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Anoka Hennepin Teachers Continue ‘Walk Out Wednesday,’ Rallies at School Board

Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review Editor
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ANOKA — Members of Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota have continued their campaign for a fair contract, walking out of school at the end of the contracted work day each week for “Walk Out Wednesday” and turning out in large numbers for rallies outside school board meetings, most recently December 11.

The union and the school district will enter mediation January 3.

November 13, AHEM members rallied outside the school board meeting and then presented board members with a giant-sized mock check for more than $16 million — representing the total cumulative amount of unpaid time which teachers volunteer each year. “We care deeply about our students and our community, that is why we donate so much time,” said Val Holthus, AHEM president.

Listening to the school board meeting with the overflow crowd in the hallway, 22-year district social studies teacher Jessica Askew said, “we’ve all volunteered countless hours… Those hours add up.”

Askew said the district’s lowball contract offer “was a slap in the face.”

“We want to continue to be there for the kids,” she said, “but we also need to be able to pay our mortgages and take care of our own families.”