St. Paul educators to vote on strike Thursday

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The Saint Paul Federation of Educators Local 28 continued to discuss a contract with St. Paul Public Schools on Wednesday ahead of a possible strike vote that would affect every public school in the city.

There are 3,600 educators in the district that could take that vote Thursday afternoon if negotiations between the two parties break down. 

The two sides have been at the table since May of last year, but in November went into mediation to try and work out a deal.

Local 28 says it has three top priorities:

  • A fully-staffed mental health team in every building, including providing teachers with more training and hiring more social workers, counselors, psychologists, school nurses, and behavior intervention specialists,
  • More multilingual staff to help our students and families connect to their school community, and
  • Additional educators supporting students with special needs and appropriate assignments for educators so they can give students more one-on-one attention.

SPFE top priorities

St. Paul Superintendent Dr. Joe Gothard told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the district remains committed to reaching an agreement before a strike happens.

Gothard wrote to staff earlier this week that the School District agrees that our students need and deserve additional support.

SPPS told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they have approximately 1,000 fewer students this year than last year that equates to more than $6 million in fewer dollars available to the district.

Gothard's message on strike vote

The district said if a strike occurs all SPPS classes will be closed.

If the union members vote to authorize a strike, it’s up to the union’s executive board to set a strike date, and under state law they have to give the district a 10-day notice.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will continue to follow this developing story.