Historic fourteen-day strike comes to an end upon passed tentative agreement


Khayaal Desai-Hunt

A car reads “there is power in the union.” The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) and Education Support Professionals (ESP) voted in favor of the tentative agreement on Sunday. This marks the end of a historic, three week long strike.

Caleb Stipkovits, Editor-in-Chief

After fourteen school days of striking, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) and Educational Support Professionals (ESP) unions have voted to end the picketing, in what MFT president Greta Callahan calls “historic.”

The possibility of the strike’s end first emerged to the public on Friday, when a tentative agreement was reached between MFT/ESP and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS). On Saturday and Sunday, MFT/ESP members voted on whether to approve the agreement or not. Overall, the tentative agreement was passed by both unions. 75.7% (2699) of MFT members and 79.9% (784) of ESP members voted for the agreement.

One of the reasons MFT/ESP went on strike was to increase pay for educators. According to the agreement with MPS, teachers will receive a 5% pay increase over the next two years (2% this year and 3% next year). Teachers will also receive a $4,000 stipend on April 8th. Support professionals will see an increase in hours, days, and wages that will raise annual salaries to $35,000 per year. 

According to Callahan, MFT/ESP also recorded historic wins with establishing class size caps for schools, improving student mental health resources, and retaining teachers of color. The agreement will additionally give teachers 10 school days of paid sick leave for Covid-related sickness and will provide high-quality masks for staff members. 

Due to the strike’s duration, students and staff will have to make up school. The last day of school for students will move to June 24th, two weeks after the original last day of school. The last day for teachers will be June 27th. Starting on April 11th, an extra 42 minutes will be added to each school day. It is currently unclear how this time will be added to each day.

Callahan believes that the outcome of the strike has been overwhelmingly successful and that the power dynamic between the union and the district shifted through bargaining. “Strikes work, we know that we would not have gotten the results that we have seen if our folks had not held the line for 14 days,” said ESP president Shaun Laden.