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St. Paul school board to vote Tuesday on teachers union contract

15 April 2022

The St. Paul school board on Tuesday will consider the new contracts district leaders negotiated with the teachers union, which boost costs by about $8 million over two years.

That amount includes agreements with three different St. Paul Federation of Educators bargaining units: teachers, educational assistants and school and community service professionals.

St. Paul district officials released the costs of the new contracts in the school board agenda posted Friday. Earlier in the week, district leaders in Minneapolis said their new employee agreements will cost an additional $80 million to implement over two years.

The tentative agreement that St. Paul Public Schools educators ratified in late March guarantees a 2% increase in teacher pay and a starting wage of $18.82 for education support professionals this fall. The wage floor for those employees is currently $15.94.

The new contracts, if approved, will also award bonuses of up to $3,000 for teachers and education support professionals for the last two academic years — $1,500 for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years.

The agreement caps first-, second- and third-grade class sizes at 25 in high-poverty schools and 27 across the rest of the district. That’s one fewer than the previous contract. Ninth-grade classes are capped at 35 in high-poverty schools and 36 elsewhere.

District leaders also pledged to hire six more psychologists and increase St. Paul Public Schools’ contributions to employee health insurance plans and retirement annuity.

In Minneapolis, the recently settled contract includes retroactive increases and bonuses due to educators for the current school year, according to district officials.

St. Paul Public Schools spokesman Kevin Burns said the district’s new contract does not include retroactive pay increases.

He said the board had given the district administrators parameters for the negotiations for the new two-year contracts.

“These three contracts, as well as the others that have been tentatively approved, have all been settled within these financial parameters,” Burns said.

St. Paul, the state’s second-largest district, reached a deal with its teachers union the night before educators were set to go on strike. Minneapolis teachers and education support professionals picketed for three weeks.

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