Minneapolis education support professionals reach tentative deal a day after filing strike notice

A group of educators in Minneapolis has reached a tentative deal on a new contract one day after filing a strike notice.

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) announced the agreement for education support professionals (ESPs) on Thursday.

While the sides declined to share the details of the deal before it’s ratified, they say it is a two-year agreement. The ratification vote is expected to take place next week.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve done together,” said Catina Taylor, president of the MFT’s ESP chapter. “We’re raising wages and we’re creating a compensation system that recognizes the value of experience in the district. This agreement will attract more educators to our schools and encourage our current staff to stay and keep building trusting relationships with our students. Agreements like this are how we keep Minneapolis students safe, learning and engaged.”

“Our education support professionals are essential and play an important role in our student’s lives. I am excited that we have reached a tentative agreement and look forward to continued partnership with our ESPs as we work together to ensure that MPS is the district of choice for Minneapolis families,” MPS Superintendent Dr. Lisa Sayles-Adams added.

The development comes not even a full week after the union members authorized a strike and just a day after the strike notice was actually filed. MPS and MFT say the agreement was reached at around noon Thursday after 27 hours of negotiations with a state mediator.

Last week, Minneapolis teachers — the other chapter of MFT — reached a tentative deal with the district. Like ESPs, they’re expected to vote on the agreement next week.

MFT says its teachers and educators have been working on expired contracts for the last 10 months.