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St. Paul teachers reach deal; Minneapolis teachers go on strike

Plus: Minneapolis City Council postpones action on pay raises, payouts for city cops; Minnesota High School League outlines plans to address racist conduct; Brooklyn Park censures city council member; and more.

teacher's desk
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Josh Verges writes in the Pioneer Press: “St. Paul Public Schools reached a contract agreement with its teachers union Monday night, just minutes before the district planned to call off classes Tuesday. ‘Strike avoided. Deal is reached,’ the St. Paul Federation of Educators declared on Twitter. … The district gave no details of the agreement, which was announced two and a half hours after Minneapolis teachers and education service professionals said they would strike on Tuesday. The St. Paul union, however, said the agreement includes ‘class size language and caps, increased mental health supports, guaranteed recess time for students, one-time recognition payments … and increased compensation, particularly for educational assistants.’”

In the Star Tribune, Mara Klecker writes: “Minneapolis teachers and educational support professionals will go on strike Tuesday, and all classes will be canceled. Union leaders announced the walkout Monday evening, saying they have been unable to reach an agreement with Minneapolis Public Schools. They will begin picketing outside schools Tuesday morning. … Shortly after the union’s announcement, Minneapolis schools notified families of its 28,700 students that all classes, from pre-K through 12th grade, would be canceled during the strike. Varsity athletics will continue, but other after-school activities are called off.”

A KSTP-TV story by Josh Skluzacek says, “Monday afternoon, Minneapolis City Council members decided to postpone action on a tentative agreement that would give pay raises and $7,000 in payouts to Minneapolis police officers. The council’s Policy and Government Oversight Committee was scheduled to talk about the agreement but opted to postpone that until its next meeting on March 22 so the committee members have more time to review it.”

WCCO-TV’s Carline Cummings reports: “A lead lawmaker in the Minnesota House expressed confidence that his proposal to legalize sports gambling in-person at the state’s casinos and online will pass this year and get the necessary support from tribal nations, key stakeholders that have pushed back on the idea before. The legislation would form new gaming compacts with the tribes — in addition to the current gaming compact — which would operate mobile versions in partnership with commercial operators, said Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids.”

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Also in the Star Tribune, Christopher Snowbeck says,UCare is planning to bid on a contract that would let the Minneapolis-based health plan begin managing care for a large group of beneficiaries in Iowa’s Medicaid program. If successful, the move would expand the nonprofit insurer’s service area beyond its current health plan offerings in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Iowa started hiring private, managed-care companies to administer coverage for Medicaid beneficiaries in 2016.”

The Forum News Service’s Alex Derosier writes: “The Minnesota State High School League, which assists with athletics and fine arts programs for more than 240,000 students at 500 member schools across the state, said it is working with 10 other organizations to create a code of conduct and provide resources to schools seeking to address bullying and discrimination. The League outlined its plans to address racist conduct to state lawmakers at a House Education Committee Hearing on Monday. Highly public incidents of discrimination and bullying tied to school athletics have affected schools across the state in recent months, ranging from jeers at sporting events to alleged discrimination within teams.”

KSTP-TV’s Eric Chaloux reports: “The Brooklyn Park City Council voted to censure Council Member Boyd Morson on Monday evening. …An independent investigation alleged that Morson violated the city’s respectful workplace policy and code of conduct in his treatment of a female city employee. The investigation, which was conducted by a law firm hired by the city manager, found that Morson subjected the employee to ‘unwelcome physical touch when he stood behind her chair, bent over her chair, and whispered into her ear while rubbing the back of her shoulders and neck.’ … Morson said in an interview Monday with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the allegations raised in the report are ‘not true.’”

Christa Lawler reports in the Star Tribune: “A moose possibly struggling with a neurological disorder rammed a logger’s truck and charged at least one other vehicle in northern Minnesota before state DNR officers tracked it down south of Eveleth and euthanized it last week. … It was taken to the University of Minnesota’s veterinary lab, according to Penny Backman, Minnesota DNR area wildlife supervisor. The moose will be studied to determine what caused its abnormal behavior. Backman said officials believe it could be a tumor, an abscess or maybe brain worm.”

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