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Mediation session set for St. Paul teacher contract talks

  • Blog Post by: Anthony Lonetree
  • October 7, 2013 - 9:21 PM

Negotiators for the St. Paul Public Schools and the union representing its teachers are expected to meet for the first time in a bargaining session with state mediators on Oct. 24, the union said Monday.

The closed-door talks would come more than a month after district negotiators walked out of a Sept. 19 public bargaining session, saying they were petitioning to take the talks to mediation.

Matt Mohs, the district's chief academic officer, said then that while the move was coming early in the negotiations process, administrators had concluded the talks were unproductive and that the union's wide-ranging "wish list" would bankrupt the district.

Many of the union's requests, including a proposed opting out of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, fell outside of the bargaining process, the district argued.

But Denise Rodriguez, vice president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers, told the Star Tribune last summer that the two sides had negotiated contract language in the past that involved provisions that the district now claimed were matters of managerial policy.

Last Thursday, union members and supporters went door-knocking across the city to explain the federation's bargaining priorities. More than 500 signatures were collected from people supporting the union's efforts, Monday's contract update stated.

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