Union coat drive will help St. Paul’s homeless youth keep warm

“If students don’t know how they’re going to stay warm on their way home – or if they’ll be able to stay warm when they get there – it’s really hard to focus during school.”

Teachers to large nonprofits: ‘We all have a stake’ in St. Paul schools

Tom Stinson, a school nurse at Harding Senior High, sat across a table from two representatives of Allina Health last month and painted an unsettling picture. “Our kids will usually go to the nurse in their school eight times before they access any health care outside the school,” Stinson said. “They don’t get to the […]

Teachers look beyond ‘cookie-cutter’ signs and banners with community art build

Teachers in St. Paul are throwing out the playbook in contract negotiations with the district this year. Banners, signs and posters in the union’s storage closet are on the way out, too. Educators, parents, students and community stakeholders will work together on new, artist-designed signs and banners this weekend at a “community art build” co-hosted […]

Erik Brandt: An open letter to Macalester College (and its peers)

I’d like to tell you about my long-time colleague, Amy. Over the last 20 years at Harding High School in St. Paul, I have watched Amy work tirelessly with thousands of our fantastic students – nearly all of whom are low-income, minority, first generation to attend college – to help them navigate the college acceptance […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]