Minneapolis teachers strike ends: Teachers vote to ratify deal

The Minneapolis teachers' strike is officially over. 

Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals voted Sunday to ratify the union's tentative agreement with Minneapolis Public Schools, with 75 percent of union members voting "Yes."  

The ratification vote means educators will return to work on Monday, March 28, and students will return to class on Tuesday, March, 29.

Greta Callahan, president of the teachers chapter, hailed the contract in a press conference following the announcement of the vote, and urged the union's supporters to press onward by running for open school board seats and pressuring the state legislatures to increase funding for public schools. 

"We know we had to do what was best for our kids, for each other, for this profession and for our Minneapolis Public Schools because we will not allow them to crumple, we will not allow them to fail. So when we talk about a power dynamic shift and things needing to change at the top of MPS, we mean it. We are here because we love kids. We love this profession. We know they deserve more." she said. 

Teachers and ESPs also spoke about what they had gained in the agreement.

"Improving the culture of the schools, for my union in particular, getting paid a livable wage means that our district values the work that I do and the work that my fellow colleagues do," said Brad Harris, an Education Support Professional at Anwatin Middle School.

"We’ve made some progress here and I think we’re also ready to move forward with knowing not all the needs are met," said Kimberlee Adams, a teacher at Northeast Middle School.

MPS initially announced the agreement early Friday morning, Day 18 of the strike and the 14th missed school day for students. 

"This has been a life-changing experience for all of us. Through it all, we have seen the power and passion of our community, the commitment of our staff and the intense need to focus on our students," MPS Superintendent Ed Graff wrote on Friday. "I believe MPS and MFT have arrived at a fair and equitable agreement that honors the requests and needs of our staff."

Here are the agreements:

Making up lost class time

MPS and MFT agreed upon the following schedule to make up missed instructional time:

  • Students will attend school on Friday, April 1– moving the currently scheduled teacher record-keeping day to Saturday, April 23.
  • Beginning on Monday, April 11, 42 minutes will be added to each school day for the remainder of the school year.
  • The end of the school year will be extended to Friday, June 24.