Work & Money

Exclusive: AFSCME Council 5 experiencing financial woes, membership decline, documents reveal

BY: - March 12, 2020

The abrupt departure of two top leaders this past summer were just the beginning of troubles for one of the state’s largest and most powerful public sector unions, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5.  Documents obtained by the Minnesota Reformer show that Julie Blehyl, the recently named executive director of the […]

COMMENTARY

Book excerpt details rise of labor leader who is now Walz education commissioner

BY: - February 25, 2020

Editor’s note: This book excerpt from “Beaten Down, Worked Up” by longtime New York Times labor reporter Steven Greenhouse describes the difficult union negotiations in 2013-2014 between St. Paul Public Schools and teachers, who successfully pushed for smaller class sizes and more support staff in addition to higher wages. Last Friday, St. Paul teachers voted […]

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN)

Rep. Tom Emmer on the rise in Washington and winning friends on Wall Street

BY: - February 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer peered over the shoulders of his fellow GOP lawmakers to get a glimpse of President Donald Trump.  It was May 2018, and the president was signing legislation that scaled back some of the banking regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. Emmer and other lawmakers who helped push the […]

8,000 Twin Cities janitors and security guards schedule strike vote

BY: - February 7, 2020

Some 8,000 janitors, security guards, window washers and other workers at office buildings in downtown St. Paul, Minneapolis and at the MSP airport will vote Saturday on authorizing a strike.  If approved, Service Employees International Union Local 26 could call a strike at any time as they negotiate seven contracts with 17 employers.  The sticking […]

Farmer harvesting soybeans near Worthington, Minnesota

Danger zone: Work is safer than it used to be, but some jobs are still hazardous

BY: - February 6, 2020

Work-related illness and injuries in Minnesota reached all-time lows in 2018, but experts are concerned about persistently high injury rates in risky industries like construction and agriculture. Workplace injury rates have dropped nationwide in the past several decades because of regulatory and cultural changes. Farmers and construction workers are still at higher risk of being […]

apartment building

271,000 Minnesota households pay more than 30% of their income in rent

BY: - February 5, 2020

Just one in four households that are eligible for rental assistance actually get it. When the state’s three largest housing agencies opened up their waiting lists for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers last summer, they received more than 45,000 applications for just 7,500 spots. That was for a spot on the waiting list, not for […]

Rep. Betty McCollum’s effort to stop Twin Metals mine near Boundary Waters divides fellow Democrats

BY: - February 4, 2020

WASHINGTON — As the Trump administration pushes to allow mining near Minnesota’s iconic Boundary Waters, Rep. Betty McCollum is waging an attempt to thwart the plans. But the Minnesota Democrat lacks broad support from the rest of the state’s congressional delegation. Only two other Minnesota lawmakers have publicly backed the legislation she introduced earlier this […]

3,000 HealthPartners workers prepared to strike over their own health care

BY: - January 29, 2020

More than 1,800 nurses and other medical care workers at HealthPartners could vote to strike next week if they don’t reach a new contract agreement by Friday at midnight. The workers say they are standing firm against a company effort to cut employee health benefits. HealthPartners, which has 26,000 employees and more than $7 billion […]

Photo illustration of nurses in a hospital

What happens in Minnesota if Obamacare gets struck down by the courts?

BY: - January 28, 2020

At least 300,000 Minnesotans may lose health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is overturned, which is the entirely possible outcome of a lawsuit winding its way through the courts. The 2018 election hinged on the largely successful Democratic message that they would keep in place protections afforded by the Affordable Care Act, sometimes known […]

Here’s how the pay of CEOs of Minnesota’s biggest companies compares to their average workers

BY: - January 23, 2020

CEO pay at Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies was 278 times more on average than the pay of median workers at their companies in 2018, an analysis of data from company proxy statements shows. The Dodd Frank Act’s requirement that public companies report ratios of CEO-to-median worker pay, effective in 2018, was met with protest by […]

COMMENTARY

Measuring progress among black Americans since Dr. King’s death

BY: - January 20, 2020

On Apr. 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, while assisting striking sanitation workers. Back then, over a half century ago, the wholesale racial integration required by the 1964 Civil Rights Act was just beginning to chip away at discrimination in education, jobs and public facilities. Black voters had only […]

Minnesota students are missing out on federal aid for college

BY: - January 16, 2020

On average, nearly half of 12th graders at most Minnesota high schools didn’t submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid last year, according to data from the University of Wisconsin. The FAFSA — a lengthy, complicated form required to receive federal aid for higher education, as well as to access aid from many states […]