About our union

Our purpose

Education Minnesota is the leading advocate for public education in Minnesota. Our 89,000 members work in pre-K-12 schools and higher education institutions statewide. They include:

  • Education support professionals.
  • Faculty at several university campuses, community and technical colleges.
  • College students preparing for an education career.
  • Retired educators who have devoted their lives to students.

Education Minnesota gives “voice” to the issues that affect educators and their students. We make sure our members’ voices are heard anywhere decisions get made that affect public education—whether it’s at the state Capitol, in Washington, D.C., or with local school administrators.

How we serve members

We organize members on a local basis. Education Minnesota has 467 local unions statewide. Our locals help mentor new teachers, provide professional development, negotiate and maintain work contracts, and much more. Our 150 staff members in 16 offices statewide serve as resources to our locals.

Our leaders

Three teachers on leave from their classrooms lead our organization:

Education Minnesota's leaders are guided by our statements of principle, our strategic plan, and our constitution and bylaws.

Each spring more than 500 elected delegates meet to set policy and direction for our organization at our annual business meeting, the Representative Convention. Our governing board meets throughout the year to set dues, adopt a budget and carry out directives passed at the annual meeting.

Our history

Education Minnesota was formed in 1998 as a result of the merger between the Minnesota Education Association and the Minnesota Federation of Teachers. MEA, originally called the Minnesota State Teachers Association, started in 1861. MFT began as the Grade Teachers Organization in 1898.

Both MFT and MEA advocated for professional standards, improved working conditions and increased education opportunities for all students. On a national level, the MFT aligned itself with the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO while the MEA affiliated with the National Education Association.

In 1991, MEA and MFT initiated merger discussions after both organizations recognized that they could be more effective working together than separately.

A national leader

Education Minnesota led the nation in bringing the two state education unions together. Since then, educators in Florida, Montana and New York have followed. Today, Education Minnesota members hold memberships with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO. The combined forces make Education Minnesota the strongest advocate for Minnesota educators and the students they teach.