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Striking Minneapolis teachers picket outside of closed schools

Striking Minneapolis teachers picket outside of closed schools

Minneapolis teachers and teacher aides demonstrated outside schools around the city on Tuesday, the first day of a strike, after their unions were unable to reach a deal with the state’s biggest school system on a new labor contract, according to the Star Tribune.

Minneapolis Public Schools canceled school for 31,000 kids on Tuesday as a result of the work stoppage, which began three weeks ago when unions representing the city’s 4,500 teachers and education support personnel approved the strike.

Teacher aide compensation, as well as the union’s requests for reduced class sizes and more mental health services for kids, are among the issues separating the two sides.

Following a picket sign and slogan-chanting demonstration in front of schools around the city on Tuesday morning, passing vehicles honked their horns in support of the teachers’ strike.

“We’ve come to make a difference. We are reclaiming our schools because our children and our community deserve more, and we are doing so together “At a press conference, Greta Callahan, president of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, stated her position.

Bringing refreshments for teachers walking the picket line in front of a local school building, as well as salt to melt the ice coating on the walkways, Amanda Dobbs, a mom with three children who attend Minneapolis public schools, made a difference. In spite of temperatures hovering around freezing, it was a pleasant morning in the city for the start of the month of March.

“They will not be able to serve our children if they do not have help,” added Dobbs, 42. These educators are stretched thin and have given all they have to their students.

The unions are calling for what they perceive to be a decent salary for education support workers, who now earn an average of $24,000 a year on the federal level. They also want the district to lower class sizes and recruit more teachers of color, social workers, and guidance counselors, among other initiatives.

The unions said that the district can afford the additional expenses because of the state of Minnesota’s $9 billion surpluses in the state’s budget.

Defending itself, the district claims that it is facing a $97.2 million budget deficit for the next fiscal year and that the difference between what the union is requesting and what the district can afford amounts to millions of dollars.

It added in a statement that it will continue to deal with the union in the hopes of limiting the effect of the strike. It will also begin providing boxed lunches to children at schools on Wednesday, despite the fact that classes have been suspended indefinitely.

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