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Regression Paper

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Essay title: Regression Paper

1. Define the term “collective bargaining.” Include a current web-based news item magazine article about a real life example of a collective bargaining action. Support your findings. (10 points).

Copyright 2006 Pioneer Press

Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News

November 26, 2006 Sunday


ACC-NO: 20061126-SP-1126-46-teachers-strike-was-first-in-U-S

LENGTH: 670 words

HEADLINE: '46 teachers' strike was first in U.S.: Sixty years ago, St. Paul educators walked the picket line and ushered in a new era of collective bargaining

BYLINE: Doug Belden, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.


Nov. 26--When Dorothy Waldmann-Gruidl left her outstate Minnesota teaching job for the chance to teach music in St. Paul public schools in 1946, she took a cut in pay, got larger class sizes and had to work in a condemned building.

But a few months after she arrived, Waldmann-Gruidl and her colleagues in St. Paul protested their working conditions by launching the first organized teachers' strike in U.S. history.

After a little more than a month, the strikers prevailed, ushering in a new era of collective bargaining for teachers nationwide and sowing the seeds of St. Paul schools' eventual separation from city control.

On Monday, Waldmann-Gruidl and others who participated in the strike are being honored at a 60th-anniversary celebration.

"Those teachers sort of tied our destiny to the health of our students," said Mary Cathryn Ricker, president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, which is hosting the commemoration. "Our union can be really proud of that."

Waldmann-Gruidl was 25 when she came to St. Paul and had been teaching for only four years. The new job gave her the chance to be a music teacher, and the move also allowed her to be closer to her family in Minneapolis.

When her fellow teachers started talking strike, she said, she wasn't sure what to think. At one prestrike meeting, she kept her seat when those in favor were asked to stand.

But she talked it over with her father, who told her strikes were a good thing and she should discuss it with her supervisor. The supervisor, though not striking herself, advised Waldmann-Gruidl to walk out.

"They will point at you (if you don't strike)," Waldmann-Gruidl recalls her boss saying. "It won't be pleasant for you."

Waldmann-Gruidl, who retired in 1979 and is now 85 and a resident of Shoreview, said most everyone she knew participated in the strike.

Even one friend who couldn't walk the picket line because her dad was worried about the effect on his business still volunteered in the union office during the strike, Waldmann-Gruidl said.

Mostly, community members were supportive, she said.

"The people were all for the teachers," she said. "They would bring out hot coffee for us to drink, and even a cookie or two."

The strike lasted from Thanksgiving to Christmas, but it may have seemed longer to Waldmann-Gruidl because of the weather -- "It was bitterly cold," she said -- and because it cost her 30 cents every day to get from Minneapolis to the picket line at Van Buren school in St. Paul and home again by streetcar.

Just after Christmas, the City Council -- which then controlled education -- agreed to higher wages, more supplies and better building maintenance, and teachers returned to class.

For Waldmann-Gruidl, it meant a raise from $1,700 a year to $2,400.

But beyond securing a salary boost and increased investment in supplies and maintenance, the strike also exposed the downside of a system in which schools competed for money against other city departments. Within four years, there was an independent school board in St. Paul, and then, 15 years after that, an independent district.

"It took a long time after the strike before they actually got a school board. So it was a wonderful beginning ... a very good start to (having) the schools run by themselves rather than as part of the city," said Waldmann-Gruidl.

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