Monday, May 23, 2022


Pennsylvania tries to land a regional hydrogen hub, a new study confirms college grads are twice as likely to get good jobs, and a U.S. military plane flies 35 tons of baby formula from Germany to Indianapolis.


Operation Fly Formula's first shipment arrives, worries of global food shortages grow, President Biden is concerned about a monkeypox outbreak, and a poll says Americans support the Title 42 border policy.


From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Front-Line Workers in MN Demand Fair Compensation


Thursday, December 2, 2021   

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made by front-line pandemic workers, including releasing money intended as bonus payments.

This fall, a legislative working group failed to come to an agreement on distributing $250 million in front-line worker pay. Republicans insist on divvying up bigger checks to a limited number of workers, while Democrats have pushed for a wider range of recipients, even if the payments are smaller.

Angie Halseth, statewide vice president for the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees and a caseworker at the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility, worries about being left out despite her commitment during the crisis.

"I became, I would say, a nurse," Halseth recounted. "We were used to take temperatures and vital signs. We made meals. We actually received duty belts and training to cover officer posts when we were so short-staffed."

Halseth echoed other calls for the state to go beyond the $250 million investment. She argued the state has the resources to make front-line workers whole. The stalemate is at the center of political differences over whether there should be a special session before year's end.

A range of front-line workers have received praise from elected officials and other leaders since the start of the pandemic. But Halseth argued praise only goes so far when so many have put themselves at risk.

"We have told our stories to the task force, and we'll keep telling them and keep standing together," Halseth emphasized.

Some Republican members of the working group say while they heard many of the stories, they feel the money should go to those who had direct contact with COVID, such as health-care workers.

But Halseth countered at her job, there were scenarios where staff had no other choice but to be in contact with people who were COVID-positive. She added if they became infected, there were situations where they had to use their paid time off, even with some COVID leave available to certain workers.

Disclosure: Minnesota Association of Professional Employees contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Around 17% of bachelor's degrees awarded to Black students nationwide come from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and research shows HBCUs boost economic mobility and generational wealth.(Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

One of North Carolina's oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities is finding new ways to help students stay enrolled and graduate. Recent …

Social Issues

A new survey finds 8 in 10 Kentucky parents say afterschool programs could help their child combat social and mental-health struggles by reducing unpr…


A technology that once existed only in science fiction soon could emerge as a viable solution to climate change. The city of Flagstaff has added …


Minnesota has more than 10,000 brownfield sites, which are abandoned or idled properties in need of contamination removal. State officials will soon …

Georgetown researchers found that Black American women are the most likely to have to turn to student loans for college, and hold the most student loan debt, compared with their peers. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By age 35, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher are about twice as likely as workers with just a high school diploma to have a good job - one …


The mayor of Huntington, where more than 200 homes were recently damaged by severe flooding, said now is the state's "one chance" to prevent other …

Social Issues

Alzheimer's disease is one of the leading causes of death in North Dakota, prompting state officials to launch an online dashboard, where the public …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021