Work & Money

Unions, dean of University of Minnesota Medical School oppose merger between Fairview and Sanford Health

BY: - January 10, 2023

Opposition to the potential merger between health care systems Sanford Health and Fairview Health Services is gaining steam.  After several major unions rallied against the deal Tuesday, the dean of University of Minnesota’s medical school, Dr. Jakub Tolar, announced at a packed public session, organized by Attorney General Keith Ellison, that he does not support […]

New federal student loan repayment plan aimed at low-income borrowers

BY: - January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Education unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would overhaul a federal student loan income-driven repayment plan, and, if implemented, could help millions of low-income borrowers. However, it’s unclear how the agency would be able to finance the program. Many student debt relief advocates also criticized the proposal for leaving out […]

U.S. House GOP plan calls for federal spending cuts, conditions on debt limit increase

BY: - January 10, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. House Republican leaders during a closed-door meeting Tuesday shared more details of the secret agreements Speaker Kevin McCarthy made with conservative lawmakers last week to secure the votes he needed to hold the gavel.  If adhered to, the so-called handshake deal — displayed on slides during the GOP weekly conference meeting — […]

CEO pay ratios in Minnesota: What the latest data show

BY: - January 10, 2023

CEOs at Minnesota’s biggest public companies — including Target, Best Buy and 3M — continue to earn hundreds of times more than their employees, according to pay ratio data filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As in 2020, when the Reformer last analyzed these figures, retailer Target shows the largest pay disparity, with CEO […]

COMMENTARY

Hope for the Iron Range economy, but we must put the past behind us

BY: - January 9, 2023

At the hunting shack this year, my grandfather Ward Brown, Jr., told how a high school friend saved him from getting beat up by a Chisholm gang back around 1952. Not long after, this friend lay dead in the wreck of his restored ’32 Chevy on the road between Side Lake and Hibbing. No “Leave […]

Unionized home care workers win 31% raise in tentative agreement with Minnesota officials

BY: - January 6, 2023

Roughly 20,000 of Minnesota’s home care workers will see their biggest pay raise in history over the next two years, under a contract reached between the administration of Gov. Tim Walz and SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, the union representing the workers. The home care workers help elderly and disabled people with daily tasks such as bathing […]

Here’s what you need to know about new workplace protections for pregnant, nursing workers

BY: - January 5, 2023

The $1.7 trillion federal spending bill President Joe Biden signed last week ushers in expanded protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing. Proponents of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act — both included as amendments to the spending bill — say the measures clarify rights for these workers, […]

Child poverty rates highest in states that haven’t raised minimum wage

BY: - December 28, 2022

Of the 20 states that have failed to raise the minimum wage above the federal $7.25 an hour standard, 16 have more than 12% of their children living in poverty, according to a States Newsroom analysis of wage and poverty data. Anti-poverty advocates say that’s a sign that there’s an urgent need for lawmakers to […]

2022 in review: Labor strife, wage theft and rent control repercussions

BY: - December 27, 2022

I visited picket lines in subzero temperatures and the high 90s this year, as I documented the surge in energy that workers are bringing to the labor movement. It was an exciting year to cover labor, especially in Minnesota, with its high union participation rate and low unemployment rate. Public support for unions is the […]

After electrical substation shooting, federal regulator orders review of security standards

BY: - December 21, 2022

Less than two weeks after gunfire damaged two Duke Energy substations in Moore County, N.C., knocking out power to about 45,000 people, federal regulators ordered a review of security standards at electric transmission facilities and control centers. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently ordered the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) — which sets and […]

Congress rolls out $1.7 trillion spending deal in race to Friday deadline

BY: - December 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Congress unveiled a $1.7 trillion spending package early Tuesday that would fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year, completing the annual process that began this spring when President Joe Biden sent lawmakers his budget request.  Biden’s chief budget official in a statement urged Congress to speedily pass the massive […]

St. Louis County snowplow drivers authorize a strike, reject final offer

BY: - December 20, 2022

More than 160 snowplow drivers and other maintenance workers for St. Louis County authorized a strike on Monday after voting to reject the county’s final offer on wages and benefits. The workers, who are unionized with the Teamsters Local 320, can’t strike before their contract with the county expires at the end of December and […]