St. Paul teachers, board have tentative contract agreement

  • Article by: DAAREL BURNETTE II , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 31, 2012 - 8:09 PM

Details will be not be released until officials review the proposal.

On the day that hundreds of St. Paul teachers planned to rally for their cause, their union notified them Tuesday of a tentative contract agreement with administrators.

The rally was canceled.

In a joint statement, Superintendent Valeria Silva and Mary Cathryn Ricker, president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, said they had reached an agreement Monday night that gives "attention to class size and special education students, and further strengthens the teacher support and evaluation system."

Details of the contract won't be released until the school board and the federation's executive board review the proposed contract, district spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey said.

"I'm very much looking forward to sharing this with our teachers," Ricker said about the contract's details. "I have to be honest. I get most excited about implementing these ideas we just spent four to six months talking about."

The district's teachers will hear the contract's key points in breakout sessions this week and will vote on the contract in the next two weeks, Ricker said. If approved, it will be retroactive to June 30.

Administrators and union officials agreed not to talk about negotiations until the contract was finalized.

The district, with about 37,800 students, employs about 3,400 teachers.

Dozens of districts statewide have not reached agreements with their teachers unions. Previously there was a state-imposed Jan. 15 deadline for agreements, but that was ended by the 2011 Legislature. The union and the administration in St. Paul have been negotiating since July.

Daarel Burnette II • 651-925-5032 Twitter: @DaarelStrib

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