Minneapolis teachers ratify contract

  • Updated: March 29, 2014 - 9:36 PM

Minneapolis teachers and service professionals have ratified a contract agreement with the district that includes pay raises and agreements related to class size and testing issues, their union said Saturday.

The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers tallied results Saturday morning after voting closed at 11:59 p.m. Friday. The contract drew 66 percent support from the voters. Those casting ballots made up 62 percent of the union’s membership.

“This is a contract that is good for Minneapolis students and the professionals who serve them,” said federation President Lynn Nordgren.

The two-year pact, which covers the current and the 2014-15 school years, gives teachers and other professionals raises of about 2 percent per year.

“Teachers spend around $1,000 out of pocket each year to support their work with students and put in many long hours past their 40-hour workweek,” Nordgren said. “This modest raise is a thank you for helping make it through the rough financial times in our state and district and for the multiple contributions made to students. It is well-deserved.”

The agreement also includes a class-size target of 18 students for grades K-3 in high-priority schools, as well as a commitment from the district to bring all class sizes and caseloads down over time, the union said. It also sets the stage for a reduction in standardized testing and closer alignment of tests with curriculum.

The agreement was reached at the beginning of March after nine months of talks. The school board is expected to approve it at its next meeting.

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