St. Paul teachers reach tentative contract agreement

A teachers strike in St. Paul has been averted as negotiators for the teachers and the district reached tentative agreement after a 24-hour mediation session.

A strike vote set for Monday has been canceled. The settlement now must be approved by the teachers.

Full details of the agreement were not provided Friday morning, but according to the district, it provides for:

  • the means for ensuring consistency and predictability in class sizes
  • the appropriate role and higher quality of standardized student assessments
  • the maintenance and expansion of high-quality early-learning opportunities
  • several other issues, such as school redesign, National Board Certification, positive behavior and intervention supports for students, and greater family involvement.

The state Bureau of Mediation Services helped the two sides reach the agreement.

St. Paul Schools Superintendent Valeria S. Silva said:

“Though this has been a long and difficult process, both parties learned just how passionate we both are about the education of St. Paul’s students. I’m pleased that this tentative agreement strengthens the partnership between the school district and our teachers.”

ST. Paul Federation of Teachers President Mary Cathryn Ricker said:

“I am inspired by the way SPFT educators, parents, students and community members advocated together. I am also grateful for the commitment of our bargaining team, the district’s bargaining team, and the Board of Education to making progress for the schools our students deserve.”

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman weighed in with:

“I could not be more pleased with the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers and Saint Paul Schools on coming together to reach a final contract agreement and avoiding a strike. We know that we achieve more in partnership, and both sides have demonstrated a true commitment to working together to advance student achievement in Saint Paul. Iā€™m proud of the partnerships we have created, and truly look forward to building on our most recent progress to close the achievement gap for good.”

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