Twin Cities teachers gather as strike looms

Hundreds of teachers spent the first part of their weekend in Minneapolis and St. Paul painting and putting up placards in preparation for a possible strike on Tuesday.

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“We want to do what’s best for our students, which is why we’re here, in these discussions, and still holding firm,” said Brian Hodge-Rice, a Saint Paul Public Schools teacher.
Higher compensation, lower class sizes, and better mental health resources for children are among the demands of teachers in St. Paul.

“The last two years have been the most difficult two years in the lives of every educator I know,” Hodge-Rice added.

On Saturday, supporters and leaders from other local unions gathered in Minneapolis to show their support for teachers.

Minnesota Workers United’s Cherrene Horazuk stated, “We will be there putting pressure on the administration, putting pressure on the superintendent, putting pressure on the school board to do the right thing.”

Parents also took part in the protest.

“It’s sad that we’ve arrived at a point where we’ll have to picket and strike. This indicates that someone is not being heard “Cynthia Wilson, a parent at MPS, agreed.

Many parents will be forced to find their own daycare if the unions and school districts cannot strike an agreement by Tuesday.

If there is a strike, MPS will provide very limited daycare for children in grades Pre-K through 5. Breakfast and lunch will be served, and the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County’s school-based health clinics will remain open.

On the first day of the strike, Discovery Club in St. Paul will be open to pre-registered families. On Wednesday, Kid Space will open, and students will be able to purchase meals.

The YMCA will also provide childcare at their Blaisdell and North Minneapolis YMCA sites in Minneapolis, as well as their Midway YMCA facility in St. Paul, from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Blaisdell and Midway YMCAs charge $45 for a full day of childcare, while the North Minneapolis YMCA just $12.

Negotiations are anticipated to continue in both Twin Cities on Sunday and Monday. A demonstration is planned for Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

“We want to do what’s best for our students, which is why we’re here, in these discussions, and still determined,” said Brian Hodge-Rice, a teacher at St. Paul Public Schools.

Teacher’s demands in St. Paul’s Students will receive higher incomes, lower class sizes, and more mental health assistance.

“Every teacher I know has had the most difficult two years of their lives,” Hodge-Rice added.

On Saturday, supporters and leaders from other local unions in Minneapolis stood in solidarity with teachers.

“We’re going to put pressure on the administration, on the superintendent, on the school board to do the right thing,” Minnesota Workers United’s Cheren Horazuk said.

The demonstration included parents as well.

“It is very bad that we have to reach a point where we have to picket, where we have to strike,” MPS mom Cynthia Wilson said. It suggests that no one is paying attention.”

Many parents will be left on their own to care for their children if unions and school districts do not strike a deal by Tuesday.

In the event of a strike, MPS will provide the most minimal daycare for children in grades Pre-K through 5. Breakfast and lunch will be served, and the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County’s school-based health clinics will remain open.

In the city of St. Paul

On the first day of the strike, the Discovery Club will be open to pre-registered families. Following that, the children’s area will open on Wednesday, and schoolchildren will have access to meals.

From 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., the YMCA will provide childcare at their Blaisedale and North Minneapolis YMCA locations in Minneapolis, as well as their Midway YMCA branch in St. Paul. The Blaisdell and Midway YMCAs charge $45 for a full day of childcare, while the North Minneapolis YMCA just $12.

On Sunday and Monday, talks are anticipated to resume in both cities. A demonstration is planned for Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

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