Watch CBS News

Minneapolis Educators Strike, Day 16: Negotiations Appear Stalled After District Gives 'Final Offer'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minneapolis school district says it's made its best and final offer to get educators back in the classroom after more than two weeks of being on strike.

Wednesday marked the 16th day of the strike, and yet again teachers were picketing outside the district offices. As of late Wednesday night, there seems to be little movement between both sides.

While on strike, the educators are not getting paid. But because of backpay, this Friday's paycheck will be the first they've seen since the start of the strike.

On Wednesday morning, picketers dealt with another day of rain and snow outside Justice Page Middle School in south Minneapolis. The educators say they're inspired to continue picketing because of everyone's commitment. The picketers demonstrate every morning, even on weekends, and during bad weather.

The educators say they are receiving financial support amid the strike, not only from the union but from strangers offering food and gift cards. Even students have given out gift cards, teachers say.

"To be frank, there's a lot of frustration that the district isn't doing what it needs to do to make teachers' salaries competitive and make class sizes what they need to be," said Ben Polk, an ESP at Justice Page. "The fact that we've gotten some wins for ESPs is amazing, but it's still frustrating. It shouldn't have to take this long."

While both sides made progress toward an agreement over the weekend, there remains significant distance in negotiations. As of Tuesday night, the district says its final offer is still $167 million apart from the union's proposal.

The district says its proposal offers a smaller class size cap in the contract language and salary increases for ESPs and teachers. Additionally, the district says there's language to better protect teachers of color and that there'll be full-time social workers for each class.

Meanwhile, educators say they will continue to picket daily until their demands are met.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.