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U.S. Unfunded Pension Liabilities Exceed $6 Trillion: Minnesota’s Share is at least $118.7 Billion

With every paycheck, public employees faithfully hand over a percentage of their pay, and taxpayers match or exceed that contribution. Both should be able to trust that the pension funds, and State of Minnesota, have wisely set the right contribution rates, actually paid the full contribution each year and prudently invested the funds so when retirement comes, teachers, cops and the rest of our state and municipal workforce have the pension they were promised. ...

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Workplace Democracy for Minnesota’s Teachers is a Myth: Time to Update the Law

Teachers in the classroom today are being represented by an heirloom union that was selected by teachers a generation or more ago. Anyone old enough to watch the news back it the 1970’s will remember the Minneapolis teachers’ strike in 1970 –yes, we got our news from watching TV. Along with the latest on the Vietnam war, I would catch the news in the kitchen with my Mom when we were making dinner. ...

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Center of the American Experiment Joins Amicus Brief in Forced Union Fees Case Before U.S. Supreme Court, Unions Push Back

The Janus case is expected to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in January of 2018 so stay tuned. The case is first and foremost a defense of Free Speech and Liberty, which if successful, will begin to restore some sanity to our country. Why should public employees have to support the political speech of a union in order to keep their jobs? And what price have we paid for monopoly funding to government unions for the last 50 years? How has our electoral and legislative process been warped? ...

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Parental Choice is Working: Why are the teachers’ union and Hollywood attacking charter schools?

Charter schools are the “polite cousins of segregation,” in the words of Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. Last year the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People called for a moratorium on charters. Film festivals are screening “Backpack Full of Cash,” a pro-union documentary narrated by Matt Damon that portrays charters as separate and unequal institutions....

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What Counts as a “Crisis” at the Teachers’ Pension Funds?

TRA admits to a $30.7 billion liability but only has $21.2 billion to cover those promised pensions. TRA says based on the 2017 valuation, it only has $0.69 on the dollar to pay pensions to teachers. If there are no changes, it will only have 50% of funds in 2046. TRA used 2017 numbers because the markets were up—a lot. If it uses the 2016 valuation, the fund is expected to have only 37% of the needed funds in 2046. Why isn’t this a crisis? ...

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Do teachers oppose or support forced union dues?

I have no doubt that most teachers are dedicated professionals who just want to teach—and like the mean girls we all knew in school, that it is a small minority of teachers bullying and enforcing a trade union mentality that is making teachers miserable and creating a hostile environment for the free exchange of ideas. Let’s win that basic freedom back for teachers and our schools. ...

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Attorney General’s Office Argues DFL Legislature Purposely Made It Harder for PCAs to Decertify the SEIU

The AG’s office argued in Ramsey County Court today that the 2013 Legislature wanted to be sure that, once the PCAs had been unionized as "state employees", it would be very difficult for PCAs to ever get a contact list for a decertification effort. They are state employees when it favors the union, and they are not state employees when it favors the union. Got it? ...

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Will Minnesota be a right to work state by next June?

In 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court did something courts often do: instead of doing its job and ruling on the law, the Court split the baby, acting like a legislative body instead of a court. It crafted a law for the whole country that has warped our electoral and legislative process beyond recognition. Congress does not get off the hook here. It long ago could have—and still should-- force government unions to be fully transparent with how they spend union dues. But Congress is too afraid of the unions. Will the Court clean up its own mess?...

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WSJ Reader reacts to Education Minnesota: It’s all about the money (and the power)

Numbers to explain why the teachers' union Education Minnesota wants to make it next-to-impossible for state teachers to avoid paying union dues: Total compensation of Education Minnesota President Denise Specht (2015): $194,745; Number of Education Minnesota employees with total compensation of $100,000+ (2015): 68 ...

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