Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Previously, he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

Minnesota public defenders to get as much as $66,000 raises under tentative agreement

By: - July 11, 2023

Minnesota public defenders will receive historic pay raises, ranging from 26% to 72% depending on seniority, under a tentative agreement reached on Monday between state officials and the union representing public defenders. The raises for roughly 470 attorneys across the state come after decades of wage stagnation, which has contributed to high turnover and a […]

Some condo workers released from shadow noncompetes by FirstService Residential

By: - July 11, 2023

Residents of the River Towers condominiums in Minneapolis like their building’s staff. The building’s staff like the residents — many have worked in the building for years. But a provision in the contract between the condo association and the building’s property management company, FirstService Residential Minnesota, means neither the residents nor the workers have a […]

Starbucks Workers United launches national bus tour in St. Paul

By: - July 10, 2023

Unionized Starbucks baristas announced the start of a national bus tour in St. Paul on Monday in a new “counter offensive” in their campaign to pressure the company to negotiate with them over wages, benefits and working conditions. “They’re completely refusing to negotiate,” said Rev Beeby, a barista in Minneapolis and union organizer with Starbucks […]

Major labor union rescinds endorsement of lawmaker over alleged union-busting

By: - July 6, 2023

One of Minnesota’s largest labor unions has rescinded its endorsement of state Rep. Ruth Richardson, DFL-Mendota Heights, saying she oversaw a fierce union-busting campaign as CEO of Planned Parenthood’s affiliate in the Upper Midwest. Leaders with the Services Employees International Union (SEIU) say contrary to its progressive reputation, Planned Parenthood North Central States has acted […]

Support staff at Mayo Clinic’s Mankato hospital vote to get rid of union

By: - June 20, 2023

Nursing support staff, clerical workers and environmental staff voted to decertify their union at Mayo Clinic’s Mankato hospital, the National Right to Work Foundation, a nonprofit anti-union advocacy group, announced on Monday. The vote by a majority of some 200 support workers to get rid of their union marks second victory in less than a […]

Minnesota banned noncompetes. A major property manager has a workaround.

By: - June 7, 2023

When the property management company FirstService Residential Minnesota announced it was dropping noncompete clauses in employment contracts, it said the change aligned with the company’s values. But a provision persists in its management contracts with condominium associations that says FirstService workers (including desk attendants and caretakers) may not be employed — either directly or indirectly […]

construction workers

How Minnesota will spend $1 billion on housing

By: - June 5, 2023

Minnesota lawmakers increased the state’s spending on housing about ninefold over the next two years, mostly with one-time funding paid for with part of the $17.5 billion surplus. The $1 billion in new funding (HF2335) will help developers build more affordable apartments, help low- and moderate-income Minnesotans buy their first homes, and provide rental assistance […]

Federal labor regulators say Minneapolis Trader Joe’s illegally removed pro-union literature

By: - June 2, 2023

Federal labor regulators filed a complaint alleging managers at a Trader Joe’s store in Minneapolis violated workers’ rights by removing pro-union literature from the employee break room. The complaint from the National Labor Relations Board, which oversees private sector unions, is the latest of a slew of allegations of unfair labor practices against the grocery […]

Gov. Walz issues first veto, blocks bill setting minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers

By: - May 25, 2023

Gov. Tim Walz issued the first veto of his entire tenure on Thursday, striking down a bill that would have set minimum pay rates for Uber and Lyft drivers and provide them greater protection against being fired. Walz’s office announced the veto hours after Uber said it would pull out of greater Minnesota and only […]

Nurse staffing bill is gutted in final hours of Minnesota’s legislative session

By: - May 22, 2023

A nurse staffing bill that passed the House and the Senate just weeks ago was gutted in the final hours of the 2023 legislative session when some senators withdrew their support because of an exemption for Mayo Clinic. Gov. Tim Walz pressured legislators to carve out Mayo Clinic after the hospital threatened to move billions […]

Mayo Clinic exemption leads Minnesota lawmakers to rethink nurse staffing bill

By: - May 22, 2023

A nurse staffing bill that seemed destined to become law just less than three weeks ago, is now in jeopardy in the final hours of session. The Minnesota Senate on Monday afternoon was trying to hammer out a last-minute compromise on a bill that aims to increase nurse staffing levels. The bill, which has faced […]

Minnesota Legislature approves minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers

By: - May 21, 2023

The Minnesota Senate passed a bill on Sunday that would set minimum pay rates for Uber and Lyft drivers and establish greater protections against wrongful termination – or “deactivation.” “Minnesota has long been a leader in protecting workers from being exploited and taken advantage of, but in the area of (transportation network companies) Minnesota is lagging […]