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NAACP Labor Chair is ready to fight for jobs

She says no one would call her a ‘well behaved’ woman
The new faces of the Mpls NAACP: MSR’s story on the new officers of the Minneapolis Branch of the NAACP (“Minneapolis NAACP swears in new members,” Feb. 27) revealed among other things that women now constitute a majority of the new leadership. This week, meet Tee McClenty, head of the Branch’s new labor committee. 
 
 

By Isaac Peterson

Contributing Writer

 

Labor activist Tee McClenty, originally from Camden, New Jersey, has a long history of service and of representing labor interests. As she tells it, “I’ve been a labor activist for a very long time. I worked at a long-term care facility, where I was a union steward. Continue Reading →

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State’s new health exchange weighs how best to enroll the uninsured

 

 

 

 
 Outreach and education essential to success
 

Open enrollment for the new MNsure health exchange program is slated to start this October. “This process of creating a Minnesota [health] exchange was a lengthy one,” states Stairstep Foundation CEO Alfred Babington-Johnson, a member of the health insurance exchange advisory task force. “The State of Minnesota was one of the first states” to work on developing an exchange since the Affordable Care Act became law three years ago, beginning with the formation of the task force. According to the state website (see below), “MNsure will be a simple, easy-to-use marketplace” for consumers to find the right health plans that suit their needs through a five-step process: 1) access the website for selection; 2) review health plans; 3) select a plan; 4) check to see if you qualify for tax credits or other health programs; and 5) complete the enrollment process. Babington-Johnson says that at least 31 percent of the state’s uninsured are low-income persons and people of color. Continue Reading →

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Minnesota legislators work to finalize State health exchange — Democratic majority doesn’t make exchange a ‘slam dunk’

 

 

By Charles Hallman 

Staff Writer

 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that beginning in 2014, each state either must have a health exchange available that allows qualified individuals to buy coverage, or join with other states to create regional exchanges. Or can let the federal government do it. It is intended not only to offer affordable health insurance to consumers, but also to increase competition among private insurers, giving their prospective consumers the ability to choose from at least four different levels of policies. Minnesota’s new health insurance exchange is now a couple of steps from becoming reality after the Minnesota House last week voted 72 to 58 on a health insurance exchange bill. Minnesota is among 17 states plus the District of Columbia that are setting state-based exchanges. Continue Reading →

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Security workers’ strike leads to contract agreement

 

 

News Analysis

By Mel Reeves

Contributing Writer

 

After going on a one-day strike, security officers from SEIU Local 26 came to a contract agreement with local security companies. “We were striking for better healthcare benefits, job security and better pay. You could say we were fighting to move our members out of poverty,” said Harrison Bullard, executive vice president of SEIU local 26. Bullard’s union also participated in a “week of actions” designed to show the connections between his union, the fight for better wages, and the office cleaners’ fight for dignity and higher wages. It also sought to unite those workers’ struggle with that of workers who are being discriminated against because of their past criminal records and workers who have been wrongfully foreclosed on by the major banks. Continue Reading →

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Personal care attendants looking to unionize

In-home healthcare workers caring for family members feel they deserve better pay  
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

Personal care assistants (PCAs) are persons who care for elderly and disabled folk at home. Clara R. NaKumbe, age 72, gave up her private daycare business to take care of her adult son Siran, who was stricken several years ago with multiple sclerosis. “When he first got it, he could still do some things for himself,” recalls NaKumbe. But soon thereafter, Siran had to move into her North Minneapolis home where he could receive 24-hour supervision and care. “He has to be fed. Continue Reading →

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