MPS Response to MFT Walkout Wednesday
Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) supports MFT’s right to collective action. It is our understanding that the walkout will occur at the end of the teacher duty day and will not directly impact students. We remain committed to negotiating a contract with MFT that recognizes the increased cost of living, while also being mindful of our responsibility to be good stewards of our limited resources - the result of systemic underfunding of public education.
In the future, it is imperative we begin bargaining sooner, including over the summer, to avoid bargaining during budget season. We tried to begin bargaining last summer but that invitation was declined by MFT.
MPS, like many districts, is facing a multi-million dollar gap due to federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (also known as COVID-19 funding) ending in September. MPS needs to reduce $90 million in spending for next year in order to remain fiscally solvent. We are presently in the midst of the budget process - determining where said reductions can be made while prioritizing the needs of students.
Any settlement with MFT will increase the amount that needs to be reduced, and so it is imperative that all District proposals are made with intention. Additionally, the District is currently negotiating agreements with seven other bargaining groups. We’ve provided one proposal and one counterproposal to MFT so far, and we look forward to forthcoming sessions to reach agreements with MFT. We invite our community to review the session summaries and watch the livestreams as we are being as open and transparent as possible.