Attacks on unions and public education

Working in a union gives educators the power to make meaningful improvements for students, our profession, public education and our communities. 

Corporate interests and newly-elected lawmakers with a different agenda want to financially destabilize labor unions. They are doing this through anti-worker measures at the national and state levels because we are the last line of defense for the middle class in America. 

Kentucky, Missouri and Iowa just this year passed major legislation to erode union power and workers' rights. There are also a slew of cases in the queue for the U.S. Supreme Court that will likely make right-to-work style laws the lay of the land for public employees.  

By many measures, quality of life is worse in states with weaker unions. The result of "right to work" is this: Unions are dismantled. Wages are lower, people are less likely to have health insurance and the necessary resources for a quality education.  

That is why it's so important for educators and other public workers to stick together, no matter what happens at the Capitol or in our courts. We are powerful when we have a collective voice.

How it's playing out here

Groups like the Center of the American Experiment and conservative communication vehicles like the Powerline blog are saying our "Power of We" campaign is about "tricking" members into renewing their union memberships. Some "guest columns" full of spin and hyperbole are starting to appear in Minnesota newspapers carrying this anti-union message.

These columns and similar articles will try to twist the facts about union membership, claiming things like:

  • Education Minnesota dues are going up $14 every year.

This is NOT completely accurate. Yes, dues are increasing by $14 but this is a one-time increase, not yearly, and is comprised of several different entities:

  • $3 national dues increase
  • $1 Education Minnesota dues increase
  • $10 PAC dues increase (which is refundable)

Here's what else we can expect to happen in the next several months:

  • Koch-funded think tanks will produce "research" bashing unions.
  • Local reporters will write news stories about that research. 
  • Conservative editorial writers will repeat the conclusions and tell lawmakers to act now.
  • Advocacy groups will spring up overnight. They will have million-dollar budgets to buy television ads with flashing quotes from those newspaper editorials about "bad unions."
  • Strange attack ads will appear on the internet browsers of our members, and they will get direct mail and emails at home. 
  • People will knock on their doors to hand-deliver anti-union messages. 



Robert Reich on "America's Koch Problem

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Robert Reich on "Right to Work"

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The Power of Our Union​

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