I am writing with an update on negotiations with leaders of collective bargaining units representing Licensed Staff, Educational Assistants, and School and Community Service Professionals; all of whom are part of the Saint Paul Federation of Educators (SPFE).
Today, negotiating teams from SPPS and SPFE held an in-person session with a mediator from the State Bureau of Mediation Services.
We had thoughtful discussions on several major issues, including compensation for Educational Assistants, class size and mental health support for students. Superintendent Gothard presented a class size proposal that would become a permanent article of the contract. The proposal includes plans to promote enrollment, support flexibility and sustainability, and provide additional financial incentives for classroom teachers.
In addition, today we reached four (4) tentative agreements.
The SPPS team is focused on discussing the issues that are important to SPFE. We believe there is reason to be optimistic that a fair, sustainable contract settlement can be reached well before the strike deadline.
Our next two upcoming mediation sessions to discuss these contracts are scheduled for tomorrow, March 3, and Friday, March 4, with the possibility that they will extend into the upcoming weekend.
I will continue to provide you with information as our negotiations continue.
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