Teachers union members approve contract agreement

Minneapolis Public Schools

Minneapolis Public Schools teachers have approved a 2017-19 contract agreement between the district and their union, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers.

The agreement is pending approval by the School Board on April 10.

“We are pleased that the contract agreement is able to honor our teachers within the amount budgeted by MPS and its Board of Education,” Superintendent Ed Graff said in a statement. “We look forward to finishing the year strong for our students.”

The new contract increases the teachers’ salary schedule by 0.5 percent each year in 2017-18 and 2018-19, with the first increase being retroactive to the start of this school year. The district says the new contract will increase overall teacher pay by about 2 percent after factoring in increases for teachers’ years of service and educational attainment.

It says the total two-year increase amounts to about $15 million, after factoring in health insurance, dental insurance, critical illness and a retirement incentive. Some of those factors are contractually automatic and were previously negotiated.

According to a spokesman, the district budgeted for the cost increase, so it will not affect the district’s projected $33 million deficit for 2018-19.

The contract includes memorandums of agreement that protect teachers trained through the district’s Grow Your Own program, support immigrant staff members and allow for an early retirement option. The district says that option will likely mitigate the loss of less senior teachers of color.

View a copy of the agreement at mpls.k12.mn.us/labor_negotiations.