St. Paul educators ratify new contract

The union representing St. Paul educators on Friday announced its members had “overwhelmingly” ratified a new contract.

The St. Paul Federation of Educators said in a news release that union members voted on the new contract over the past week and that the results were certified on Friday. The contract now goes to the St. Paul School Board for final approval.

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The contract would require the district to raise its spending by $5 million to hire more mental health professionals and an additional 10 bilingual educational assistants next school year.

“Despite a national pandemic cutting our fight short, St. Paul educators were able to win more resources for our students,” SPFE President Nick Faber said in a statement. “We won’t stop using our collective power to advocate for the public schools children and educators deserve.”

Other stipulations in the contract include:

    •    Expanding practices to end the school-to-prison pipeline;
    •    Up to six hours of mental health and trauma-informed training for educators;
    •    Wage increases of 1.5% in the first year of the contract, followed by a 2% raise in the second year;
    •    Building-based substitute teachers;
    •    And an agreement to call for a moratorium on new charter schools until a community impact study has been done.

St. Paul teachers went on strike on March 10 after more than nine months of negotiations on a new contract. The strike lasted three days.