Mpls schools, teachers reach agreement to end strike

Photo by Travis Lee Strikers gathered on March 8

This story was originally published on March 25 and updated to follow the developing news.

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) held a press conference Friday morning March 25 to announce that a tentative agreement had been reached between MPS and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT), which has been on strike since Mar. 8.

Voting occured over the weekend at the MFT office and the contract was approved by educators on Sunday, March 27. 

Students are expected back in class Tuesday, following a one-day transition period for striking employees on Monday. 

“I do want to speak to our students and say that we’re really looking forward to welcoming you back into our schools with our teachers, our support staff, our administrators and everyone who cares so much and deeply about you,” MPS Superintendent Ed Graff said.

“The last few weeks have affirmed what many of us already knew, that Minneapolis is a place of passion and compassion,” Kim Ellison, chairperson for the Minneapolis School Board, said. “A place where people will do anything for our children.”

Notable stipulations in the teacher’s agreement include added protections for educators of color; class capsizes; a memorandum of agreement on COVID-19 protocols; and a one-time bonus of $4,000. 

Notable stipulations in the Education Support Professionals (ESPs) agreement include paid professional development days; a one-time $6,000 bonus; and the establishment of an Anti-Bias Anti-Racist Staff Development and Support Council, the goal of which is to reduce inequitable practices in schools.  

The agreement also reduces the number of job classifications for ESPs from 18 to four, and all four classifications will get raises.

Kaytie Kamphoff, an English teacher at Henry High School, was very satisfied with the terms MFT’s negotiating team secured. “They got a lot of good things—their team [were] rockstars,” Kamphoff said. 

“They worked as hard as they could against a capitalist leadership team doing everything they can to wield power.”