Educators for Excellence-Minnesota Reacts to St. Paul Federation of Educators' Vote to Strike
February 21 (St. Paul) — Educators for Excellence-Minnesota (E4E-Minnesota), a teacher-led organization with more than 850 St. Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) union members, reacts to the decision to strike:
“The teachers I’ve talked with want to be in their classrooms with their students, but ultimately their concern for their most vulnerable students led them to take this step to vote to approve a strike,” said Madaline Edison, Executive Director of E4E-Minnesota. “While the district clearly does have serious financial constraints, it is in times like these that it is all the more important that we ensure our dollars reach those who most need it. State leaders also have a responsibility here to fully fund our schools, so they can serve the needs of all students, and in particular students living in poverty.”
The Voices from the Classroom teacher survey, released on January 22, 2020, explores Minneapolis and St. Paul teachers’ perspectives on classroom resources, teacher compensation and circumstances under which they would consider striking. Key findings include:
Minneapolis and St. Paul teachers on classroom resources and teacher compensation:
- Just 38% say it is very accurate that their schools have the materials they need for effective instruction. Similarly, 77% say inequitable access to classroom supplies and resources is a problem within their district.
- 64% report having worked a second job in order to make ends meet.
- Teachers overwhelmingly favor financial incentives for those teachers taking on leadership positions (93%), in hard-to-staff schools (90%) and specializing in hard-to-fill subjects (86%).
The circumstances under which Minneapolis and St. Paul teachers who say they are “likely” to strike, including:
- Reduction in your retirement benefits or pension contribution (79%)
- Increase in class sizes (72%)
- Reduction in your benefits (non-retirement) (71%)
- Lack of support services for students (67%)
- Lack of resources (55%)
- Insufficient pay raise (53%)
The survey questionnaire was developed by 10 E4E member teachers from across the United States. The instrument was written and administered by Gotham Research Group, an independent research firm, and conducted online from November 4 through November 15, 2019, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 full-time, public school teachers and an additional sample of 60 teachers in Minneapolis and St. Paul.