St. Paul teachers, supporters to rally at schools Thursday

  • Article by: ANTHONY LONETREE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 28, 2014 - 9:22 PM

Goal is to push for a new contract, with union and district in mediation.

A week after Anoka-Hennepin teachers moved to strengthen their hand in contract talks, St. Paul teachers are turning again to community members to help promote their cause.

Teachers, students and supporters plan to rally and walk into schools across the city Thursday to draw attention to contract proposals aimed at improving teaching and learning conditions in the district, the St. Paul Federation of Teachers said Tuesday.

About a year ago, the union had called upon parents and community members to help assemble its proposals, later packaged along with supporting materials into a 34-page document titled, “The Schools St. Paul Children Deserve.”

The union and the district are in mediation and last week reached tentative agreement on three bargaining points, including the parent-teacher home visits that have drawn national attention to the union. The two sides have tentatively agreed on 10 issues, the district reported on its website.

The union initially pitched contract changes in 29 areas. Key provisions left to negotiate include efforts to reduce class sizes and expand preschool opportunities, as well as language involving wages and benefits. The district said the average pay for the 3,300 teachers is about $68,000.

In a statement Mary Cathryn Ricker, the union’s president, said: “We started our negotiation work with families, students and community members. It is only natural to continue that.”

Anoka-Hennepin teachers recently agreed to stop doing work after hours, also known as a “work-to-rule” action.

Anthony Lonetree • 651-925-5036

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