FAQ for Striking Educators

What do we do if we are on strike Tuesday? How is striking different from informational picketing?

Educators should report to their strike lines at 7am every day. Members will picket until 11am, and will then participate in a district-wide action every day from 1pm – 3pm, with the exception of Tuesday, March 10th (see information below.) Information on the district-wide action will be distributed every day on the strike line.

On Tuesday, March 10th, the district wide action will take place starting at 3pm at Global Arts Plus Upper. (810 Palace Ave, St Paul, MN 55102)

Educators who are not able to participate on the picket line should reach out to their Strike Captain to coordinate other ways that they can offer assistance to the strike effort.

What do I need for my picket lines?

Feel free to get creative on the picket line. You can bring speakers to play music, noisemakers, materials to make or update signs, and anything else that you can think of.

We also recommend that you bring folding chairs for members who may not be able to stand for long periods of time, water and food.

Are we allowed to communicate with parents and students?

Yes! We encourage members to have an open civil dialogue with parents and students about our strike, and how educators are working to build the schools that Saint Paul students deserve. Please make sure that your conversations are open, honest, and respectful and do not become disrespectful.

What happens when you cross a picket line and report to work during the strike?

Please read our email “What it Means to Cross the Picket Line

Are non-tenured staff allowed to strike?

Non-Tenured staff are allowed to strike.  Like tenured staff, non-tenured staff are covered by PELRA and have the same right to strike. While the district has a broad right to non-renew probationary staff, it would be unlawful for the district to non-renew a probationary teacher’s contract just because they participated in our lawful strike.

The superintendent says there is no money—is that true?

SPPS has an annual operating budget of $750 million. Despite declining enrollment, revenue for the district has actually increased by $38 million since 2016. Educators are the ones who work directly with Saint Paul students every single day, and educators and families know what our students need to thrive.

This isn’t a budget issue, it’s a priorities issue.

How will the strike affect our upcoming paychecks?

We will receive a two-week check on Friday the 13th and, depending on the length of the strike, a check for 6 days plus additional days if we have returned to work before the end of pay period ending on March 13th. 

How will the strike affect our health insurance?

Educators retain their coverage and contribution form the district toward health care if they work at least one day in a month. If a strike extended into a second month, educators would be eligible to continue their benefits through COBRA. Educators would have 45 days from the start of the month that their coverage lapses to elect COBRA coverage and make their premium payment.

How will we know if there is a settlement/Tentative Agreement?

If a tentative agreement is reached, news will be shared across multiple channels including email, social media, and Hustle.

How do I apply for strike loans?

Members who want to apply for the interest free loan to send an email to the finance committee: finance@spfe28.org.  

They need to include their name and the location where they have signed in on the picket line so their participation in the strike can be verified. 

Members cannot apply for a loan until March 17; however they can email their intention to apply before March 17 and they can apply for membership at St. Paul Federal Credit Union before March 17.  

Once a member’s participation in the strike has been verified, they will receive a code for the loan application. 

All loans with our code will be approved.

You can find more information about strike loans HERE