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Duluth teachers OK contracts

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By Jana Hollingsworth on Apr 25, 2014 at 8:46 p.m. Duluth school district teachers approved the terms of a pair of two-year contracts this week after about a year of negotiations. The numbers in favor were “more than adequate,” said Frank Wanner, outgoing … Continue reading

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Duluth News Tribune, Wednesday, January 22, 2014 – Supreme Court considers mandatory union dues

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DAVID G. SAVAGE Tribune Washington Bureau    WASHINGTON — Supreme Court justices debated Tuesday whether teachers and other public employees can be required to pay dues to support a union even if some of them oppose it.    Since 1977, the high … Continue reading

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Duluth News Tribune, Thursday, December 26, 2013 – Harbor City Middle School may be next charter offering

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Harbor City Middle School may be next charter offering JANA HOLLINGSWORTH jhollingsworth@duluthnews.com    As officials of Duluth Edison Charter Schools delve into plans for a new high school, Harbor City International School is considering expanding in the other direction.    Harbor City … Continue reading

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School Board OKs nearly12% tax hike – Duluth News Tribune, Wednesday, December 18, 2013

School Board OKs nearly12% tax hike JANA HOLLINGSWORTH jhollingsworth@duluthnews.com      The Duluth school district’s share of property taxes will increase by nearly 12 percent for the second consecutive year.    The School Board voted 6-1 to increase taxes by 11.9 percent after its … Continue reading

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St. Louis County teachers OK contracts | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published November 27, 2013, 12:00 AM St. Louis County teachers OK contracts Disagreements over insurance and salary were the biggest holdups to the St. Louis County school district’s two expired teachers’ contracts, according to the union’s leader. By: Jana Hollingsworth, … Continue reading

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Duluth News Tribune, Tuesday, November 19, 2013 – Paper displays double standard on elections

READER’S VIEW    Paper displays double standard on elections    The News Tribune’s double standard with regard to the school district is striking; it’s the blindest bias I’ve seen from any mainstream “news” organization.    The newspaper laments that after the election City … Continue reading

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Hypocrite? …you be the judge!

Hypocrite? ...you be the judge!

PROMINENT LABOR REP CHOSE NON-UNION CONTRACTOR – HOME CONSTRUCTION: KEN LOEFFLER-KEMP, WHO REPRESENTS AFSCME, SAID HE DIDN’T KNOW OF ANY LOCAL UNION CONTRACTORS WHO BUILD PRIVATE HOMES.
Duluth News Tribune (MN) – Saturday, July 21, 2007
Author: CHRIS HAMILTON NEWS TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

High-profile city of Duluth labor representative Ken Loeffler-Kemp has found himself under fire this summer for employing non-union labor to build his home in the Hawk Ridge development in Lester Park.

“My understanding was that there were no union contractors in the city doing private residential construction,” Loeffler-Kemp said Friday afternoon after a union rally outside City Hall. “I was wrong, and that I regret.”

Craig Olson, president of the Duluth Building and Trades Council, said he’s disappointed with Loeffler-Kemp’s decision but believes it was primarily because of a lack of information. However, Olson said some union members still are considering whether to organize pickets at the partially completed home at 2902 Bald Eagle Trail.

“There are some people unhappy with him, saying, Why talk the talk, but not walk the walk?’ ” Olson said.

Olson said council members met with Loeffler-Kemp after receiving an anonymous tip and decided they need to do a better job of educating labor leadership about their office and its ability to offer referrals to union contractors.

Steve Risacher, field representative for Duluth Carpenters Local 361, echoed Olson’s disappointment.

“It was not a good thing,” he said.

The city and Loeffler-Kemp’s union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 66, remain at odds over an unsettled contract. And while the rumor about Loeffler-Kemp’s decision has been floating around the community for months, the information was more formally passed along to the News Tribune by an anonymous source in City Hall.

Loeffler-Kemp said that he believes the story was leaked to undermine AFSCME’s credibility with the public.

“It didn’t come from me,” said Mayor Herb Bergson, whose leadership and re- election campaign has been the target of AFSMCE all week. “I live in the fishbowl, and I don’t want to join in on kicking someone about their personal lives.”

Bergson said despite the public animosity, he considers Loeffler-Kemp and his community- and environmental-activist wife, Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, to be friends and has socialized with them.

According the city assessor’s office, the Loeffler-Kemps’ property was valued at $81,400 on Jan. 2. While that number included the land value, the unfinished home was valued at only $33,500.

When completed, the two-story single-family home will have 3,456 square feet with three bedrooms and three baths, with a detached two-story garage, according to the city permitting office. Loeffler-Kemp said he did not know what it eventually would be worth.

For the general contractor, Loeffler-Kemp hired Northern Trends Building & Design Inc., which is a family-owned Duluth business. He said that he is using union electricians on the project and is doing much of the construction himself.

Olson said the Building and Trade Council also is picketing another prominent Duluthian, mayoral candidate Charlie Bell, who is building a condominium project near the Munger Trail in West Duluth without union general contractors.

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Campaign takes aim at levy increase for Duluth school district | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published October 24, 2013, 12:00 AM Campaign takes aim at levy increase for Duluth school district A conservative activist from Duluth on Wednesday announced a “Vote No, No” campaign in opposition to the levy questions on November ballots for the … Continue reading

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New Minnesota law lets workers care for more sick relatives | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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Published July 30, 2013, 07:45 AM New Minnesota law lets workers care for more sick relatives Tim Sorenson can’t forget what happened a couple of years ago when, a few hours before his shift, his sister called to tell him … Continue reading