Teacher's Union Responds To MN Senate's Approval of Wage Freezes for School Employees

By KBJR News 1

Teacher's Union Responds To MN Senate's Approval of Wage Freezes for School Employees

February 11, 2011 Updated Feb 11, 2011 at 10:55 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - A Republican bill freezing wages for all public school employees isn't sitting well with the Minnesota teacher's union.

The senate passed the measure Thursday.

The union says this bill does nothing to address real budget issues

Education Minnesota, which the Duluth Federation of Teachers is part of, says the state bill will not mean the end of cuts or layoffs.

Senators, who supported the bill, said it would help protect programs and save jobs.

The union says the bill takes budget control away from individual districts who know their local needs best.

They say it also hurts new teachers, and won't help Minnesota draw in or retain the best educators.

The union's president Tom Dooher wrote, "It's also ironic that political leaders, who run for office under the banner of 'returning local control to communities,' would make one of their first proposals a measure to eliminate local control of school finances."

The union leader says a good start to cutting costs would be to put all school employees into the same pool for health insurance, as rising health costs are a contributing factor to budget issues.

He also says the bill doesn't address the critical achievement gap.

A companion bill is now working its way through the house.
If it passes there, then it's on to Governor Mark Dayton.

But during his state of the state address this week, he said he wants to increase funding for schools in the state.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike
jpike@northlandsnewscenter.com

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