St. Paul teachers, school district reach tentative agreement

Negotiators for the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers and Saint Paul Public Schools have reached a tentative agreement on their 2013-2015 labor contract, the union announced on its website Friday morning.

The agreement, which came after a 24-hour mediation session, includes several key provisions:

  • the means for ensuring consistency and predictability in class sizes
  • the appropriate role and higher quality of standardized student assessments
  • the maintenance and expansion of high quality early learning opportunities
  • several other issues, such as school redesign, National Board Certification, positive behavior and intervention supports for students, and greater family involvement.

“Though this has been a long and difficult process, both parties learned just how passionate we both are about the education of St. Paul’s students,” said Superintendent Valeria Silva. “I’m pleased that this tentative agreement strengthens the partnership between the school district and our teachers.”

Said Saint Paul Federation of Teachers President, Mary Cathryn Ricker, “I am inspired by the way SPFT educators, parents, students and community members advocated together. I am also grateful for the commitment of our bargaining team, the district’s bargaining team, and the Board of Education to making progress for the schools our students deserve.”

Both parties thanked the state Bureau of Mediation Services for its assistance.

The new contract also includes a wage/benefit package for 2013-2015.

Details will be announced to the public once St. Paul Federation of Teachers members and school board members have been briefed. The union will hold a membership meeting Monday to discuss details of the tentative agreement, but the strike authorization vote scheduled for Feb. 24 has been canceled. The union has also canceled its information meetings previously scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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