ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — About 3,000 teachers in St. Paul will be asked to take a strike vote later this month, the St. Paul Federation of Teachers has announced.
On Monday night, a press release from the union said a vote will take place on Feb. 24. The time and location have not yet been determined.
Earlier in the day, a meeting was held with the 23-member executive board, and it discussed whether to put a strike-authorization vote before the full membership.
Union officials said that after nine months of talks about new teachers’ contracts, now is the time to get serious about a strike down the line. Key points here are smaller class sizes and pre-K opportunities for all children.
They are issues, union officials said, that will make St. Paul schools better for the children. All bargaining units are currently in contract negotiations. That’s a group that includes teachers, school and community service professionals and educational assistants.
Nine months is not uncommon for negations of contracts, which happen every two years. But the union is displeased about the level of progress so far. That’s why it will move forward with a vote to allow its board to issue a strike. Some of the keys points also include less testing for all St. Paul families, more librarians, nurses and counselors and also more access to art, physical education and languages.
Under state law, the union would have to give the district 10 days notice before striking. The last time St. Paul educators walked out was back in 1946, which was the first teacher strike in the U.S. The last strike took place in Minnesota was in 2005 in the Crosby-Ironton on area in Iron Range.