The Minneapolis Public Schools and its teachers have reached a tentative contract agreement, according to a letter from Superintendent Ed Graff to district staff that was obtained by the Star Tribune.
Sunday night's mediation sessions between the negotiators for the state's third-largest school system and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers broke a deadlock that followed numerous talks over 10 months.
Graff said in a statement that he is pleased the district found a way to honor teachers with the realities of building a financially sustainable future for the district.
"I am confident that the terms of the agreement create the conditions for success for both MPS teachers and students," he said.
The federation's executive board will review the tentative contract agreement Tuesday. Details will be made public if teachers approve it. They will vote March 29 and 30.
"Even though the tentative agreement has been reached it doesn't mean that we can't continue to make it better," said Michelle Wiese, president of the federation, the union that represents the district's 3,521 teachers. "We will continue to fight for the schools all our students deserve."
Union members and supporters staged a rally at the Feb. 13 school board meeting after negotiations had stalled. District and union negotiators had seven public negotiation meetings and 11 full-day mediation sessions. The teachers' contract expired in June 2017.
The school district is wrestling with a $33 million budget deficit for the 2018-19 school year and decreasing enrollment. The union is pushing for pay raises, smaller class sizes and a $15 minimum wage for all employees. The financially strapped district is preparing to pitch an extra $18 million referendum to voters in November, which will bring Minneapolis up to a cap of $92 million in operating funds.
The district said it would have cost about $161 million to fulfill the union's proposal. It argued that $77.3 million in proposed expenses shouldn't be handled through contract bargaining because they are not typically listed under the terms and conditions of employment.