WEST ST. PAUL (AP) -- Schools in the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan district reopened Friday despite a strike by 230 bus drivers, food service workers and teachers' assistants.
The workers took to the picket lines Thursday after failing to agree with the district on wages and benefits. School was canceled for one day as district administrators and teachers geared up for Friday.
"We have to do this," said Michelle Hessler, a bus driver, as she walked the picket line outside Henry Sibley High School on Thursday. "It's the only way they're going to settle things down."
Pickets appeared outside all of the district's seven schools.
"This wasn't a flip decision to strike," said Vicki Baker, a bus driver who has worked 18 years in the district. All three of the striking units are part of Service Employees International Union 284.
No new talks were scheduled. Superintendent John Longtin said he'd be ready to meet if "there are new proposals to hear" from the union.
Anticipating the problems caused by the lack of bus service, Longtin said the district's elementary and middle schools would be open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day to offer before and after-school supervised care.
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