Today we met with the District for our fifth mediation session. There has been no significant movement and your bargaining team is recommending a “Yes, I’m ready to strike” vote! Your vote is critical; this is one more way to send a clear message to SPPS that our students and educators can’t wait!
Today, the District gave us a “Statement of Affirmation and Collaboration” in response to our Mental Health Student Supports proposal. In the statement, the District said they have already added enough supports for our students over the past five years. Clearly, there is a disconnect between our students’ needs, our members’ experiences and what the District thinks is necessary to help students thrive. This statement, and the minimal amount of financial support the district proposed for district-wide supports (instead of building supports), is not nearly enough and is insulting to the educators who are struggling to meet students’ needs.
Other highlights from today include the District asking us to drop our dual language immersion proposal in exchange for the District dropping their proposal to limit dual language teachers’ ability to transfer. The district also doubled-down on their initial offer of 1.5% and 2% for salary and any other economic proposals.
We are voting to strike for many things, including: real commitments for mental health teams for all of our students and schools, increased supports for our multilingual families, appropriate caseloads for educators working in special education programs, and fair compensation. Our students and educators can’t afford to wait while the District remains complacent.
Here are the strike vote details:
Thursday, February 20, 2020 from 2:00pm-8:00pm
Ironworkers Union at 851 Pierce Butler Route, St. Paul, MN 55104
We highly recommend folks take a shuttle bus to the vote to alleviate traffic congestion and parking. You can find shuttle bus locations, and sign up for a shuttle bus seat at this link.
After a full day of negotiations, we reached two tentative agreements:
- Commitment to School Integration, which continues the work of our Integration Task Force and provides a timeline for incorporating recommendations from their report.
- Co-Teaching best practices, which provides parameters for the number of content areas, new courses, and mainstream co-teachers SPED and EL teachers work with at one time.
Our next mediation session is scheduled for Thursday, March 5th.
Charles T. Letendre
Laurel Kuhner Berker