Great River School votes to unionize

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota. June 4, 2021 _ The teachers and staff at Great River School, a St. Paul charter school, voted Thursday to form a bargaining unit and become a chapter of Education Minnesota, the statewide union of Minnesota educators. 

“We are proud and excited after months of organizing that our staff voted in overwhelming support to unionize,” said Abby Mesnik, an adolescent math guide at Great River. “We look forward to working in partnership with Education Minnesota and Great River School to create positive change in education.” 

The results were certified by the National Labor Relations Board and the 106 educators at Great River 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. 

Great River is the fourth charter school currently affiliated with Education Minnesota. Educators and staff at Hiawatha Academies are voting by mail to unionize and votes will be tallied June 10.   

Education Minnesota President Denise Specht welcomed Great River educators to the union family and broader labor movement. 

“All educators deserve a voice to advocate for their students’ learning conditions and their own working conditions. When school staff have a say in how their schools are run, school climates improve and students are happier and more successful,” Specht said.

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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