Minneapolis teachers to strike Tuesday; St. Paul educators continue negotiations

(KSTP) – Union representatives with the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers announced Monday evening they will go on strike Tuesday after contract negotiations with Minneapolis Public Schools fell through.

Teachers are seeking support for student mental health, smaller class sizes and pay raises.

“For almost two years, we’ve been trying to reach agreements around safe and stable schools for students and those closest to them, but the administration has stubbornly defended an unacceptable status quo,” MFT President Greta Callahan said in a statement.

Minneapolis educators will start picketing at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. The strike means no classes either online or in person for the roughly 29,000 students in the district, which is one of Minnesota’s largest.

“While it is disappointing to hear this news, we know our organizations’ mutual priorities are based on our deep commitment to the education of Minneapolis students,” MPS said in a statement. “MPS will remain at the mediation table non-stop in an effort to reduce the length and impact of this strike.”

MPS said it can only offer emergency child care for pre-K through fifth-grade learners “on an extremely limited basis” and that parents will need to arrange care for their children. Meal bags with breakfast and lunch will be available for pick-up at each student’s school. However, those services will not be available until Wednesday.

The school district will also keep school-based clinics and mental health services running, and online activities will be available to keep students occupied during the strike.

Meanwhile, in St. Paul, educators continue talks to reach a deal to avert another strike that would also start Tuesday.