Minneapolis teachers union president elected to second term

Minneapolis Federation of Teachers President Michelle Wiese speaks during a union rally outside the Minneapolis Public Schools headquarters in February.

The president of the Minneapolis teachers union has earned a second term, the union announced May 16.

Michelle Wiese was elected to a second two-year term, which will start June 15. The union, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Local 59, did not release the specific election results, and Wiese did not respond to a request for comment.

MFT is the umbrella union for the district’s teachers and education support professionals. Each group has its own chapter within the union and elects its own officers and executive board.

In her candidate profile, Wiese wrote that she’s worked to transform the union into an active member-driven organization with social justice at its heart. She noted her work organizing a rally in 2016 in support of Black Lives Matter; work to update the union’s policy manual; work to catch the union up on its payments to Education Minnesota; and work to convert fee payers to members.

Wiese ran as part of a slate of candidates that called itself the Minneapolis Solidarity Coalition. In a GoFundMe page, the slate wrote that they were focused on social justice, transparency, fiscal responsibility and what’s best for students and educators.

Ten of the coalition’s 11 candidates were elected either as officers or members of the union’s executive board.

The coalition faced competition for the officer positions and board seats from another slate of candidates, called the Joy and Justice Coalition. The six-person slate campaigned on a 10-point platform, advocating for new mentorship programs and promising to visit every site in the district next fall. About 15 other teachers also ran for officer or executive board positions.

In addition to Wiese, other winning teachers chapter candidates for officer positions were: Mary Manor (first vice president); Jill Jacobson (second vice president); Greta Callahan (secretary); Robert Koehnert (treasurer)*; and Rebecca Miller (MRLF chair)*.

Winning ESP candidates for officer positions were: Shaun Laden (president); Susan Joy Broman (first vice president); Catina Neal (second vice president) and Pam Booth (secretary).

*signifies positions shared between the two chapters