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.

University of Minnesota graduate students unionize after decades-long push

By: - April 28, 2023

Graduate students at the University of Minnesota voted by a wide margin to unionize, seeking higher wages, better benefits and lower student fees. The new union will represent roughly 4,100 graduate students at the Twin Cities and Duluth campuses. They work as teaching and research assistants alongside their studies. The successful vote comes amid a […]

Legislative week-in-review: Kitchen sink edition

By: , and - April 28, 2023

The Legislature is coming down the home stretch and passing the massive omnibus bills that we can be truly confounding to the regular folks among us. Here’s are some of the highlights of this busy week:  The Senate is debating a bill legalizing recreational marijuana today (HF100). The House passed a similar bill earlier this […]

Nurses to get more power over staffing levels under bill passed by Minnesota Legislature

By: - April 27, 2023

The Minnesota House passed a sweeping health bill on Wednesday that includes a section giving hospital nurses new powers over staffing levels that their union has been seeking since 2008. The expected passage of the new rules comes as hospitals confront crisis staffing levels, with wait times at emergency rooms stretching in some cases beyond […]

State labor regulators recover unpaid wages for 137 personal care assistants

By: - April 26, 2023

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry announced on Wednesday it had recovered $79,000 in unpaid wages from five personal care assistance agencies, which had failed to correctly pay 137 workers. DLI’s Labor Standards unit found the personal care assistance agencies did not correctly pay workers all they were owed. The pay violations include making […]

Q&A with Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bernie Burnham on meeting labor’s moment

By: - April 25, 2023

Bernie Burnham took the helm of the Minnesota AFL-CIO just over a year ago as the first person of color to lead the sprawling federation of labor unions.  She arrived at an opportune time for labor, with enthusiasm for unions soaring and Democrats taking control of state government this year. As head of Minnesota AFL-CIO, […]

Planned Parenthood workers protest union leader’s termination at state Capitol

By: - April 25, 2023

Dozens of Planned Parenthood workers rallied outside the Minnesota House chamber on Monday night, chanting “Give Grace her job back” and “Union busting is disgusting.” The chants could be heard inside the chamber, where state representative and CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States Ruth Richardson was listening to her colleagues debate a large jobs […]

Refinery worker standards bill passes Minnesota House, heads to governor’s desk

By: - April 24, 2023

Update: Gov. Tim Walz signed this bill into law on May 2, 2023. Petroleum refineries will have to hire more highly trained contractors under a bill passed by the House with bipartisan support on Monday. The bill (SF10) was already passed by the Senate and now heads to Gov. Tim Walz, who is expected to […]

Long wait time but little fraud in pandemic rental assistance program, legislative auditor says

By: - April 13, 2023

By and large, Minnesota Housing did a good job getting the right amount of emergency rental assistance to the right people, but that attention to accuracy led to significant delays that frustrated renters and landlords, according to a report released by the state’s watchdog legislative auditor on Thursday. In late 2020, Congress voted to send […]

Cub grocery workers call off strike after reaching tentative agreement

By: - April 7, 2023

The union representing 3,000 Cub workers announced a tentative agreement on raises and benefits early Friday morning, hours before workers were set to strike for the first time. The strike threatened to upend operations at nearly three dozen stores across the Twin Cities through Easter weekend and strain the finances of workers, many of whom […]

Cub workers announce historic strike at 33 grocery stores ahead of Easter weekend

By: - April 5, 2023

As many as 3,000 workers at 33 Cub grocery stores across the Twin Cities say they will go on strike for the first time this week as they seek higher wages after three grueling years on the frontlines of the pandemic that were a boon to grocery stores’ bottom lines. The workers, who are unionized […]

Cities and counties want new sales taxes; House chair won’t hear of it

By: - April 3, 2023

Democratic and Republican lawmakers are sponsoring a record number of requests for sales tax hikes in their districts — from Stearns County to St. Paul to Marshall — to raise money for new jails, road repair and parks improvements. But they face an unlikely opponent to their requests: Rep. Aisha Gomez, DFL-Minneapolis, who chairs the […]

Planned Parenthood affiliate fires two union leaders, disciplines entire bargaining team

By: - March 31, 2023

Planned Parenthood North Central States has fired two members of the elected bargaining team in charge of negotiating wages, benefits and working conditions for hundreds of newly unionized employees across five states. The other 11 bargaining team members have received “final written warnings,” which says they can be terminated immediately if they violate any other […]