MINNEAPOLIS — Members of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) say they're ready to strike come Tuesday.
"We don’t want to be in a situation where we’re on strike," said Natasha Dockter, a Minneapolis Public Schools teacher. "But we are willing to get to that point because what we’re fighting for is so important, and our students need that."
Saturday, Dockter was one of hundreds of community members who showed up to the MFT 59 headquarters to put together 4,000 picket signs and paint canvasses to hold on the picket lines Tuesday if an agreement isn't met.
For months, the union has been in negotiations with the district over issues like higher wages, more mental health support staff and smaller class sizes.
Friday, the Minneapolis Public School District posted an update on their website regarding negotiations, saying they have "been meeting with MFT in multiple 12-hour mediation sessions this week."
Still, no deal has been struck.
"We will be ready on Tuesday to go on strike. We are in mediation up until that point, but we’re ready," Dockter said.
Saturday, several other community organizations and local unions held a press conference at MFT headquarters to publicly voice support for the union.
Cherrene Horazuk, President of AFSCME 3800, said her fellow union members will be ready to stand alongside MPS teachers on the picket lines.
"Just know that we will be there day in and day out, through the rest of bargaining," Horazuk said. "If there is a strike, we will be there on the picket lines, we will be there supporting you with food, coffee, with donuts, with pizza--all the things that come to the picket lines."
AFSCME was one of 40 organizations that signed a letter publicly supporting MFT.