This email was sent to members of the teacher bargaining unit last night.
Today at mediation, the district made it clear that they do not want to dedicate resources to the proposals that will improve learning conditions for our students. This means:
- No money for class size caps,
- No money for more English Learner teachers or EAs to meet the needs of our EL students (or even meet the minimum legal standards),
- No money for increased support for students who receive special education services,
- No money for expanding student mental health services or adding nurses, social workers, or librarians, and
- No money for Restorative Practices.
We made minimal but some positive progress today with agreements for compensation for our Hmong Dual Language teachers and an increase in funding for family engagement programs (Academic Parent Teacher Teams and Parent Teacher Home Visits).
Your willingness to stand up and fight back led the district to withdraw their proposal to add an additional hour to the teacher work day. This is huge and exactly why we need to continue to keep up the pressure on the district to settle a fair contract.
Unfortunately, the district wants to divide us by eliminating class size language for at least 29 of our schools, and they kept anti-educator proposals on the table, including proposals making it easier to put teachers on improvement plans and eliminating union leave.
Furthermore, the district presented a wage proposal that included steps and lanes and a 1% increase. However, the cost of any other proposals we agree upon come out of the district’s proposed 1% wage increase. With the agreements made today, the district has indicated that they will revise their wage proposal downward.
We made progress today because you were united in fighting for the good of the kids in Saint Paul. However, we aren’t done yet. The district is unwilling to meet again until February 2, 2018. Check our website for information about upcoming events: www.spft.org.
We’ll be sending out a contract update tomorrow with more information about today’s mediation.