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SEIU Qestionnaire
          SEIU Minnesota State Council
Candidate Questionnaire
Minneapolis School Board

               Personal Information
               Name: Doug Mann
               Office Running For: Minneapolis School Board

               Campaign Committee Name: Mann for school board

               Committee Address:
                                    PO Box 8514
Minneapolis, MN
               Best Phone # to Reach You: 612 822-3776

               Current Occupation: Licensed Practical Nurse

               Previous Elected Offices Held (if any):  Local 789, Nursing Home                    
                                    Division, shop steward, elected by the local membership at-large as a
                                    delegate to the 1977 area-wide bargaining committee.

               Campaign Information

Campaign Manager: Not yet appointed

               Campaign Manager's Phone #:
               # of Committed Campaign Volunteers: 3 persons have offered to                                    
                                    assume major roles in the campaign. Campaign supporters not yet  
                                    organized.   

               # of Hours Candidate Campaigns Each Week: I expect to average
                                    about 10 to 15 hours per week.

               # of Doors Candidate Knocks Each Week: In an average week I will  
                                    probably knock on about 100 doors per week after my campaign       
                                    liturature is ready for distribution

               # of Voter Contact Phone Calls Candidate Makes Each Week:           
                                    Probably 4 to 10 on average during most of the campaign.

               What Current Endorsements Do You Have?__Personal endorsements
                                    from Ron Edwards, chair and vice chair of the Minneapolis Civil rights
                                    commission for 16 years. Longest serving chairman of the board of the          
                                    Minneapolis Urban League (1978-1987); Evelyn Eubanks, school
                                    board candidate in 2001, and former citywide Parent-Teacher
                                    Association president; Alfred Flowers, community representative on the  
                                    federal mediation team that recently negotiated an agreement with the
                                    Minneapolis police dept. to improve police conduct when dealing with
                                    residents of low-income neighborhoods, especially people of color..

SEIU MN State Council
Candidate Questionnaire - Minneapolis School Board

SEIU Locals 284, 63 and 26 represent approximately 9,000 public employees in the Minnesota public school and early childhood education systems.  Workers include paraprofessionals, food service workers, grounds and building maintenance crews, custodians and bus drivers.  As a result, SEIU MN State Council fights hard for public employees and for public education.  We want to know if you will stand with us on the following issues:  
ü     Protecting PELRA;
ü     Providing adequate funding for Head Start and K-12 education;
ü     Restructuring service delivery systems to help schools save money;
ü     Ensuring access to affordable, quality health care for public school employees;
ü     Fighting efforts to privatize public school services; and
ü     Protecting local bargaining rights over issues of wages and pensions.
We believe these issues are critical to the future of both our early childhood and public school systems and Minnesota's working families.


1)     Would you support a state legislative proposal for centralizing school support services - like student transportation - so that school districts could save money by pooling resources with other school districts?

Yes. However, I would not support any particular proposal without seeing it first.

2)     Currently, a Labor/Management Coalition is developing a plan to pool all public school employees in order to purchase health care insurance at a lower rate and ultimately provide more affordable health care for this sector of public employees.  Would you support this state legislative initiative?

Yes. I also advocate universal single-payer health care coverage.

3)     Do you think that public funds should be turned over to private companies to provide support services in public schools?

As a rule, no. If a service can be provided by district employees, it should be. Cases where an exception should be made is where a district can't provide the service any other way.  Outsourcing services is tactic often utilized to reduce the use of union labor and reduce the bargaining power of union employees.

4)     Would you oppose a state mandated wage freeze or pension vacation for public employees?

Yes.

5)     As a school board member, would you vote to protect the school district's proprietary interest in avoiding costly and disruptive labor-management disputes and support a peaceful, streamlined process for workers to exercise their free choice as to whether they want a union?  Would you be a leader on passing such a "Proprietary Interest Protection Resolution" and holding the District accountable to enforcing it once it passes?

I do not know what is meant by "proprietary interest protection." I think the districts should bargain in good faith and try to settle differences with the unions without forcing  union members to go on strike.  I favor a more streamlined union recognition process that makes it easier for unions to gain recognition. I would like to discuss the idea of a Proprietary Interest Protection Resolution with the candidate screening committee.

6)     What is your position on using public funding for private schools (i.e. vouchers)?

I am opposed to public funding for private schools. I also acknowlege that some the public school districts are failing to adequately educate all of their students. We need to fix what is wrong with those school districts rather than empty them out.

7)     Would you support efforts to prevent employers from using public money to oppose a union organizing effort?  Would you support requiring labor neutrality on the part of any employer who receives public money?

YES. YES.

8)     Would you support an effort in the Minneapolis school district to raise additional resources through passing a school levy?

Not until I see a satifactory plan to address the budgetary crisis currently facing the Minneapolis Public Schools. The district could take some steps to immediately slow the enrollment decline, such as repealing the attendance policy passed in 1999. I believe that the district could retain more students, give them a better education, and reduce some overhead costs by basing instruction for the general student population on a college-bound curriculum and individualized educational planning. The Minneapolis Public Schools has been engaged in part-to-full time tracking of students into separate classrooms based on percieved academic ability and dividing students within a given classroom into separate instructional groups based on percieved ability.

9)     Seniority, collective bargaining, tenure and the right to strike are all issues relating to the rights of all public employees.  Do you advocate any change in current PELRA laws regarding these rights?  If so, please explain.

I favor extending "tenure rights" to all employees. Tenure rights are merely due process rights, the right to appeal a decision to terminate one's employment, right?

10)     Once a collective bargaining agreement is negotiated and signed by the school district and their employees, will you honor the terms of that collective bargaining agreement?

Yes. And if union members have a legitimate beef with the management, I will be inclined to support them, and to look for a point of support in the contract to back them up.  

Candidate Questions

1)     Why do you want to be a member of the Minneapolis School Board?

I want reforms that can close the academic achievement gap, such as promoting instruction for the general student population based on a college bound curriculum and individualized educational planning, Currently the district is grouping students by percieved academic ability into separate classrooms and into instructional groups within the classroom, and watering-down the curriculum for a large majority of students.  

2)     What qualifications do you possess and/or experiences have you had that will make you a good school board member?

Educational Advocacy:
Minneapolis NAACP branch education advocacy committee (1998-1999)
Minneapolis Parents Union board of directors (1998-2000)
Minneapolis School Board Candidate (2001 and 2002)
Author of pamphlets and newspaper articles

Education
Minneapolis Community and technical college: 1990 graduate of the practical nursing program (with honors), completed general education requirements for an associate degree in Nursing by 1995. Foreign languages (in order from most to least proficient): Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German.

Employment
Charge nurse / team leader positions in nursing homes from 1991 to 2003.
Union steward 1976-1978 and union delegate to an areawide bargaining committee in 1977.

Personal
Custodial parent of Minneapolis Public School students in the 1980 and 1990s.
Enrolled in public schools in South Washington County during the 1960s and early 70s, briefly in the St. Paul Public Schools (1973). Noted striking differences in the culture and educational outcomes between school district, one that based instruction for the general student population on a college bound curriculum (So Washington Co) and one that watered down the curriculum for a large majority of students through 'ability grouping' / tracking (St. Paul)

3)     What is your campaign message/theme and what issues are you running on?

Education is a right, not a privilege!
Access to a quality public school education for all on an equal basis.
We can 'close the gap' without Enron-style accounting gimmicks
The decline in enrollment and revenues for the district are due to a lose of 'market share' of students driven primarily by poor quality of education recieved by a majority of students in the Minneapolis district.

4)     Who are you running against and what is/are their weaknesses?  Strengths?

There are two incumbents and two others seeking the DFL endorsement who have significant support from the current board members (and others who are running the schools) and the DFL party establishment.

Their weaknesses: They are for business as usual. There seems to be a high level of dissatisfaction with the current board and school administration.

Their strengths: backing from a powerful political machine.

5)     What is your plan for winning your race?  How many votes do you need to win?  Do you have a written campaign plan?

I do not have a written campaign plan. I plan to get my campaign supporters organized and get a brochure ready for distribution within the next month. I have applied and paid for a booth at Juneteenth. I have about a hundred yard signs and a few hundred buttons (leftover from 2002 and 2001). I have a checking account (Mann for School Board) and a treasurer (Evelyn Eubanks). I spoken to campaign supporters but have not yet called a meeting of campaign supporters.  

6)     Can you provide an itemized campaign budget?  How much money have you raised to date?

I do not have a budget at this time. I have not raised any money to date. I raised about $500 in the fall of 2002 and spent a few hundred dollars of my own money.


SEIU Minnesota State Council Pledge
Supporting the Right of Workers to Choose a Union


"Employees shall have the right to organize, form, join, or assist
 labor organizations to bargain collectively through
representatives of their own choosing"
National Labor Relations Act, Section 7


Background Information

There are responsible employers who respect the rights of their workers and obey the law. Unfortunately, many employers abuse their power in the workplace and deny their workers the right to freely join and maintain a union. With a rise of the multi-billion dollar "union busting" industry in recent years, employers have been waging a secret war against American workers who exercise their fundamental right to organize for a better livelihood.

Employers have the power to fire, promote, change work assignment, and otherwise reward and punish their workers. Although the law prohibits employer retaliation against workers who choose to organize unions, each year workers are fired for exercising this essential right. According to Harvard Law Professor Paul Weiler, 1 in 20 union activists are illegally fired during the course of organizing drives in the United States. Employers are often required to rehire these workers and pay back wages.  But such relief is obtained only after years of litigation and after income earned by the worker after the firing is subtracted from the award. Workers receive no compensation for the harm done to their lives and careers. Further, unions receive no compensation for the impact of such illegal activities on their organizing drives.

Unfortunately, even after workers overcome employer interference and vote for a union, many employers refuse to meet and negotiate in good faith the terms and conditions of a labor contract. To defeat these tactics, SEIU asks you to support the following pledge.



SEIU MN State Council Candidate Organizing Pledge

SEIU Minnesota State Council asks you as a candidate and elected official
 to exert moral leadership and to actively support public policies that
protect the rights of workers to freely choose to participate
in a union and to bargain with their employers.

As a candidate and elected official, I hereby pledge: (check the applicable boxes below)

Consider all applicable boxes below to be checked - Doug Mann

ð To publicly and actively encourage the position that workers should be able to freely choose for themselves whether they want to unionize without the intimidating effects of employer interference. This includes publicly supporting and encouraging employers to remain neutral on the question of unionization.

ð To publicly and actively encourage the position that no taxpayer dollars should be spent interfering with the right of workers to freely choose a union.

ð To publicly support and actively encourage employers to negotiate an agreement with the union within 90 days after the majority of workers express their choice in favor of forming a union.

ð To publicly support and actively encourage employers to negotiate good faith collective bargaining agreements with their workers and to abide by the terms of those agreements.

ð To sponsor legislation to restrict taxpayer money from being spent by employers on union busting activities in Minnesota.


__________________________________May 4, 2004___________
Candidate Signature                              Date


Doug Mann_______________________Minneapolis School Board    
Candidate Printed Name                         Office seeking