Tentative agreement reached to end Minneapolis educators' strike
Counting Friday’s canceled classes, the strike has kept more than 30,000 students out of school for 14 days.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minneapolis Public Schools and its educators' union say they've reached a tentative contract agreement to end the strike that's kept thousands of students out of school for more than two weeks.
Classes remain canceled Friday, but the district reported just after 4 a.m. that it “looks forward to welcoming students and staff back to school on Monday, March 28, pending a Minneapolis Federation of Teachers membership vote.”
Soon after, the union released a statement saying "these historic agreements contain important wins for our students and the safe and stable schools they deserve. These deals are what 4,500 MFT members went on strike for. ... It is important to note that major gains were made on pay for education support professionals, protections for educators of color, class size caps and mental health supports."
“We walked out united to change the trajectory of MPS and ensure that educators have a greater say in how we do our work. This too has been achieved and will have impacts that improve our district for years to come.”
The union said its members are expected to vote on the tentative contracts over the weekend.
There were no immediate details on specific terms of the tentative agreements. The district said it would be releasing more information at a news conference later in the morning. Union leaders are planning to speak more in the early afternoon.
The strike — the first by Minneapolis teachers since 1970 — started March 8, with educators pushing for higher wages and limits on class sizes, among other demands. The district had long maintained it could not afford to meet those demands.
Earlier this week, the two sides had continued to appear far apart — with the district saying it had released “last, best and final” offers, and the union accusing the district of walking away from negotiations.
But both sides had indicated Thursday that there had been significant progress toward a compromise — with the deal then announced early Friday.
Counting Friday’s canceled classes, the strike has kept more than 30,000 students out of school for 14 days. District officials have said there likely will be a need to add extra days to the school year in June, to make up for the missed time.