April 26, 2019 at 1:00 pm

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Workplace Democracy?

Teachers in Minnesota’s K-12 schools are exclusively represented by a union and collective bargaining framework that has not been evaluated by teachers or lawmakers since its formal enactment in 1971. Teachers have not had the opportunity to vote for, or against, union representation in many generations. Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers’ union, simply comes with the job.

Despite the union’s stated “commitment” to “workplace democracy” as one of its core, institutional objectives, teachers have no way to assess their exclusive representative relationship with Education Minnesota.

Read the full report here.

 

The History of Minnesota’s Teachers’ Union

Minnesota played a key role in advancing the idea of collective bargaining for public school teachers in the United States. The first teachers’ strike in the nation took place in Minnesota in 1946. While that strike was illegal, less than three decades later Minnesota passed the Public Employee Labor Relations Act (PELRA) in 1972 and amended it in 1973 to allow for a limited right to strike.

The goals and philosophical views of the early teacher associations—the Minnesota Education Association (MEA) and the Minnesota Federation of Teachers (MFT)—varied in significant ways, but generally the idea was to improve the pay and working conditions for teachers and to raise the standards of the teaching profession.

Read the full report here.

 

Education Minnesota, Union Membership, and the First Amendment

Until recently, teachers and education support professionals (ESPs) did not have a meaningful choice about union membership. Minnesota’s K-12 teachers and ESPs were required, as a condition of employment, to either join Education Minnesota or decline to join but pay 85 percent of dues (i.e., “fair-share” or agency fees) while losing all the rights of membership. That changed on June 27, 2018. Now educators, for the first time in over forty years, have a more meaningful choice about union membership.

This paper explains what the Supreme Court said in June of 2018 about agency fees, how the terms of union membership are out of compliance with the Constitution, and how Education Minnesota collects and spends teachers’ dues.

Read the full report here.

News & Legislative Updates

Teachers’ union encourages English teachers to promote political agenda around climate change

To accompany the recent post Educated Teachers wrote about the National Education Association’s politicization of Christmas, below are excerpts from an article published in the American Federation of Teachers’ (the other national teachers’ union) newsletter that encourage k-12 English teachers to use their classrooms to

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Teachers’ union encourages members to politicize Christmas

Merry Christmas! What a wonderful time of year as we gather together with family and loved ones to reflect on all our blessings—and politicize the holidays?

That’s what the national teachers’ union is recommending.

The National Education Association’s EdJustice campaign is encouraging teachers to “ring in…

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Proposed licensing changes would require all new educators to receive ‘equity’ training

Substantial revisions to the standards educators learn in Minnesota’s teacher preparation programs have recently been proposed.

The Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) announced the proposed teacher licensing changes will “set forth the knowledge and skills that all teachers must demonstrate to receive their license”…

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