Teachers In Minneapolis and St. Paul overwhelmingly vote to strike
Minneapolis, MN – Votes were counted until nearly midnight on February 17 as teachers, education assistants and education support professionals in Minneapolis and Saint Paul Minnesota voted by overwhelming majorities to authorize strikes in both school districts. Both Minneapolis Teachers Federation (MFT) and Saint Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) announced the strike authorizations around 11:30 p.m.
Immediately after the vote count was finalized, Minneapolis Teachers Federation Presidents Greta Callahan and Shaun Laden spoke in front of a large banner covered with thousands of pictures of MFT members, held by an enthusiastic crowd of educators. They announced that over 96% of their total membership had voted in the strike vote, and that over 97% of those votes were to strike. After the announcement the crowd bust into chanting “The time is now!”
Around the same time, the Saint Paul Federation of Educators released a statement that their members had also authorized a strike by over 78% of ballots cast.
In recent days both unions have posted countless pictures from schools of the educators at those schools holding signs and wearing their red for SPFE and blue for MFT. Those pictures are only one of the many ways they have been clearly demonstrating that this strike prep is being widely participated in by the members and that they are organizing on the ground.
Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul educators are fighting for caps on class size, mental health supports for students, equity and racial justice in hiring and retention of staff as well as ways for oppressed nationality educators to move up within the system, and for wage increases.
No strike date has yet been announced but it is expected the strikes would occur simultaneously near the beginning of March.