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Issue Background

Workplace freedoms

Protect the freedom to negotiate
Educators care about more than their compensation. They want more control over the learning environments in their worksites and the future of their profession. It’s time for state law to reflect
it. Education Minnesota supports expanding the list of mandatory subjects of bargaining to include the following:

  • Class sizes
  • Frequency and use of standardized tests not mandated by state law
  • Setting safe student-to-staff ratios for ESPs who work with students

Too many licensed educators are also being denied the same workplace protections that their colleagues enjoy due to outdated carve-outs in our bargaining and tenure laws. Education Minnesota will advocate for the Legislature to:

  • Amend the Tiered Licensure Law to include Tier 1 teachers in the teacher bargaining unit.
  • Ensure that all early childhood positions in public schools require licensure, and therefore guarantee that the educators in these positions have collecting bargaining rights as well as the opportunity to earn tenure or continuing contract rights.
  • Delete the exclusion of ECFE and ABE teachers from coverage under the continuing contract and tenure rights.

Refreshing labor laws after Janus
When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned 40 years of settled law in the Janus case, it created a need for the Legislature to update certain sections of state statute, including:

  • Guarantee union access to new hires at all worksites so that they can explain their rights at work, including the right to join a union.
  • Expand collective bargaining rights to more part-time employees at schools that receive per-pupil funding.
  • Protect employee privacy from bothersome solicitations by classifying designated addresses and phone numbers provided to licensing agencies as private data.
  • Explicitly bar claims for back dues collected during the 40 years in which the Supreme Court said collecting fair-share fees was legal.
  • Provide adequate funding for the Public Employment Relations Board so that it can fulfill its role of enforcing PELRA and investigating attempts to interfere with employees’ rights to engage in union activity.

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