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More than 400 Anoka-Hennepin teachers and supporters wearing red and waving signs turned out Monday night for their school board’s regular meeting.
Blaha addressed the board during open comments time. In light of previous wage concessions and improved student performance, teachers deserve more, she said. About 60 percent of Anoka-Hennepin teachers haven’t had a raise in four years, according to the union.
“It is time for serious offers that make real progress toward a settlement,” she said. “It is time to budget in a way that puts people before fund balances. It is time to recognize the significant progress we are making for our students. We are doing our part. It is time for you to do yours.”
Supporters applauded and cheered after she spoke.
Board Chairman Tom Heidemann responded with a simple “Thank you.”
St. Paul teachers reached a tentative settlement with their district last week after threatening to take a strike vote. They negotiated an 8.6 percent wage-and-benefit increase over two years. Pay increases are 2.25 percent in year one and 2 percent in year two.
In January, Anoka-Hennepin teachers turned up the pressure with a “work-to-rule” action: doing only what can be completed during the school day and is required by their contract. Teachers stopped grading papers they haven’t graded during the day, for example, or checking e-mails, tweaking lesson plans and voluntarily attending after-school events.
Staff writer Kim McGuire contributed to this report.
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