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Minnesota Union Seeks to Remedy Past Discrimination

A tentative agreement between the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Minneapolis Public Schools would protect teachers who are members of a ‘underrepresented population’ from being laid off in order “to remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination.”

The agreement states, “if excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the district shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population.”

In Minnesota, the overwhelming majority of teachers are white women.

Layoffs are already a controversial topic in union negotiations, as many contracts contain “last in, first out” (LIFO) provisions which base layoffs on years of service, rather than merit.

A 2011 poll in New York found voters overwhelmingly oppose LIFO. In 2014, California’s LIFO rules were struck down in Vergara v. California for having a disproportionately negative impact on poor and minority students.

Isabel Blank

Isabel Blank is Communications Director at Americans for Fair Treatment, a community of current and former public-sector employees offering resources and support to exercise their First Amendment rights. Prior to joining Americans for Fair Treatment in 2021, Isabel worked in media relations at Travelers Insurance and held government affairs and communications roles with Yankee Institute. She has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish, both from the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!). Isabel loves Crossfit and supporting her local Connecticut breweries.