🎉 Congratulations, MFT educators!

A purple and white graphic that says "I stand with Twin Cities Educators" and includes the logos for MFT, ESP and SPFE unions.

This morning, 4,500 educators and 28,500 students returned to school in Minneapolis after the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers’ historic 14-day strike to win better wages, smaller class sizes, mental health support for students, and systemic changes to improve the recruitment and retention of educators of color. 

We’re thrilled that striking educators reached agreement with the district, and that our kids and school staff get to go back to school this week. “We held the line for 14 days and we won for our students, schools and each other! Remember that this is a movement and not a moment! There is power in our union,” MFT posted on Facebook when the tentative agreement was ratified by union members. 

We’re inspired by the demonstration of multiracial solidarity by striking workers, parents, and neighbors who showed up in force to demand critical investments in our schools. MFT educators took a huge risk by striking – going two weeks without pay and holding the line through rain, sleet and snow to fight for what our kids and communities deserve. The negotiating team put hundreds of hours into bargaining. Community supported workers by showing up to picket lines, donating to the strike fund, providing mutual aid, and putting on solidarity events throughout the strike. 

The new contract includes important gains on pay for Education Support Professionals (ESP), protections for educators of color, class size caps, and increased mental health supports for students. “ESP held the line for 14 days, and ESP won significant raises, more hours, improvements in benefits, and seniority rights for hundreds of ESP who didn’t have them. ESP will have more money in their pockets and our students will benefit from more stable schools,” said MFT ESP chapter president Shaun Laden. “[This] agreement will allow some educators to quit their second and third jobs, more educators will be able to afford to stay at Minneapolis Public Schools, and most importantly our students will have more stable schools.” 

“These historic agreements include significant wage increases for ESP and nation-leading protections for teachers of color, including exemptions from the excess and layoff process and more. In addition to improving our students’ learning conditions by adding more counselors, social workers, nurses, and specialists, this strike also helped set the conditions for significant change within MPS and how it approaches its work. Union leaders recognize that there is more work to do and this is just the beginning of turning around the Minneapolis Public Schools and are committed to continuing this work in the months and years to come,” the union said in a statement after the agreement was ratified. 

Striking workers are leading the way and we must follow them – there’s still a long way to go. We’re proud to stand strong with educators and workers around the world who are taking collective action to improve their lives, take on the status quo, and lift up our communities.  

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