EXCLUSIVE: St. Paul Public Schools Send Layoff Notices to Teaching Assistants

In an apparent attempt to pit workers against workers  St. Paul Public Schools (SPPS)  sent a layoff notice to union-represented Teaching Assistants. The notice, obtained by Workday, explicitly ties the layoffs to the St. Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) strike.

“I am writing to inform you that as a result of the current strike of St. Paul Federation of Educators you will be placed on layoff status. The purpose of this communication is to notify you that should the strike continue, your last day of employment will be March 23rd, 2020.  Pursuant to the layoff conditions set forth in the 2016-2019 agreement between Saint Paul Public Schools and Teaching Assistants, Article 14.1, this is the official notice of your layoff, which will be effective March 24th, 2020.  This letter may be used for purposes of applying for unemployment compensation benefits.  Unemployment compensation information is available at https://www.uimn.org or 651-296-3644.”

Teamster local 320 represents the teaching assistants and stated that “we stand in solidarity with SPFE. Our members are picketing before and after work and on their unpaid breaks.” Teamsters are also contributing $1,000 to the SPFE strike fund.

Filiberto Nolasco Gomez is a former union organizer and former editor of Minneapolis based Workday Minnesota, the first online labor news publication in the state. Filiberto focused on longform and investigative journalism. He has covered topics including prison labor, labor trafficking, and union fights in the Twin Cities.

19 thoughts on “EXCLUSIVE: St. Paul Public Schools Send Layoff Notices to Teaching Assistants

  1. I was just laid off, too. I’m a data analyst for the district. The lay-off sucks. My only comment is to say that it’s not targeted at TA’s.

  2. The number of grammatical errors in this article make me rhinknneither the teachers nor the TAs have been doing their jobs.

  3. They are mad that these hard working men and women are standing up for themselves. They are doing nothing but making matters worse for then schools, teachers and the students.

    If the schools need these workers to ensure the classrooms run smoothly and for children/teachers to have the assistance needed during the day WHY LAY THEM OFF?

    Retaliation right, isn’t that a law suit? Playing with peoples lives so the rich can get richer… Bottom line it’s more about the money than it is about education… teachers care and can’t you see this is all for and about the children crazy peoples 🤦‍♀️. This is truly America.

  4. This is a district that has resorted to bullying and scare tactics to pit teachers and support staff against each other’s. I stand with the teachers and support them and now I have a greater understanding of what they are up against with a district that does not listen and resorts to underhandedness. This is not helping the school district at all in fact it’s bringing to light what the teachers are fighting for and against. A district that sinks so low as to bully employees and the losers are #thestudents! I guess the Saint Paul school district thinks that if the man in the White House can bully everyone that they can too!!!! What a terrible example they are setting for all the students and staff! The teachers, support staff , bus drivers, and custodians all need our support and especially the students. I support all of you!!!!!!!

  5. I think this is so underhanded to put the teachers and support staff against each other by bullying and scare tactics. It shines a light as to what the teachers are fighting for and against! As a Saint Paul resident and tax payer I support the teachers and support staff! It shows a light on the kind of people that are running the school district when they resort to dividing groups against each other. I guess they think that if the man in the house of white can continually bully people that they can to. A terrible example they are setting for the students in the district! Shame on all of them !!!!!!}

    • The School district has been doing this at all level of union contracts for at least three or more contracts . They seem to run out of money just as the contracts are up for a vote . The district should all be out and about helping in all ways possible even the superintendent.

  6. This is directed at EA’s as well. Discovery Club staff all received it. Even the ones who are not on strike and are working during the strike so that students at least have a place to go during the day. There was also a second portion to that email stating that if they were laid off they were not guarenteed their jobs back and if they did they might have to switch positions/sites and if they say no to that position/site they will not be employed with SPPS.

  7. To the teacher’s assistance, please continue to take a stand.
    These bullying tactics are such a low point for the union.
    Trying to silence those who are making efforts to create change for the better of St. Paul as a whole is really appalling.
    St. Paul teacher’s deserve better, it’s such a shame that the district does not acknowledge that.
    The students deserve quality teacher’s; the district can’t and won’t keep quality teacher’s if they are not being treated with basic respect and paid adequately.

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