Before the St. Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) went on strike, letters from Kenyatta McCarty, Executive Director Human Resources for St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS) were emailed to bargaining groups not represented by SPFE. Two of these letters were obtained by Workday Minnesota and misrepresent or distort the bargaining process and employee rights while a picket is active.
In a February 26th letter, SPPS explains its perspective on negotiations with SPFE.
“Throughout the bargaining and mediation process, the District has offered SPFE employees the same level of wage and benefit increase offered to other employee bargaining groups. “
This statement overlooks SPFE’s demands for additional resources for students.
Union president Nick Faber stated that:
“Educators want to be with their students. But they also want their students to enter schools that are supported and have the resources our kids need to thrive,” he said. “St. Paul is filled with beautiful, brilliant students. And sometimes, just like all of us as adults, they need help. And right now our schools are lacking those supports.”
A March 9th note also provides instructions for “How to Cross a Picket Line.’ The guidelines do not acknowledge that an employee can participate in a picket line on unpaid break time and before and after work hours.
The section “Notify your supervisor” suggests that the strikers are likely to be aggressive and threatening,
“Notify your supervisor immediately, in writing, if you are threatened or harassed, or if strikers attempt to intimidate you because you are reporting to work.”
You can read the letters belowFeb26