ST. PAUL, Minn. - During a committee meeting on Tuesday the St. Paul school board discussed a resolution from Superintendent Valeria Silva which lays out a plan if teachers strike.
If a strike were approved, the plan would close all schools and cancel before and after school activities. It would also lay-off more than 2,000 non-striking employees. Silva said the strike would also extend the school year and delay graduation for high school seniors.
Union president Mary Cathryn Ricker, who has two children of her own that attend school in the district, says the last thing she wants is a strike but argues they have to stand their ground on class sizes, support staff, reducing testing and wages and benefits.
"I want to give parents dependable class sizes. I want to be able to look parents in the eye and tell them that we are doing everything we can to make sure our students are college, career and citizen ready," Ricker said.
The union's proposals will cost the district $150 million, according to Silva. She says that's too much.
"We cannot negotiate a contract that we cannot afford. I know I won't do it. Neither will the board," Silva said.
Ricker said the union has offered to stagger the implementation of their proposals several times but the district has not offered compromises.