Minneapolis teachers union seeks mediation; Johnson faults move

  • Article by: Steve Brandt , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 23, 2013 - 8:33 PM

Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson on Monday blasted a request by the union representing Minneapolis teachers to seek help from a state mediator, which effectively closes contract negotiations to the public.

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nappyeyeSep. 23, 13 8:57 PM

Oh my goodness this is news? the MFT does this all of the time. Talk about the lack of being a progressive city district of teachers and depending upon the status quo. I've lived in Minneapolis for most of my adult life and been glad to plunk down my vote for money for school district levy increases because I want so much for the teachers, students, and community to be successful. The lack of innovation, compromise, and adaption to change from the MFT is astonishing. Lyn Norgren, it's not about you, not about the dues, it's about the kids who don't have a voice at the bargaining table.

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whosaysSep. 23, 13 9:24 PM

So open talks make it complicated to tell the union members the story wants them to hear-they must not be telling them the truth then.

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herby2013Sep. 23, 13 9:25 PM

Mark Dayton and his Democrat legislature provided big increases in spending to "improve" education. That was one big lie. Do you know what teachers in districts all over the state are doing? I'll tell you: demanding more pay and higher benefits. That's where all that extra spending is going, not to help kids learn. Minneapolis and St. Paul spend about $16,000 per student per year on "education" and have the worst results in the state so you can see how effective all that spending is. And every year Democrats demand more spending and teachers demand fat raises at contract negotiation time. Why do Democrats do this? Because come election time, unions will spend money they collected from member dues to help get Democrats elected to positions of power. Democrats will shower the unions with taxpayer money. Unions will use some of that money to help get Democrats elected. Rinse and repeat.

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dflleftSep. 23, 13 9:29 PM

MFT would best described as being in an incestuous relationship with DFL elected officials in Minneapolis; also don't forget the 43% graduation rate there.

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furguson11Sep. 23, 13 9:46 PM

The request effectively closes the talks to the public because Josh Tilsen, director of the state Bureau of Mediation Services, has a policy of closing mediated sessions; he has said he feels more progress is made when the possibility of the two sides posturing for the press and public is precluded." Non-binding mediation is a good idea to move the talks forward. The closed sessions are a state policy, not the teachers union. The school district can report progress to the public if it wishes.

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rlwr51Sep. 23, 1310:03 PM

That's interesting. Usually Bernadeia does everything she can to keep things from going public.

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aquarius2Sep. 23, 1310:19 PM

@herby2013 - You obviously having been drinking a lot of unhealthy kool-aid if you believe that teachers are in it for the money! In Minneapolis we have gone without a COLA for the last four years and do not expect to be getting one this year. If you want to know who is getting the money then you can look no further than the charter schools and the district offices.

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raleighmamaSep. 23, 1310:32 PM

Looks like Bernadeia Johnson is taking lessons from the Minnesota Orchestra Board playbook. Trash your employees, berate the union, and claim they are the problem, and then try to have a meaningful negotiation. Respect is the key to successful mediation, Johnson needs to learn respect if she plans to be an effective leader.

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Spiker1Sep. 23, 1310:32 PM

@herby2013: Do you realize that it is a very small amount of the the dues teachers pay to the union that actually go to support political candidates?? Less than $10 per teacher per month goes to Political Action. The money that is used to support candidates is fundraised through donations not related to dues....so just stop talking about things you know nothing about....and besides a union member can request to have whatever portion of their dues is given to a PAC refunded to them....

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fauxboSep. 23, 1310:58 PM

With a graduation rate of 46.9 percent you can bet we want detailed reports of your closed door negotiations.

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