Labor

Giving women the tools to succeed

Beth Peterson, manager of adult basic education for the Arrowhead Economic Development Agency, testifies March 6 before House Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee on Rep. Will Morgan’s bill, HF2291, which would promote women’s economic self-sufficiency in high-wage, high-demand, non-traditional occupations. (Photo by Paul Battaglia)

Imagine a young girl standing patiently by as her father works on a car in their garage. She fetches any tool he needs and has memorized each one just to be a better helper. One day, she finally asks if he’ll teach her to work on cars and he says, “You’ll get dirty. Girls don’t work on cars.”

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OPINION | Lessons from Saint Paul teachers

The new St. Paul teacher contract agreement resulted from a process that began months before the two sides first sat down at the negotiating table. It’s perhaps the clearest example of teachers using the collective bargaining process to advance a wide-ranging, multi-faceted policy agenda.

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Indexing the minimum wage is common sense

One of the outstanding issues in current legislative negotiations over the minimum wage involves "indexing," which refers to the practice of annually adjusting the minimum wage so that it keeps pace with inflation. Without annual inflation indexing, the value of a $9.50 per hour minimum wage will erode over time as the purchasing power of the dollar declines.

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Art and politics intersect in March 8 minimum wage exhibit

This work by Lizardman, and other pieces by members of Rogue Citizen, will be featured in Saturday's exhibit at the Gamut Gallery. (Image courtesy of Rogue Citizen)

On Saturday, a Minneapolis art gallery will host a one-day exhibit of works that brings to life the debate over raising Minnesota’s minimum wage. The twist? Gallery-goers will have the opportunity to purchase artworks at any price they choose – as long as it is at or above minimum wage.

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Raising income will improve health, new report says

If you have more money, you’re more likely to be healthy, according to a new report by the Minnesota Department of Health. Advocates say it provides more evidence of the need to raise the state’s minimum wage.

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New St. Paul teacher contract: What's not in it, but still happening?

Not all of the results of the recent Saint Paul Public Schools negotiations will show up in the teachers’ contract. Some of the proposals, identified by both the community and the teachers’ union as priorities, will receive action from the school board without being written into the contract. (Full disclosure: I was part of the union’s community engagement process, taking notes and doing follow-up research for community discussion groups.)

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Single moms march for higher wages

Bitter, near zero weather couldn’t stop these single mothers and other low-wage workers from flooding a Walmart parking lot, calling on the store to raise wages. Many single mothers are working more than one low-wage job to support their families. In addition to urging Walmart to raise its wages, moms want the nation's largest retailer to call on lawmakers to raise the minimum wage. It would not only help provide breathing room to pay for daily necessities, in some cases, it would give workers a chance to start saving money for the future.

The new Saint Paul teacher contract: What's in it?

After an intense negotiations process, the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers and the Saint Paul Public Schools have reached agreement on a wide range of proposals. The union will vote to ratify the contract on Tuesday, March 4. Here’s a look at some of what wound up in the new contract. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and it emphasizes some of the proposals that came from the union's work with the community. (Full disclosure: I was part of the process, taking notes and conducting follow-up research for community discussion groups.)

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A new twist to minimum-wage debate — dance

Social-work department staff and students from St. Catherine University and the University of St. Thomas and others performed in the Capitol Rotunda on Thursday. (MinnPost photo by James Nord)

Dozens of people seemingly just wandering through the Capitol rotunda broke into dance Thursday in a smile-inducing stunt designed to draw attention to a serious issue being debated on state and national levels.

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Workers call for action as legislators debate minimum wage increase

A group of single moms and supporters marched on the Walmart store in Brooklyn Center Thursday.

A legislative conference committee convened Thursday to consider an increase in Minnesota’s minimum wage, as workers continued a week of action to call attention to the problem of low wages.

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