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St. Paul, MN: Teachers vote to strike; demands for more mental health/SPED services

Feb 21, 2020, MinnPost: St. Paul teachers vote to authorize strike On Thursday, members of the St. Paul Federation of Educators — the union representing teachers, education assistants and school and community service professionals in the St. Paul Public Schools district — authorized a strike. The decision had widespread buy-in by SPFE members: Nearly two-thirds of the union’s 3,550 members cast a vote, and of those, 82 percent voted in favor of a strike. “No one wants to strike, but St. Paul educators are fed up. District leaders aren’t listening to the people who know our students best – the educators and parents who are with them every day,” union president Nick Faber said in a press release late Thursday evening. “The longer they ignore our proposals, the longer our students go without the resources they need and the schools they deserve.” … So what, exactly, is the union asking for? More than pay increases, for one. … The union is seeking more aggressive pay increases: 3.4 percent the first year and 2 percent the second, but they also have a series of other asks, including more mental health supports for students, a top priority that entails staffing each school building with a team comprised of social workers, psychologists, nurses, counselors and behavior intervention specialists. The union also wants increased support for English language learners and more appropriate caseloads for special-education educators.


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