In the wake of what’s going on in Wisconsin right now, we’ve got to make sure we protect workers rights here in Minnesota. Many anti-worker bills have already come up in the Legislature (see them all here), which means that while our situation isn’t as urgent and dire as in neighboring Wisconsin, we have to stand up to Republican legislators who want to limit workers’ rights and tell them that Minnesotans do not support such measures.
The Senate has already passed a bill to freeze school employees’ wages. Senate File 56 freezes salaries for all school district employees for two years, including teachers. It also severely limits the ability of school employees to strike. In the House, a bill has been introduced that would weaken arbitration for employees of cities and counties.
These are not the only anti-worker bills circulating through the Minnesota Legislature. Republicans also want to slash or eliminate corporate taxes, repeal the Equal Pay Act, and eliminate thousands of jobs by cutting the state workforce.
Our state workers are under attack. We should look to our neighbor, Wisconsin, both to see how violently Republicans oppose workers’ rights and to see that the people of the Midwest absolutely do not feel the same way. We must use the thousands of folks protesting anti-collective bargaining Legislators as an example of peacefully protesting against the anti-worker agenda.
Public workers still earn less than their private sector counterparts and are, on average, more educated. We cannot allow Republican Legislators in our state to strip the hard-working folks who teach our kids and help run our cities of their rights.
Photo credit: AFL-CIO