COMMUNITY VOICES | The world's best work force? Huh?

When the Capitol lights dimmed and the ink dried on the E-12 Omnibus bill, the press quickly designated 2013 “the education session.” Indeed, the Education Omnibus bill provided expanded opportunities for students throughout their school career. Dollars for early childhood, all-day K, increased consideration of career and technical education, a smarter assessment system, and a DREAM act that is truly a dream are all garnering attention. But it may be the provision that offers a structure to engage our public in the work of educating Minnesota that will be the real game changer.


Brother Ali sings, workers rally to "raise the wage" in Minnesota

There was singing, rapping and a whole lot of cheering in the Rotunda of the State Capitol Tuesday (Feb. 25) during a lively rally in support of raising Minnesota’s minimum wage on the opening day of the 2014 Legislature. Organized by Raise the Wage MN, a coalition of labor groups, faith-based organizations and the nonprofit community, the rally included words of support from politicians and workers alike, and featured a musical performance by rapper Brother Ali and Native drummers who closed out the event.


Lyndale neighborhood takes position supporting an increase in the minimum wage

The meeting was one of the best attended in years

At the February General Membership Meeting there was a community vote in favor of having the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) take a position supporting an increase in the minimum wage. The position adopted at the meeting is that LNA supports raising the minimum wage to $9.50/hour over three years, indexing it to inflation, and including a tip credit.


Why "I breathe union": The invisible but real long-term consequences for America symbolized by the VW vote

After workers at the Chattanooga TN VW plant barely voted down the United Auto Workers a few days, I sent a message to my own mailing list. Part of that Feb. 17 message was this: “The vote doesn’t surprise me at all”. (The remainder of the message is at the end of this post; a link to a longer discussion of this issue can be found here.)


Rally Tuesday for higher minimum wage

On Tuesday, the first day of the 2014 session of the Minnesota Legislature, advocates will rally to call for immediate action to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour.


Bangladeshi workers seek support from students

Reba Sikder and Kalpona Akter spoke to students at the University of Minnesota Friday.

Reba Sikder remembers waking amidst the rubble of her collapsed factory to the moans of a co-worker, trapped where the ceiling had fallen on him. With her leg pinned by debris, she was unable to help him.


Supporters of raising minimum wage point to gender gap in Minnesota

Advocates for raising Minnesota’s minimum wage are sharpening their arguments as they await the start of next week’s legislative session, and some are now focusing on a pitch that so far hasn’t had a lot of attention: gender.


St. Paul teachers, school district reach tentative agreement

Negotiators for the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers and Saint Paul Public Schools have reached a tentative agreement on their 2013-2015 labor contract, the union announced on its website Friday morning.


COMMUNITY VOICES | Why I'm ready to strike for St. Paul students

Teachers are rule followers. We tend to not be boat rockers. We value stability and order, but we also know that sometimes conflict is necessary. It can be the only catalyst for change.


Community rallies behind St. Paul teachers' campaign

Supporters wear red to show their support for the St. Paul teachers' union. (Photo by Michael Moore)

Wearing red scarves, hats and shirts to show their solidarity with union teachers, families packed the parking lot outside St. Paul Public Schools headquarters Tuesday 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.

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