Minneapolis education support professionals file strike notice

Minneapolis education support professionals have filed a strike notice after failed negotiations with the school district on a new contract.

After voting last week to authorize a strike, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals (ESP) filed the strike notice late Wednesday afternoon after a mediation session with Minneapolis Public Schools did not produce an agreement.

The union can officially go on strike starting May 14, however a deal may still be reached before that time to avoid a walkout.

“Education support professionals deserve a living wage, affordable health care, and recognition of their experience and training as teachers do,” said Catina Taylor, president of the ESP chapter. “This is what we need to retain ESPs and keep the students learning, safe and engaged. Negotiations shouldn’t be this hard.” 

The ESPs have been working on an expired contract for more than 10 months and are asking for a substantial wage increase, more affordable health care and steps to reward experience and encourage retention.

Last week, Minneapolis teachers avoided a strike by reaching an agreement with the school district, with the expected vote on the proposal to take place May 8-10.