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Saint Paul educators end strike, make gains in contract settlement

By staff |
March 14, 2020
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St Paul teachers on the picket line.
St Paul teachers on the picket line. (Fight Back! News/Staff)

St. Paul, MN - Schools were closed for three days this week as teachers and other educators, who are members of the St. Paul Federation of Educators, went on strike. Each day nearly 100% of the teachers spent from 7 to 11 a.m. on the picket lines in front of their schools, and held large rallies and marches in the afternoons in which thousands of educators, students, family members and community supporters turned out to show that they support the fight for access to good schools and mental health care for all students.

If needed, the St. Paul Federation of Educators members were ready to fight on as long as it took and were only growing stronger. The school district called the educators back to the table on March 12 for the bargaining session that ultimately led to the contract settlement early Friday morning. As the coronavirus pandemic looms in Minnesota, talks were hastened and additional pressure was added, forcing the school district to move faster to reach a deal with the educators.

In the new tentative agreement, the teachers and other educators won more social workers, nurses, psychologists and multilingual staff. They also won workloads that are more manageable and prep time for educational assistants who are interpreters, as well as wage increases.

The St. Paul Federation of Educators membership will vote at a later date on whether to accept and ratify the tentative agreement that has been reached. Educators will be returning to work as of 1 p.m. on Friday, March 13.