Employees at Hiawatha Academies vote to unionize

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. June 10, 2021 _The teachers and staff at Hiawatha Academies, a Minneapolis charter school network, voted to form a bargaining unit and become a chapter of Education Minnesota, the statewide union of Minnesota educators. 

“We are so proud of the work that got us this far and look forward to the next stage of the process: negotiating for a contract,” said Tory Waggoner, an early college seminar teacher at Hiawatha Collegiate High School. “We will continue to center the needs of workers, students, and families as we negotiate for a fair contract in the pursuit of creating sustainable working and learning conditions.” 

The results were certified by the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday and the 205 educators at Hiawatha can formally join Education Minnesota. The new bargaining unit will include teachers and most non-management school staff. 

The next step is for the new union to create and adopt governing documents and start negotiating their first contract. The process may take several months. 

Hiawatha Academies is the fifth charter school currently affiliated with Education Minnesota.  

Education Minnesota President Denise Specht welcomed Hiawatha educators to the largest union in the state and broader labor movement. 

“We are stronger and more likely to be heard when we stand together,” Specht said. “Affiliating with Education Minnesota allows Hiawatha to join millions of school employees from across the country to fight for quality public education for all students and working families, no matter what they look like, where they’re from or how much money they make.” 

About Education Minnesota
Education Minnesota is the voice for professional educators and students. Education Minnesota’s members include teachers and education support professionals in Minnesota’s public school districts, faculty members at Minnesota’s community and technical colleges and University of Minnesota campuses in Duluth and Crookston, retired educators and student teachers. Education Minnesota is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and AFL-CIO.

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