The Minneapolis public schools and its teachers union have reached a tentative labor agreement, they announced Monday.

The deal comes a little more than a week before a state-imposed deadline for teacher contract settlements. About 200 of the state's 340 school districts have settled contracts, according to Education Minnesota, the statewide teachers union.

Details of the Minneapolis contract could be available as early as Wednesday while union members and the school board go over the details of the two-year deal. The union is scheduled to meet Wednesday.

For the past five days, a mediator dashed back and forth between separate meeting rooms during contentious negotiations at the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers headquarters.

At stake besides compensation was whether teachers' seniority and tenure rights will still be a prime factor in where they work. The district wanted principals to be able to "interview and select" their own school teaching staff.

Robert Panning-Miller, the president of the 3,200-member teachers union, wrote in its newsletter last month that the district's contract offer was "weak and insulting."

At a school board meeting last month, more than 200 teachers, many wearing red union T-shirts, marched in and unceremoniously dropped several placards demanding a fair contract in front of the board dais.

Teachers have been working under the terms of the two-year contract that expired June 30.

After three days of scheduled bargaining sessions ended late Saturday, the parties agreed to meet again Sunday and Monday before striking a tentative deal.

Terry Collins • 612-673-1790