The St. Paul Federation of Teachers and St. Paul School District have reached a tentative contract agreement Friday after 24 hours of negotiations with a state mediator. A Monday strike vote by teachers union has been canceled.
District and union officials say they won't comment on the agreement until Monday, after all union members and school board members have been briefed on the deal.
In a joint statement, both sides say the tentative agreement includes measures that ensure consistent and predictable class sizes, guidelines for the use of standardized testing and expansion of pre-K classes in the district. The two-year deal also includes an agreement on a teacher wage and benefits.
St. Paul teachers had threatened to strike over class sizes, testing and support staff levels. During the nine-month talks, district officials said they agreed with those issues, but that implementing all would be too expensive.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman praised the announcement in a statement:
"I could not be more pleased with the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers and Saint Paul Schools on coming together to reach a final contract agreement and avoiding a strike. We know that we achieve more in partnership, and both sides have demonstrated a true commitment to working together to advance student achievement in Saint Paul. I'm proud of the partnerships we have created, and truly look forward to building on our most recent progress to close the achievement gap for good."