From the superintendent

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Dear Colleagues:

As you may have seen in news reports this past weekend, the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers Executive Team has begun a process to ask its 3,200 members if they support a strike. On Monday, a union leadership meeting will be held to discuss the possibility of scheduling a strike vote.

The primary goal in contract negotiations with the teachers’ union is to agree on a contract that will be fair to St. Paul’s talented and hard-working teachers, and that will allow our school district to effectively manage within its limited financial resources.

Hopefully you have had the chance to visit our SPPS negotiations website, spps.org/workingtogether, which outlines the progress we’ve made to date – including tentative agreements on 13 of 27 remaining union proposals. Agreements have not yet been reached about class size, testing requirements, school support staff, and teacher wages and benefits.

You should know that if the teacher’s union chooses to strike, classes will be canceled for all Saint Paul Public School students for the unknown duration of the strike.

Before we reach that point, our district negotiators will continue to meet with union leadership at the negotiations table in an effort to secure a signed contract that will ensure our teachers have the resources they need to provide our students with the premier education we have promised them.

Many of the proposals the teachers’ union has brought forward during negotiations absolutely deserve attention, either at the negotiations table or another acceptable venue. At the same time, as stewards of your tax dollars, district leadership must balance the $150 million those proposals cost against other worthy efforts to make our schools stronger.

Stay warm this week as we continue to face an unseasonably cold February.

Your very proud superintendent,

Silva Signature


 

Valeria S. Silva