Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Twin Cities Educators Fight for Safe and Stable Schools

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

Union educators in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, are fighting for safe and stable schools that students deserve. Despite days of public bargaining and mediation, members of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT)/AFT-NEA Local 59 went on strike this morning. The union of teachers and support professionals is calling for systemic change and is fighting an administration that remains entrenched in an unacceptable status quo.

Greta Callahan, president of the MFT teacher chapter, declared: “We are the defenders of public education and we’re not going to slow down, or give up, until we make real progress addressing the mental health crisis in our schools, reducing class sizes and caseloads so students are receiving the individualized attention they need, and increasing educator compensation so that we don’t continue to lose staff, especially educators of color, to surrounding districts and other professions.”

On Monday night, the St. Paul Federation of Educators/AFT-NEA Local 28 announced that it had reached a tentative agreement for a new contract with the city’s school district. The 3,600 union members in St. Paul avoided having to go on strike after securing a fair contract.