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Minneapolis schools, teachers union have tentative deal on two-year contract

  • Article by: STEVE BRANDT
  • Star Tribune
  • March 2, 2014 - 7:14 AM

The union representing Minneapolis teachers reached a tentative agreement on a new two-year labor contract with the school district after three consecutive days of negotiating, the two sides announced Saturday night.

No details were immediately released because contract language carrying out the intent of the agreement still needs to be written. The pact will cover the current and next school years, if it is approved by the school board and members of the union. Those votes are expected in mid-April.

“We are excited that this new contract will contribute significantly in our efforts to create conditions that will enhance and accelerate our work to improve student outcomes,” Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said in a joint news release with the union.

The sides had been negotiating since June. Talks have been closed since a state mediator was appointed in October.

Johnson has been seeking additional flexibility in the teacher workday, the ability to better influence staffing at low-performing schools and a set of partnership schools where teachers get more freedom in how the school is run while meeting expectations set by a performance contract.

“This tentative agreement will go a long way in ensuring that MPS continues to be the best place for students to grow and flourish and teachers to feel supported in the critical work they do every day with students,” said Lynn Nordgren, who led the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers negotiating team.

The Minneapolis teachers’ contract has been the most watched in the state because of attention raised by outside groups, which suggest it contains limitations that inhibit the ability of the district to address its huge achievement gap.

 

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

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