Everything listed under: labor unions

  • Teacher freedom in Michigan

    Michigan’s new right-to-work law is starting to show results, with more workers exercising their freedom from unionization and compulsory dues. And just as we’ve seen in other states that respect workers’ constitutional rights, teachers are among those most anxious to strip away the union’s shackles. According to the Education Intelligence Agency, the state’s teachers’ union, Michigan Education Association (MEA) lost 5,000 members last month alone.

  • Big Labor claims victory in unfair fight

    The state announced in late August that labor union Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was victorious in the largest union election in state history. SEIU has won the right to "represent" Minnesota’s personal care assistants (PCAs), or home health workers. However, the arrangement still faces legal challenges, and rightly so, especially in light of questions about the integrity and transparency with which the election was conducted.

  • Will Minnesota employers be hit with a “bad boss tax”?

    TakeAction Minnesota, a hard-left pressure group that is funded in large part by labor unions, announced a new policy proposal ostensibly aimed at helping low-wage workers. According to In These Times, which covers labor movement news, TakeAction is proposing a so-called “Bad Boss Tax” to be introduced in the Minnesota legislature next year. Excerpt: "It’s developing the framework for a bill that it hopes will be introduced in 2015 by state legislators who have worked with the network in the pas...

  • State commissioner's labor union income attracts more scrutiny

    Last week, the Freedom Foundation revealed that Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) Commissioner Josh Tilsen has been collecting income from labor unions while serving in the Dayton Administration. BMS is the state agency charged with resolving labor disputes and overseeing union elections. This week, Watchdog.org reports that Tilsen’s consulting activities appear to be more extensive than previously known: "Tilsen received $7,451 in 2013 from AFSCME Council 61 in Des Moines, Iowa, for arbitratin...

  • Disunion in Minnesota's labor movement

    Over the last few years, an upstart independent public employee union has quietly gained membership and established itself as an alternative to the most powerful unions in the state. The Minnesota Public Employees Association (MNPEA) currently represents dozens of bargaining units across Minnesota, primarily in law enforcement. The union was founded in 2011.

  • Dayton administration to hide government employee files from public

    Governor Dayton’s Department of Administration issued an advisory opinion last month that could lead to many government employee arbitration records being withheld from the public. The opinion was issued by the state’s Information Policy Analysis Division (IPAD) in response to a letter from Commissioner Josh Tilsen of the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS), which oversees public employee arbitration cases and union elections, among other things. According to the IPAD advisory opinion: "…particul...

  • Adjunct professors of the world unite?

    The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 284 announced last week its intention to unionize adjunct instructors at Macalester College and Hamline University. Both groups have filed election petitions with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The push for adjunct unionization is part of a larger national movement, led by unions like SEIU looking to find new sources of union members (and dues) from traditionally non-unionized workforces.

  • Solidarity cracking at AFSCME

    The governor and legislature have all but outsourced policymaking to the state’s most powerful unions, as even a cursory review of this session’s key legislation makes clear. Governor Dayton has already signed into law two of Big Labor’s coveted prizes, an inflation-indexed minimum wage hike and the school bullying bill. In this final month of session, labor bosses intend to check off even more victories with the so-called Women’s Economic Security Act and Public Employment Relations Board bill,...

  • The Real War on Workers

    AFSCME Minnesota Council 5 is one of the state’s largest government employee unions, representing more than 30,000 state, county, and municipal employees, as well as a smaller number of public sector workers. AFSCME is also among the most powerful political forces in Minnesota, providing manpower and money to liberal candidates and causes, and is arguably the face of organized labor in our state. Eliot Seide, long-time executive director of AFSCME Minnesota Council 5, once wrote: "If every worke...

  • Law enforcement union defends deputy who crashed 33 times

    How many times does a deputy sheriff need to crash his police cruiser before he gets fired? In Todd County, Minnesota, the answer is apparently 33 times. That’s the takeaway from an unbelievable state arbitration case just settled last month, in which the county defended its decision to fire the deputy "based on his longstanding history of vehicle accidents, mostly due to excessive speed, driving unreasonably in light of conditions, and distracted driving." The deputy in question crash...

  • Harris v. Quinn update

    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in Harris v. Quinn, a case with huge ramifications for government labor unions and the workers who are forced to subsidize them.

  • Income inequality at the state teachers' union

    State teachers' union Education Minnesota has added its voice to the chorus of labor union decrying income inequality and wage gaps. But Education Minnesota seems less concerned about the wage gap between the union’s legion of high-paid operatives and the public school teachers they represent. In fact, according to a recently filed with the U.S.

  • Teacher In Name Only: Labor prez works union time on the taxpayers' dime

    As we wrote about recently, the Minneapolis school district and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) are in mediation after the union prematurely cut off negotiations on the 2013-15 teachers’ contract. Consequently, the $250 million contract is now being sorted out behind closed doors and out of public view, just as the MFT wanted. The union filed a similar request for mediation in 2012.

  • Minneapolis parents, students fight back against heavy-handed union tactics

    While some public school districts have successfully negotiated new teachers’ contracts, several of the state’s largest districts remain locked in contentious talks with their local teachers’ union. In fact, the Minneapolis and St. Paul districts have both entered mediation with their respective unions after failing to reach agreement on new 2014-16 contracts.

  • Childcare union lashes out following legal setbacks

    The Star Tribune editorial board recently excoriated childcare union organizers for their duplicitous and disingenuous "sales pitch" to providers. The editorial begins: "Minnesotans heard a lot about improving quality of care and pay for providers when the DFL legislative majority heavy-handedly pushed through a controversial child care unionization bill last spring. What families and policymakers didn’t hear about was another so-called 'benefit' that recently has been touted in pro-unionization...

  • MN childcare provider wins 2013 Unsung Hero Award

    Jennifer Parrish of Rochester, Minnesota wins the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation's 2013 Unsung Hero Award Jennifer Parrish embodies the spirit of The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation Unsung Hero Award.

  • COMMENTARY: University of Minnesota ramps up union activist program

    Among the variety of current job postings at the University of Minnesota is one that got our attention: The University is hiring a "full-time labor educator". While the title may seem relatively innocuous, the job description is not. Among other things, the new labor educator will "collaborate with labor organizations to develop and implement courses, workshops, and other programs." If the job description sounds more like a politico than a professor, that's because the job is too.

  • Minnesota unions bilk taxpayers with "health and welfare" funds

    AFSCME Council 5 is one of the state’s largest government employee unions, representing nearly 40,000 members and collecting about $23 million in annual receipts. AFSCME and its local affiliates bargain with government employers over issues including compensation, job protections, grievance issues, and of course employer-provided health benefits. However, by utilizing a little-known scheme that has largely escaped public scrutiny, AFSCME does not merely bargain for health benefits; they profit f...

  • Six-figure Salaries Abound at State Teachers’ Union

    ST. PAUL, MN--It may be a challenging time to be a teacher, but it’s apparently a great time to work for the Minnesota teachers’ union. According to a report filed with the U.S.

  • Where is the Minneapolis Teachers' Contract?

    MINNEAPOLIS, MN--When superintendent Bernadeia Johnson took over the struggling Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) two years ago, she pledged to renew the district’s commitment to transparency andaccountability. Minneapolis Public Schools had a reputation for secrecy and evasiveness, a reputation they earned. Unfortunately, despite the district’s renewed commitment to open government, some things never change.

  • Governor Dayton Pulls Trigger on Controversial Providers Union

    Now that Governor Dayton has ordered a union vote, childcare providers who oppose it expressed concern over the fairness of the process and the potential for undue union influence in carrying out the election.While the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) will oversee the union election, Dayton’s executive order allows the state to in effect outsource the job to an outside group paid for by the unions.

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