Minneapolis teachers will picket again as negotiations continue on Day 17

Thursday marks Day 17 of the Minneapolis Teachers’ Strike, and members of the Minneapolis Teachers’ Federation (MFT) plan to hit picket lines again throughout the district.

It comes as Minnesota Governor Tim Walz also weighs in on the standoff between the district and union members, saying public education needs more state funding to help those negotiations at the to come up.

Walz also encouraged Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) to conclude negotiations.

“My opinion on this, that we are really close. I encourage all parties to see this, today is the day. And to try to get things done,” Walz said.

The governor continued to support educational support professionals, saying he had many family members in education, and added that they needed to be paid more.

Walz also lobbied for his budget proposal, which includes more money for public education.

MFT members showed up at district headquarters on Wednesday to negotiate, but district leaders have already said their last and best offer on Tuesday will be their last.

However, district officials said in a statement to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that they are willing to work with the union on this latest offer.

Disgruntled parents are also speaking out and urging the district to come to an agreement so the kids can go back to school and they can go back to work.

“Ever since I was in school, we have been fighting for the same things, from some of the same people. So I think it’s time to bring those people out and recruit new ones who are for the community and for those kids,” said Terrance, a local father of children.

The MPS’s latest contract offer included priorities demanded by the union, such as smaller class sizes, higher salaries and social workers in every school, but the union says the pay increases don’t go far enough.

Union leaders plan to hold a rally outside the Davis Center Thursday from 4-6 p.m. and say they will provide a briefing at 10:30 a.m.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will continue to provide updates on this developing story.

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