SEIU Local 284, the Union that represents 500 Minneapolis Public School employees who do custodial and food service work, joined the calls supporting the Minneapolis School Board plan to cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department following the killing of George Floyd. The MPD has been contracted by the public schools to provide school resource officers since 1967.
Ahead of the vote, SEIU Local 284 Executive Director Kelly Gibbons released the following statement:
“SEIU members in Minneapolis and across our state believe in making a future where all families – no matter our race, zip code, job or wealth – have public schools where our students feel safe and have the resources they need to thrive. But in Minneapolis it has long been clear that Black families aren’t able to feel safe from the people who are supposed to serve and protect us. The killing of George Floyd last week has made clear for anyone who had any doubts that our system is broken and needs to be changed. A positive first step to enacting change in our public schools would be for the Minneapolis Public Schools to cut ties with the Minneapolis Police Department. Not only will this make our schools safer and more welcoming, but imagine what kind of community-driven projects we could fund with this money to actually help and support our students. We are in full support of MPS cutting ties with MPD and believe this can be a first step towards building a better future for all students in the Minneapolis Public Schools.”
The day after Local 284’s announcement, the Board voted unanimously to adopt the plan to sever ties with MPD. In addition, SEIU Local 284 will be joining with students, parents and other school employee union members over the summer to find new ways to provide public safety in their schools.