St. Paul Federation of Teachers schedules strike vote

SPFT members called on corporations like Securian to pay their fair share toward the schools St. Paul children deserve during a march through St. Paul’s skyways last month.

Frustrated by the St. Paul Public Schools’ refusal to take up their top priorities in contract negotiations, members of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers will take a strike authorization vote Jan. 31, the union announced today.

Members of three bargaining units in negotiations with the district will participate in voting next Wednesday. SPFT represents over 3,400 teachers, educational assistants and community service professionals working in 65-plus St. Paul school district buildings.

“Our members are incredibly disappointed that the school district has so far refused to work with us, but as educators, we remain committed to creating the schools Saint Paul children deserves,” said SPFT President Nick Faber, an elementary science specialist.

SPFT members took an ambitious and groundbreaking approach into negotiations with the district that began last summer.

Union members proposed partnering with the district to seek new revenue from large non-profits and corporations that enjoy property-tax exemptions in St. Paul. The district has so far refused that partnership, leaving SPFT members to meet independently with Ecolab, Allina Health, Macalaster College and other potential targets.

Additionally, union negotiators say they continue to wait for management’s response to proposals that would strengthen St. Paul schools and address the district’s racial disparities, from lowering class sizes to staffing each school with a nurse and librarian.

Rather than respond, district negotiators have pushed for teachers to work longer hours with more students at no additional pay. And the union alleges negotiators “continue to dismiss the contributions of our Educational Assistants and School and Community Service Professionals in SPPS.”

Members of SPFT’s executive board voted Monday to call the strike vote. Mediated talks with the district will continue this week.

Trackbacks

  1. […] of the Super Bowl committee’s biggest corporate sponsors: Ecolab and U.S. Bank. Teachers are in a difficult round of contract negotiations with the St. Paul school district, which is facing a multi-million dollar budget […]

  2. […] signs supporting members of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, who are scheduled to take a strike-authorization vote Wednesday. Members of the union’s negotiating team have said the two sides are making no progress […]

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