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MFT Negotiations
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MFT Negotiations

March 4, 2022 Update

MPS is working with teachers and ESPs to identify collaborative solutions and to keep students in school

In an attempt to avert a strike of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT), Minneapolis Public Schools has been meeting with MFT in multiple 12-hour mediation sessions this week. During these sessions MPS has countered MFT’s proposals with offers aligned with MFT goals, as well as the limitations of a deficit-facing MPS budget.

DIVERSE TEACHING STAFF

MPS has repeatedly proposed initiatives to build an MPS teaching staff that better reflects the cultural  and racial diversity of its students, and better retain and recruit teachers of color.

The MFT has stated they will not discuss these equity efforts until there is an agreement on salaries, class size and caseloads.

As a result, 25% of the close to 250 teachers whose positions were eliminated during this past week’s budget process were people of color. MPS had hoped to avoid this situation by coming to an agreement on this topic.

MPS offers to better diversify its staff included proposals to:

  • Help teachers of color retain their jobs at their schools and in the district, even in the face of declining enrollment.
  • Accelerate the MPS hiring timeline to better compete with other districts when hiring teachers. 
  • Provide a recruitment incentive for bilingual/multilingual teachers.

SMALL CLASS SIZES

MPS has proposed a $3 million investment in reducing class size, as well as special education and related service caseloads in some of our higher-need schools.

MPS already prioritizes small class size and invests approximately $60 million in referendum dollars to moderate class size.

  • The average elementary class size is 20.0 students. 
  • The average core-content class size at the middle school level is 22.8 students.
  • The average core-content class size at the high school level is 19.4 students.

COMPETITIVE WAGES

MPS proposals for increased wages for ESPs (Educational Support Professionals) provide an affordable counter to the union’s original proposal.

Child Care Assistants 

  • 4% increase and a $2,000 one-time bonus this year for these lowest paid ESPs.
  • A total increase of 6.3% - 7.7% next year for employees on Steps 1-5. That total increase consists of an additional 3% cost of living adjustment, plus a 3.3% - 4.7% increase depending on the employee's current step (the rate of pay for each ESP classification).  

ESPs (all classifications other than Child Care Assistant)

  • A 2% cost of living increase and a $2,000 one-time bonus this year
  • A total increase of 3.5% - 9.3% next year for employees on Steps 1-5. That total increase consists of an additional 1% cost of living adjustment and a 2.5% - 8.3% increase depending on the employee's current step (the rate of pay for each ESP classification). 

MPS proposed increasing hours for all ESPs (Educational Support Professionals):

  • MPS proposed increasing ESP wages by investing over $3 million next year to add a minimum of 2.5 hours per week to all ESPs work schedules in order to support engagement with students and collaboration with colleagues.
  • MPS proposed adding an additional two days of paid professional development for all ESPs.

MPS proposals for increased wages and benefits for teachers provide an affordable counter to MFT’s original proposal.

  • Bring the starting annual teacher salaries to above $50,000 through a significant pay increase this year (5%-12.5% for the 20% of teachers who are the lowest-paid and most junior teachers). 

This starting salary would be higher than salaries at the other major metro area school districts and would allow MPS to recruit the best pool of new teachers. 

In addition, MPS offered:

  • A one-time $2,000 retention bonus for every teacher.
  • An additional $1,000 incentive bonus to MPS nurses.
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  • Provide this year a cost of living salary increase of 1.5% for all teachers in addition to their salary increase via automatic steps (increased pay based on years of service).
  • Provide next year a cost of living increase of 1% for all teachers in addition to their built-in increase via automatic steps (increased pay based on years of service).
  • Dramatically reduced costs for family insurance coverage and a less expensive option for employees who are also covering one other family member.

MPS is sharing this update in an effort to provide accurate information to our community and will continue to post as information becomes available.