By Denise Specht

Part of the advantage is financial. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, D.C., reports that women in labor unions are better paid and more likely to have health insurance and pensions than women who negotiate their own compensation.

People in unions also command more respect from their employers and have a greater voice in how they do their jobs. Many of my male friends underestimate the value of that for women, but they’re learning.

The mix of better compensation and the freedom to stand up for yourself has led 14 new groups of educators to form unions and affiliate with Education Minnesota since January 2016. More are on the way. The educators at one school started unionizing, in part, because they wanted an administrator to stop calling them “fat cows.”

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