St. Paul teachers, schools enter talks for new contact

December 29, 2021 GMT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The St. Paul school district and its teachers union are discussing a new contract for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic cut short a three-day teacher strike in March 2020.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday the two sides have entered mediation.

The union wants smaller class sizes, more mental health support and 2.5% raises. District officials want to hold down costs in the face of shrinking enrollment. They say the wage proposal alone would cost more than $12.8 million.

St. Paul teachers made an average of $85,457 in 2020-21, according to the Professional Educations Licensing and Standards Board. Teachers in Minneapolis, by comparison, made $71,535.

Minneapolis teachers also are in mediation with their school district over similar demands for higher pay and improved working conditions.