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Poverty Wages Push Thousands to Strike in Minneapolis

The twin city public school teachers are demanding a livable wage for their educational support professionals.

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Over 4,000 Minneapolis Public Schools educators are on strike. It’s Minneapolis teachers’ first strike in over 50 years, and the largest strike currently occurring in the United States. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals Local 59  is demanding a livable income for educators and “safe and stable” schools for students. a livable income “safe and stable” schools and a livable income for their colleagues.

Educational support professionals (ESPs) in Minneapolis make as little as $24,000 per year and are struggling to survive. Many ESPs report working multiple jobs and several are homeless. 

“I do not know one ESP I work with that does not have a second job,” says Tequila Laramee, an associate educator in the district. 

Currently, ESPs earn $24,00 per year. They are demanding $35,000 annually. Additional demands include increased mental health services for students, hiring of additional psychologists and social workers, and significant pay raises for teachers.

These educators are unionized with Minneapolis Federation of Teachers 59, as a part of the American Federation of Teachers.

Those looking to support striking workers can donate to their strike fund here: https://workingpartnerships.betterworld.org/campaigns/minneapolis-federation-teachers 

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