Minneapolis Teachers Reach Tentative Agreement to End Strike

MINNEAPOLIS — Teachers in Minneapolis reached a tentative agreement early Friday to end a more than two-week strike over pay and other issues that idled some 29,000 students and around 4,500 educators and staff in one of Minnesota’s largest school districts.

The union for teachers and support staff planned to announce details later in the day, but said it achieved what it sought when its members walked off the job March 8 after they were unable to agree on a contract with district leaders. Ratification votes were expected over the weekend, and Superintendent Ed Graff said he was looking forward to welcoming students and staff back to school on Monday.

“These historic agreements contain important wins for our students and the safe and stable schools they deserve,” the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals said in a statement, adding that “major gains were made on pay for Education Support Professionals, protections for educators of color, class size caps and mental health supports.”

Graff declined to give details about the contract at a news conference, but said he believes it’s fair to teachers and staff.

School Board Chair Kim Ellison thanked students for their patience.

“I know for many of our students, and many of you, the past two weeks have been difficult and long,” she said. “You’ve missed your teachers, you’ve missed your school, you’ve missed your friends. I’m so excited for you that you’re able to return to school on Monday. I know your teachers are going to be incredibly thrilled to see you.”

But a teachers strike entered its third day Friday in Sacramento, California, where unions representing 2,800 teachers and 1,800 school employees hit the picket lines Wednesday over pay and staffing shortages The Sacramento City Unified School District has canceled classes at its 76 schools, affecting 43,000 students.

Across the country, unions are seizing the opportunity posed by tight labor markets to recover some of the power they feel they lost in recent decades. And experts expect to see more labor strife as the country emerges from the pandemic. President Joe Biden’s administration is considering changes that could make it easier for federal workers and contractors to unionize.

The Minneapolis walkout, the city’s first by teachers since 1970, sent families who had endured the most chaotic days of the coronavirus pandemic fretting anew about lost academic progress and scrambling to arrange child care. Churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs and park buildings opened their doors to provide students with safe places to hang out and get meals. High schoolers staged a series of solidarity actions to support the teachers, including an all-night sit-in at district headquarters.

Erin Zielinski, mother to a first-grader at Armatage Elementary School in south Minneapolis, greeted news of the settlement with a one-word text: “Hallelujah!” She and her husband said as the strike began that they supported the teachers, though they worried whether the district could meet their demands.

“I’m relieved to know that the union received an offer to be able to continue to provide schools that are good and safe,” she said. “A major reason why we chose to move to Minneapolis in the first place.”

Minneapolis Public Schools administrators and school board members insisted throughout the talks that they didn’t have enough money to meet teachers’ demands, especially for large permanent salary increases. Graff told reporters Friday that the two new contracts with the teachers and support staff “are going to require us to take a look at our budgets and make some adjustments going forward” over the coming weeks and months.

“We walked out united to change the trajectory of MPS and ensure that educators have a greater say in how we do our work,” the union said. “This too has been achieved and will have impacts that improve our district for years to come.”

Teachers in neighboring St. Paul reached a tentative agreement the night before the Minneapolis teachers walked out, getting a deal that had some similarities to what their Minneapolis counterparts were seeking. Union leaders cited that as evidence that Minneapolis administrators had room to compromise, too.

Ben Polk, a special education aide, said he was relieved at the settlement but wanted to see terms before he commented further. Polk said earlier in the strike that understaffing meant aides like him were having to attend to too many higher-need children at once, making it more difficult for both teachers and students.

Graff said schools will probably need to add extra school days in June to meet the minimum state requirements due to the lost time, but that the details had yet to decided.


BUFFALO — President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned the poison of white supremacy and said the nation must “reject the lie” of the racist “replacement theory" espoused by the shooter who murdered 10 black Americans in Buffalo.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Mitsotakis Meets with Biden at the White House (Video)

WASHINGTON, DC – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with US President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday, in the first day of an official two-day visit to the American capital.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.