions that Long and other St. Paul teachers glimpse what it’s like teaching a manageable class size of students. “All of […]