Minneapolis teachers to picket again as negotiations continue on Day 17

Thursday marks Day 17 of the Minneapolis teacher strike, and members of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) are planning to hit the picket lines once again across the district.

This comes as Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is also weighing in on the stalemate between the district and union members, saying public education does need more funding from the state to help these negotiations in the future.

Walz also encouraged Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) to wrap the negotiations up.

“My opinion on this, that we are really close. I would encourage all parties, to see this, today is the day. And to try and get this thing done,” said Walz.

The governor did go on to support educational support professionals, saying he has many family members in educations, and added they need to be paid more.

Walz also pushed for his budget proposal, which includes more money for public education.

MFT members showed up to district headquarters to negotiate Wednesday, but district leaders have already said their final and best offer made Tuesday would be their last.

However, district officials said in a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they are willing to work with the union within that last offer.

Parents who are upset are also speaking up, and are urging the district to come to an agreement so kids can get back to class, and they can get back to work.

“Since I was in school, we’ve been fighting for the same stuff, from some of the same people. So, I think it’s time to get those people out of the door and get new people in that are for the community and for these kids,” said Terrance, a father of children in the area.

MPS’ last contract offer did include priorities the union has been asking for, such as smaller class sizes, higher wages and social workers in each school, but the union says the wage increases don’t go far enough.

Union leaders plan to have a rally in front of the Davis Center Thursday from 4-6 p.m., and say they will provide a briefing at 10:30 a.m.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will continue to provide updates in this developing story.