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St. Louis Teachers Start Contract Talks Today

By Hillary Wicai, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis city teachers, teacher assistants and other school staff held an
informational picket Sunday at King Tri-A School.

It's one of the 16 schools the school board closed to save money this year. Monday morning, the St. Louis Teachers and School Related Personnel Union is set to begin contract negotiations with representatives from the St. Louis public schools.

Union president Mary Armstrong says sticking points in negotiations range from job security and staffing issues to curriculum concerns to classroom discipline.

"We're still concerned about the number of schools that have been closed and the safety of those children that have been displaced and who now have to walk
through dangerous neighborhoods just to get to a bus stop," she said.

Armstrong also says she hasn't seen relations between the union and the school board this bad since more than 3,000 district employees were laid off in 1982.

"By far with the progress we've made since that time. I would say this is
affecting us much more than it did back then."

St. Louis public schools are scheduled to open September 8th.