Leaders of the St. Paul teachers union have scheduled a strike vote for Monday, Feb. 24 in one of the state's largest school districts.
The St. Paul Federation of Teachers has been in contract negotiations with district officials since May. Both sides say they've made progress, but sticking points include teacher compensation, class sizes and the amount of standardized testing done in the district.
Union president Mary Catherine Ricker says discussion of a potential strike shows teachers are frustrated over the negotiation process.
"I think it says we haven't made progress on the priorities like we know we can," she said.
If the union's 3,200 members vote in favor of a strike, union leadership would then need to approve the strike and alert the St. Paul Public Schools of their intent to strike 10 days before any labor action could occur.
If a strike occurs, classes would close down for the duration of the walkout.
St. Paul Public Schools spokesperson Toya Stewart Downey said a strike would affect the lives of thousands of students.
"Any day lost, particularly after we lost five full classroom days in January due to cold weather, could prove detrimental to many SPPS students," Stewart Downey said.
District officials say they're committed to negotiating with teachers, but say the union's demands would cost as much as $150 million.
The last time Minnesota teachers went on strike was in 2005 in the Crosby-Ironton district.
Union officials will hold a series of informational meetings in the days leading up to the vote. The time and place of the vote has not yet been set.