Minnesota teachers prepare walkouts for better wages

Across the Twin Cities metro this week, teachers are digging in their heels in their push for better pay.

"This is a priorities issue. They are spending more in different places, but it’s not on our kids and that is unacceptable," Minneapolis Federation of Teachers President Greta Callahan told FOX 9. "We’re asking for an 8.5% increase in the first year, and 7.5% increase in the second year… the district has yet to give a salary proposal to either of our unions."

Callahan believes the district has the money for the raises, but is instead overspending in other areas while her colleagues leave for better-paying jobs in neighboring districts.

This week, MFT members plan to begin "Walk Out Wednesdays" at 72 sites in the district, wherein educators only work the hours they are contractually paid to work.

It’s the same story in Robbinsdale, "we were told the district will not negotiate any longer with us," special education assistant Christina Anderson told FOX 9.

Before winter break, bargaining units were given notice that all negotiations would pause because of uncertainty regarding the school system’s budget. 

"We want to work with them, but we don’t have the opportunity right now," special education assistant Jessica Gleason added.

Now teachers and assistants plan to demonstrate on Wednesday, outside of the Education Service Center, while a closed session school board meeting takes place to discuss negotiation strategy.

Both teachers unions have filed for mediation.

On Tuesday, neither school district provided comment on these situations.