News & Events
We are outraged that the justice system failed today, yet again. Today’s verdict serves as a reminder that the work toward racial justice must continue.
Mr. Castile was a beloved part of the J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School. The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers is committed to supporting the staff and community members who are deeply impacted by today’s verdict.
We are keeping Philando Castile’s family in our thoughts and prayers.
Rest in power, Philando
Congratulations to SPFT members Marley Wood, Stephanie Bijoch, Sarah Pflugh, Lya Jordan and Lindsay Jenson for receiving Classroom Technology Grants from the Education Minnesota Foundation for Excellence in Teaching. The Foundation offers grants for classroom teachers (all levels, all disciplines), post-secondary faculty, education support professionals and nonprofit organizations that share our goals. The scholarship is offered for licensed teachers obtaining National Board Certification.
For more information, or to apply for a classroom grant, visit http://www.educationminnesota.org/resources/grants/foundation.
Last night the COPE committee made their endorsements for mayor and school board. This process included an in-depth questionnaire, our first ever open screening, on Saturday, June 3 and collecting feedback from our members. We are excited to announce that Saint Paul Federation of Teachers is endorsing Melvin Carter III for mayor and John Brodrick, Jeannie Foster, and Marny Xiong for school board.
Melvin Carter is a proven progressive advocate. Starting with his time on the city council, and continuing through his service as Executive Director of Governor Dayton’s Children Cabinet, Melvin has made strong public schools the center of his work. He has a powerful vision for the city of Saint Paul, including his commitment to using PILOTs as a dedicated funding mechanism for public education, and we look forward to partnering with him to achieve a more equitable Saint Paul.
John Brodrick has been a longtime champion of public education in Saint Paul Public Schools. As a former teacher himself, he knows the challenges that educators and students face every day in our classrooms. He is willing to ask hard questions and stand up for the underdog. Brodrick also brings invaluable institutional knowledge to the Board of Education. We are excited to continue working with him and once again endorse him for Board of Education.
Jeannie Foster’s background in early childhood education combined with her experience as a parent and grandparent in Saint Paul Public Schools gives her a unique perspective on education in Saint Paul. Jeannie knows our schools and is a passionate advocate for our students. She earned our endorsement last year when running in a special election, and we are thrilled to be able to endorse her once again for Board of Education.
Marny Xiong is a strong progressive and an experienced community organizer at heart. As a product of Saint Paul Public Schools and working in Minneapolis Public Schools, she knows what works in the system and what needs to be improved. We are enthusiastic about supporting her in her efforts in the coming months!
Please support these candidates at the city convention on June 17th and again in November. You can find our press release here.
The Saint Paul Federation of Teachers and the East Side Freedom Library are co-sponsoring a book club this summer, and we want you to join us! We will be meeting on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-8:00pm at the East Side Freedom Library (1105 Greenbrier St).
The theme for this summer’s book club is “Home.” We will be reading books about immigration, acculturation, families, refugees, housing, and poverty. Books and dates are listed below.
- June 14 – Tell Me How it Ends by Valeria Luiselli
- June 28 – City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence
- July 12 – City of Thorns (cont.) by Ben Rawlence
- July 26 – The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang
- August 2 – The Latehomecomer (cont.) by Kao Kalia Yang
- August 9 – Evicted by Matthew Desmond
- August 23 – Evicted (cont.) by Matthew Desmond
All are welcome to join us! Register here. If you register, we ask that you attend at least five of the discussions.
- Educating members on SPFT priorities,
- Identifying member concerns,
- Signing up for full membership (where applicable),
- Joining SPFT committee on political education (COPE), and
- Asking current members to recommit and sign new SPFT member cards.
Our Political Organizer, Lynne Bolton, will be leading this canvassing work. This program is slated to begin June 19, and will run for ten weeks. Previous organizing experience is NOT required. Currently SPFT members are strongly encouraged to apply.
You can find the job application here. Contact Lynne Bolton (email@example.com) if you have any questions and to apply.
The Educational Support Professional of the Year award was started in 2012 in recognition of member advocacy, involvement in the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, exceptional work with students, family and community and the enhancement of the educational support professionals in Saint Paul Public Schools.
This year, Kurt Blomberg, the Restorative Practice Coordinator at Johnson High School was presented with this award. Kurt is being honored for his work with both students and staff, implementing restorative practices both at Johnson and across the district. Congratulations!
The Mary McGough Award is the SPFT’s highest honor, awarded each year in recognition of a community member, leader or SPFT member who has contributed to the betterment of our union and our schools. In honor of Mary McGough and her many years of service, here is a listing of our past recipients:
In 2017, Governor Mark Dayton was presented with this award for his strong defense of public schools. The governor has been a longtime champion of public education and SPFT in particular. In 2013, he headlined our contract campaign kick-off. More recently, he stood up to the legislature, veto-ing a teacher licensure bill which would have lowered the standards for educators in Minnesota and standing up against vouchers. Thank you, Governor!
All teacher and ESP members who are planning to retire this year or have already retired this year can continue their union membership as a member of Education Minnesota Retired. This retired membership allows the retired member to continue to have the benefits they have enjoyed as an active member.
Membership is free if you meet the following criteria:
- You retired after September 1, 2015;
- You have been an active member of Education Minnesota for at least 10 years (does not have to be consecutive);
- You are at least 55 years old; and
- You are eligible to receive a pension.
You can join before the end of the school year at www.educationminnesota.org.
If you have any questions, please contact Sharon Kjellberg (firstname.lastname@example.org).
SPFT is looking for additional leaders to join our ambassador team. Ambassadors are SPFT leaders who train other local union leaders from across the country on how to organize and run a contract campaign through the Saint Paul Institute.
Ambassadors should either have participated as a Contract Action Team Member or be a SPFT leader (steward, PIC member, PTHV leader, APTT leader, SCIT leader, RP lead, etc) and attended open bargaining. This position is opened to any SPFT member – teacher, EA, or SCP – who fits those requirements.
The Saint Paul Institute is a partnership between NEA’s Center for Organizing, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers to train educators and union staff on organizing their members and bargaining for the common good.
Participants learn form St. Paul members – Ambassadors – who have led and participated in their own campaigns, look to other case studies for inspiration, and discuss the challenges inherent in this type of work. Teams will start the process of creating their own campaign plan and calendar during this training.
You can find the application here. If you have any questions either about the application or the Institute, email Patrick (email@example.com) or Leah (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Because of Denise Rodriguez’ retirement, as of July 1, 2017, there will be a vacancy on the Education Minnesota Governing Board for Election District C. All active SPFT members in good standing are eligible to run for this position. The filing period for the vacant position opens today, Friday, May 12, 2017, and closes Wednesday, May 17, 2017. You can find the filing form here. Please complete and submit the filing/nomination form if you are interested in serving on the Education Minnesota Governing Board as the representative from Election District C.
The timeline for this election is as follows:
Governing Board – Election District C
(Term begins July 1, 2017, and ends June 30, 2019)
May 12 – May 17: Filing period is open. Filing forms must be sent via fax, email or mail to the Office of the Elections Committee.
May 22: Ballots delivered to Election District C local president.
May 22: Election period is open.
May 24: All ballots (marked and unmarked) must be received by the Office of the Elections Committee by 4:30 p.m.
Week of May 29: Ballots counted by Elections Committee.
By June 30: Election results certified by Education Minnesota Governing Board.
Anyone interested in running for this position should note the Education Minnesota Governing Board Summer Planning Meeting July 24-26. If you are elected to the Election District C Governing Board position, you will be expected to attend.