Monday, April 15, 2024
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HomeLocal NewsSt. PaulSt. Paul Educators Approve Enhanced Contract with Increased Compensation and Benefits

St. Paul Educators Approve Enhanced Contract with Increased Compensation and Benefits

St. Paul school teachers have overwhelmingly approved a new two-year contract after extensive negotiations concluded last week. The agreement, reached during marathon sessions, includes significant salary increases for staff across different roles.

Licensed staff will see a $3,500 raise this school year and a 4 percent increase the following year. Similarly, school and community service professionals will receive a $3,084 increase this year and a 4 percent raise next year. Educational assistants will get a $2.25 hourly raise this year, with a 4 percent hike scheduled for the next school year, as outlined by the St. Paul Federation of Educators.

The proposed contract is now pending review and voting by the St. Paul school board next week. This deal struck between the 33,000-student district and the union, comes after intense negotiations, averting a potential strike.

Union president Leah VanDassor expressed satisfaction with the agreement, stating, “With historic funding from the state, now was the time to be bold for our members and our students — and we were.”

Before this agreement, union members had worked without a contract since July of the previous year. Tensions escalated in mid-February when members authorized a strike, with union leaders setting a March 11 walkout date.

The district’s spokesperson praised the union’s ratification of the contract, acknowledging it as a significant investment in staff and the district’s future. However, the district faces financial challenges, including a projected $108 million budget shortfall in 2025. Despite receiving around $54 million in new state revenue this school year, the district anticipates needing to dip into reserve funds and make substantial budget cuts due to expiring COVID relief funds.

District officials are expected to provide further details on the agreement’s financial implications and the district’s overall financial situation during the upcoming board meeting.

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