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 […]

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 […]

High court will hear case targeting public-sector unions

The Supreme Court today announced it would hear arguments in a case challenging unions’ ability to collect fees from public-sector workers who choose not to join a union but, as members of the bargaining unit, enjoy equal access to benefits provided by the union contract. Eliminating so-called “fair share fees,” ruled constitutional by the Supreme […]

East Side Freedom Library plans April film screenings, lectures

Programming at the East Side Freedom Library this month includes film screenings, discussions and a presentation on social justice. All events at the nonprofit, independent library, located at 1105 Greenbrier St. in St. Paul, are free and open to the public. For more information go to the library’s website. • Filmmaker John DeGraaf will appear […]

Standardized testing the subject of two events this month

Two public events in March – a film screening and a lecture – will consider the wisdom of increasing the use of standardized testing in public education. St. Paul Federation of Teachers Local 28 will co-sponsor a screening of “Standardized” at 6 p.m. March 10 at the East Side Freedom Library, 1105 Greenbrier St. The […]

Turnover Problems: Union staff want charter-school board to address ‘revolving door’

After another third-grade teacher at the Community School of Excellence in St. Paul “got fed up with some of the disrespect” and resigned last October, Eric Johnson saw the number of students in his classroom swell from 22 to 31. “The third-grade teachers, we agreed we’d absorb the kids,” Johnson said. “It’s better than the […]

‘Moral Mondays’ leader joins March for Equity in Minneapolis

A leading progressive voice from the South delivered a spirited, Saturday-morning sermon downtown Minneapolis Aug. 16, making a scripture-based appeal for social justice and leading a “March for Equity” along Nicollet Mall. “We have a tale of two cities, whether it’s up north or down south,” Rev. Dr. William Barber II told a crowd of […]

Deal with Postal Service lands Staples on labor’s ‘Don’t Buy’ list

The boycott of Staples is official. The AFL-CIO last Friday approved the American Postal Workers Union’s request to add the office-supply retailer to the national federation’s list of endorsed boycotts. The APWU and other postal unions launched the “Stop Staples” campaign earlier this year, after the U.S. Postal Service announced plans to expand a pilot […]

St. Paul Schools, teachers reach tentative agreement

Three days before members of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers were scheduled to take a strike-authorization vote, negotiators for the school district and the teachers’ union reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract that will run through the 2014-15 school year. Teachers planned a ratification vote for March 4, and the union’s executive […]

Education Summit leaves teachers, parents on the outside looking in

Parents, students and other activists demonstrated this morning outside a hotel downtown St. Paul, site of a business-backed conference on education reform that featured Michelle Rhee, a prominent national voice for weakening the influence of teachers and their unions. Not surprisingly, presenters at the Education Summit, sponsored by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, did not […]