February 09, 2018 09:06 AM
Mediation continues between the St. Paul Federation of Teachers and St. Paul Public Schools as the two sides work to avoid a possible teachers strike starting next Tuesday.
The St. Paul Federation of Teachers announced Wednesday night that the union's executive board had voted to set next Tuesday as the strike date. Union members voted last week to strike, citing a lack of progress at the bargaining table "on the most important issues for SPFT's members."
The release Wednesday night said over 85 percent of union members voted to authorize the strike.
The two sides are scheduled to work through the weekend with the deadline looming. If there is a strike that lasts longer than four days, the district says extra days would need to be added to the end of the school year.
Meanwhile, the union is working to help families who rely on schools for meals, safety and special needs. Members said they're setting up "student safe sites" and providing food in case schools close.
So far, the union has pinpointed three locations, including the East Side Freedom Library. Boys and Girls Clubs have offered locations and the union has talked with the Mayor's office to open rec centers for students as well.
The union said donations have been coming in locally, and from around the country, to help with food and transportation.
The school district said if a strike occurs, schools will close for two days. But after that 24 schools will open. Thirteen of those will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner to those 18-and-under.
Seven locations will be available for elementary school students to spend time during the day from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. And four sites will offer the district's Discovery Club - a fee-based before-and-after school program that will offer supervision all day.
Updated: February 09, 2018 09:06 AM
Created: February 08, 2018 06:23 PM
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