Tuesday Talk: Can Union Bargaining Power Improve Communities?
Something special is happening in Minnesota. The St. Paul Federation of Teachers’ recent contract negotiations helped pave new ground in combining community priorities and staff concerns to broadly advocate for better schools. Parents and students wanted smaller classes sizes, wider access to early childhood education, and fewer standardized tests. Instead of the typical fight over salary and benefits, teachers made the community’s issues their main bargaining priority in the contract negotiations.
How should organized labor use its collective bargaining power to build better communities?
What issues should be front and center in other bargaining fights?
Last night’s Tuesday Talk preview featured Saint Paul Federation of Teacher’s President Mary Cathryn Ricker discussing steps her union took heading into the negotiations and what others can learn from their process.
This morning, between 8 and 9:30, Tuesday Talk will explore how workers and communities can collaborate to solve broader societal problems through the power of collective bargaining. Moderating that part of the discussion will be MAPE’s Dan Holub, who was on the front lines when Scott Walker declared war on unions, and Elianne Farhat from PICO, a faith-based community organizing group.
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