St. Paul teachers to vote on strike next week

    St. Paul teachers will vote Feb. 20 on whether to strike against St. Paul Public Schools, according to the union representing St. Paul educators, assistants and community service workers.

    The St. Paul Federation of Educators executive board agreed Monday night to authorize a strike vote next week, the union wrote in a statement.

    “We did not make this decision lightly, but we are certain that a strike vote is necessary if we hope to reach a settlement with the district that respects our students’ needs and honors our educators’ voices,” the statement says. “After nearly a year of negotiating, the District still isn’t taking our student-centered proposals seriously and has refused to have any real discussion around educator pay and benefits.”

    The union says it wants a mental health team in every building, smaller special education caseloads and more multilingual staff.

    Negotiations for the 2019-2021 contract began in late May, according to the union’s website. The union authorized a strike in 2018 but canceled it after reaching an agreement with the district, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

    Rilyn Eischens
    Rilyn Eischens is a data reporter with the Reformer. Rilyn is a Minnesota native and has worked in newsrooms in the Twin Cities, Iowa, Texas and most recently Virginia, where she covered education for The Staunton News Leader. She's an alumna of the Dow Jones News Fund data journalism program and the Minnesota Daily. When Rilyn isn't in the newsroom, she likes to read, add to her plant collection and try new recipes.