Feb 24, 2022 - News

Minneapolis and St. Paul teachers unions move closer to strike

Illustration of a fist holding a pencil.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Unions representing teachers in Minneapolis and St. Paul are one step closer to a strike.

Driving the news: Leaders filed formal intent to strike notices with the state Bureau of Mediation Services Wednesday, citing ongoing stalemates in contract negotiations with their respective districts.

  • The move starts a 10-day countdown to when a walkout could actually begin.

Why it matters: Strikes could mean canceled classes for tens of thousands of students across the two cities.

Yes: but: There's still time to reach agreement and avert a strike. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals wrote on Facebook that a strike remains "an action of last resort."

  • District leaders also pledged to keep working toward a deal in statements issued Wednesday.

The big fights: Union leaders in both cities are pushing for wage increases, more support for mental health, smaller classes and expanded efforts to recruit and retain teachers of color.

  • Districts say those proposals aren't fiscally feasible, especially since a dip in enrollment has lowered the funding they get from the state.

Flashback: St. Paul teachers went on strike for three days in 2020, prompting four days of canceled class.

What's next: Mediation sessions are scheduled to continue.

  • The earliest day a strike could begin in either city is Tuesday, March 8.

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