MPS, adult educators reach tentative deal as negotiations continue on larger contract

Talks on a new contract for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) teachers, who have been working on an expired contract for about nine months, continue, but a small section of educators has reached a deal with the district.

MPS and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) announced a tentative deal for the district’s adult education teachers on Friday.

That group serves students ages 18 and older, those seeking their general equivalency degree, college prep and citizen classes and English as a secondary language sessions.

The district says its adult education program has 55 contract and hourly teachers serving around 3,000 students annually.

“We entered these negotiations with the goal of raising the pay of educators of adult students to the same levels as the other teachers in MPS. While we didn’t get all the way there, we’ve made good progress, and we’ve updated our contract to reflect the new ways students learn in this post-COVID world,” Nate Hart-Andersen, an adult education teacher and the union’s lead negotiator on the contract, said. “I think our educators will be pleased.”

The district and union declined to offer any specific details on the tentative agreement, saying they’ll provide more information after members have a chance to review and vote on the proposal next week.

It comes after the sides say they wrapped up a 30-hour mediation session on Thursday afternoon and expressed optimism that “real progress” was made. However, work continues on the larger contract for the majority of Minneapolis educators.

Their next mediation session is scheduled for April 23 but both sides say they’re ready to return to the table sooner.