Minneapolis teachers strike begins: ‘They have not budged'

Minneapolis teachers have announced a district-wide strike beginning Tuesday, March 8.

On Feb. 23, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and St. Paul Federation of Educators unions each filed their intent to strike after their members – largely full-time teachers and education support professionals – voted overwhelmingly to give them the authority. The move required 10-day notice, but marathon negotiations have failed to result in a deal so far.

On March 7 at 6 p.m. president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Greta Callahan led a press conference to announce the decision to strike. 

"Our members have put out a fair mandate… And they [district] have not moved significantly on any of those things. They have not budged," Callahan said. "What about the kids? We have been saying this for decades. We continue to say our students deserve and need more. When you have thousands of people saying they will go without pay so students have the support they deserve you know something is wrong with the school district."

The union is demanding better pay and working conditions for teachers and support staff, smaller class sizes, and further mental health support for students.

Tuesday morning, 4,500 teacher members began picketing district buildings.

St. Paul teachers, SPPS avoid strike with 11th hour deal

Across the river in St. Paul, SPFE and St. Paul Public Schools announced a tentative agreement just before their 9 p.m. deadline Monday night. School is in session Tuesday in St. Paul.

Child care options during Minneapolis teachers strike 

Last week both districts informed parents of their varying childcare options in the event a strike was declared. 

Childcare services will also be available to families at the Blaisdell YMCA, North Minneapolis YMCA and the Midway YMCA.

For the most part, teachers in both districts have been unified in their efforts throughout the negotiations process. 

Minneapolis schools food service workers authorize strike

Meanwhile, food service workers at MPS who are members of SEIU Local 284 also authorized a strike with 98.5 percent of members voting in approval. A 10-day notice would still need to be filed for any potential strike.