Educators based in the city of Minneapolis walked off campuses Tuesday disputing wages, increasing class sizes and lack of mental health support for students following the pandemic. The strike temporarily paused classes for about 29,000 students.
All PK-12 and Transition Plus classes will be canceled for the duration of the strike beginning Tuesday, March 8.
“We are on strike for safe and stable schools,” Greta Cunningham, president of the teachers’ chapter of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, said. “We’re on strike for systemic change, we’re on strike for our students, the future of our city and the future of Minneapolis public schools.”
Minneapolis has about 3,265 teachers, while St. Paul has roughly 3,250 educators, according to the Associated Press. The annual salary for St. Paul teachers is over $85,000, while it’s more than $71,000 in Minneapolis.
The twin cities districts also employ hundreds of lower-paid support staffers who say they don’t earn a living wage. The Minneapolis union is seeking a starting salary of $35,000 for education support professionals and union officials are saying it’s essential to hire and retain people of color.
The Minneapolis protest follows after similar issues were negotiated and resolved in the Minnesota state capitol and twin city of St. Paul.
City officials have provided information for education alternatives while negotiations continue.
- Minneapolis Public Schools will provide emergency PK-5 child supervision on an extremely limited basis starting Wednesday, March 9. Please contact your school if you need this emergency service.
- Here are some community-based childcare and programs during the strike.
- A meal bag with one breakfast and lunch will be available for pick up daily at your student’s school starting Wednesday, March 9. Pick-up hours will be shared by your school.
- Online learning enrichment activities are available for students to keep their minds active.
- School-based clinics and mental health services will continue to be provided.