News

  • 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...

  • Local tax news roundup

    New wheelage tax: Isanti County commissioners approved a $10 wheelage tax this month. According to the Isanti County News, county finance director Chad Struss said, "the projected $339,000 revenue is equivalent to a 2 percent property tax levy increase." In a memo to the county board, Struss explained: "From a budget standpoint, the additional revenue would certainly be helpful. The 2015 budget will be difficult to balance without an increase in the property tax levy or a reduction of service le...

  • 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...

  • State commissioner's consulting business raises questions

    Governor Dayton appointed Josh Tilsen to be commissioner of the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) in Feburary 2011. As BMS commissioner, Tilsen administers union elections, resolves collective bargaining disputes, and oversees labor mediation and arbitration activities. He is paid more than $95,000 per year by the State of Minnesota for this full-time role.

  • U.S. Supreme Court reins in labor union power

    The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a significant blow to government labor unions today, ruling that so-called “partial public employees” cannot be forced to pay union dues or fees. The case in question, Harris v.

  • Ely schools ordered to reinstate employee accused of sexually harassing students, teachers

    A school maintenance worker who was fired for alleged sexual harassment of students and teachers must be reinstated, a state arbitrator has ruled. The employee was a maintenance worker and long-time union president for ISD 696 in Ely, Minnesota. The arbitration file does not identify the grievant by name and, as the Freedom Foundation reported last month, the Dayton administration recently curtailed public access to certain employee misconduct information and records.

  • Major court decision on teacher tenure

    A court has struck down California’s teacher tenure and seniority system. The Los Angeles Times reports on Tuesday’s decision: "The tenure and seniority system that has long protected California public school teachers, even ineffective ones, was struck down Tuesday in a court decision that could change hiring and firing policies nationwide. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M.

  • 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...

  • State of Minnesota may soon control your retirement savings

    Earlier this week, House and Senate conferees agreed to final language for the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA). While most of the attention has focused on the bill’s family and sick leave provisions, one particularly bad policy provision has attracted little attention. Specifically, WESA lays the groundwork for a “state-administered retirement savings plan” for employees in the private sector.

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