St Paul teachers reach tentative contract agreement

Publish Date
SPFE Information Pickett

Teachers have reached a tentative agreement with St Paul Public Schools (SPPS) less than a week before educators were set to strike. St. Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE) teachers and support staff will learn more about the contract specifics March 7 and will vote later to approve or disapprove the contract.    

Several MAPE locals had been preparing to support SPFE members by “adopting” local schools. “Educators working in St. Paul schools want what we all want – good schools where all kids can succeed, decent working conditions, access to affordable health care and wages that keep up with ever-growing inflation,” Region 6 Director Nate Hierlmaier said. “Unfortunately, the St. Paul Public Schools district had prioritized raising administration salaries and shifting health insurance premiums to workers.” 

St. Paul is home to Minnesota’s second-largest school district with more than 33,000 students across 69 schools.     

“MAPE Local 601 is supporting SPFE because we realize that their struggle is our struggle and our ability to stand up for ourselves will only be strengthened by standing up with others. SPFE has shown us the common good connection between working conditions and student learning conditions extends to our work,” Hierlmaier added.  

Teachers on information picket line

MAPE had loaned three organizers to SPFE and the Board of Directors had begun discussions about other ways to support the teachers and support staff if they went on strike. “My two children attend public school in St. Paul, and I witness firsthand the dedication of their teachers in educating students. We support one another because our struggles are interconnected. The unique strength granted to workers is their ability to have a say in their working conditions. This privilege exists because unions have waged battles for it – without unions, workers are deprived of choice,” MAPE President Megan Dayton said.  

In the coming days, the Coalition Workgroup will be working with our SPFE siblings to share what they learned from their preparation to help members become strike-ready to get the contracts they deserve.