Return to Headlines

SPFE Mediation Update: February 6, 2020

February 6, 2020


I am writing to update you on today’s mediation between SPPS and the Saint Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE), the union that represents our Teachers, Educational Assistants and School and Community Service Professionals.

I recognize that negotiating successor agreements (any new additions, extensions, or revisions to an existing contract) is a complicated process, yet very important to our staff.

My presence at bargaining reinforces my understanding of this and I remain committed to finding solutions to the various proposals before the bargaining teams.

I received feedback based on figures shared in previous communication. Below you will find the negotiations financial parameters established by our Board of Education from both the last round of negotiations (17-18/18-19) and our current (19-20/20-21). When referencing financial parameters, these are the numbers I am referring to in comparison. 

For context, the current contract which was agreed to in 2018, contained a total of $4.5 million in increases for SPFE members. These numbers do not include the amount budgeted for those employees who reach steps and lanes incentives.

SPFE contract graphic

The proposed amount for a new two-year contract is $9.6 million, more than double the increase from 2018:

SPFE contract graphic

As we work to find the right balance between the needs of students and budgetary constraints facing the district, it is important for both parties to have a clearer sense of priorities.

My hope is we can find a process to narrow the number of priorities so we can collectively focus on what is of greatest concern. Our team is prepared to do this work.

I also want to report progress on contract negotiations between SPPS and two of our other collective bargaining groups.

I am happy to announce we have reached a tentative agreement for a new two-year contract with our Teaching Assistants (TAs), represented by Teamsters Local 320. There are approximately 720 TAs throughout our District. The new contract covers the time period from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021.

I am also happy to announce we have reached a tentative agreement for a new two-year contract with the Manual and Maintenance Supervisors Association (MMSA), which represents approximately 13 Facility and Nutrition Services Supervisors. This new contract covers the time period from Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2021.

My sincere thanks to members of the SPPS, Teamsters Local 320 and MMSA bargaining teams for the time and effort you put into these successful discussions. We have great things happening in SPPS, and I firmly believe the future is bright for our students, families, community and staff.

Let’s continue to work together to resolve key differences. My commitment continues to be focused on reaching a contract settlement.

In partnership,


Joe Gothard