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Marty Fridgen

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Marty Fridgen

Position running for: Vice President

Job title: Music specialist serving as United Teachers of South Washington County President

Local name: United Teachers of South Washington County

Email: fridgen.marty@gmail.com

I am Marty Fridgen, candidate for vice president. My involvement in unions started at a young age. My mom was a teacher, and my dad was a school custodian. Both were active in their local union. They taught me the value of working hard, standing in union to improve working conditions and being a voice for those who do not have one. I carry these union values with me today.

Why me? I am ready to be a statewide officer in our union. I bring perspective from both greater Minnesota and the metro area. I’ve done the work at the local, state and national levels and I have a record to show it. Under my leadership our local union is more engaged, contracts continue to improve, we are active in local elections and our political relationships are solid. When the district removed preschool teachers from our licensed unit, I led them in forming a new preschool unit. These teachers knew they were not alone. I know what it means to be accountable to members.

At the state level, I’ve been a decision maker through good times and bad. I’ve been part of setting our union’s direction during Janus and COVID. My state work has me at the table to ensure our locals have the resources, training and assistance they need. I am there for other unions on strike lines and rallies. I am part of discussions and trainings that put our union on a racial and social justice path to make a difference for our members and students.

I taught in a right to work state and remember what it’s like to not have professional working conditions. I will do everything I can to make sure Minnesota becomes a stronger state for workers with welcoming schools for all students and educators. There is no question that every part of Education Minnesota is integral in creating a strong, member-led state union. We depend on one another from our smallest to largest locals.

Education Specialist, Education Leadership, ED.S. 2008
Master of Science, Education Leadership, M.S. 2004
Bachelor of Music, Vocal Music Education, B.M. 1998

Columbia, MO
Shakopee, MN
Carver-Scott Education Cooperative, Chaska, MN
Le Center, MN
South Washington County Schools, Cottage Grove, MN
General Music/Choir Director, PreK-Senior High
Student Support, K-5

President, 2015-present, United Teachers of South Washington County
Member Rights
Building Representative

President, Metro Area Council, 2017-present
IO Leaders

Governing Board, 2013-present
Chair, Human Rights
Chair, Value of Belonging
Chair, Audit
Chair, Personnel
Chair, Officer Compensation
Budget & Finance
Council of Local Presidents
White Privilege Conference
AFL-CIO Convention

Board of Directors, 2019-present
Educator Voice Committee
Reimagine Public Education Think Tank
Rep. Assembly Delegate
Women’s Committee
Convention Delegate

“During the years I’ve known Marty, I’ve appreciated her thoughtful questions, insightful input and inclusive collaboration while serving with her on the Ed Mn Executive Committee. I admire her creativity, critical thinking and advocacy for the needs of members. Marty’s attributes and variety of leadership experience, educationally and organizationally, will serve our union well. I encourage you to join me in supporting her.”
Jamie Alsleben, Ed Mn Governing Board, Eden Prairie Education Association

“I am excited to support Marty Fridgen as the next Vice President of Education Minnesota. As a teacher in greater Minnesota I appreciate the various perspectives and experiences Marty brings as a leader. Marty and I currently serve on the NEA Board of Directors. I have witnessed her passion for public education when advocating for our educators, students, and families with members of Congress and their staff.”
Heather Bakke, EdMn Governing Board & NEA Director, Education Minnesota Brainerd

“I am pleased to support Marty Fridgen for Education Minnesota Vice President. As a former co-worker of Marty, I have seen her fight tirelessly for better schools for students and educators. Now I work in St. Paul where Marty walked with us on the strike line. She also walked the line when the Teamsters were recently on strike in St. Paul Park. Marty supports and stands in solidarity with local unions whenever and wherever she can.”
Katie Mahli, Member, St. Paul Federation of Educators #28

“Marty is an outstanding union leader with an unwavering commitment to serve members at all levels. She serves as a local president, a state governing board member, an IO leader and on the NEA Board of Directors. This is a snapshot of the depth of knowledge Marty would bring to the EdMn officer team. Marty’s work centers around building a more just and inclusive organization where all members, students, and families are valued.”
Stacey Vanderport, President, Mounds View Education Association

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