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Negotiations Update #3: August 2, 2023

Happy August EPEA!

This Spring, our membership came together to identify core areas of concern, and our negotiations team has been working to enshrine new protections into our contract. These areas include a reduction in teacher workload, protecting smaller class sizes/case management loads to drive student achievement, and compensation that truly aligns with the positive impact we have on our community.

By June 29th, the negotiations team had presented half of its EPEA contract improvement proposals, anticipating the Jully 4th break. Up to that point, the District was not interested in providing any counterproposals or engaging in dialogue on the topics the EPEA negotiators raised.

On July 3, the Eden Prairie Education Association (EPEA) filed a "Petition of Clarification" with the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) to officially clarify our unit status to include colleagues, most specifically our 25 colleagues teaching preschool, who are now defined as teacher under MN state statute: early learner providers, preschool teachers , Tier 1 licensed teachers, and others. We welcome these world-class educators with open arms, and this is truly the beginning of a solution to a longstanding incongruence in Eden Prairie Schools. By joining all Eden Prairie teachers into a single organization, we are truly stronger, better protected, and more capable of serving our students throughout their educational careers.

With new legislation, surrounding district/market standard of including early learning teachers, and commitment to our EP families, we anticipated our District administration would accept the petition without contest and the BMS process would be quick. However, that is not the case, and the process has taken much longer than anticipated. Now involved in the process are the district's attorney, Education Minnesota attorneys, EPEA leadership, EPEA negotiators and Little Eagles preschool teachers. Due to all of this, the BMS has issued a Maintenance of Status Quo, which prohibits any negotiations to take place until the issue is resolved.

We stand united in our promise to protect ALL teachers within Eden Prairie Schools. We stand strong to align all new legislation into our contract, including continuing contract rights for ECFE teachers. We stand resolute to reenforce our need for the working conditions and compensation to honor the work that is provided to our students and families. Our negotiators will continue to advance the solutions we most need in our profession and those identified in our Spring input opportunities. If you have any questions regarding the current negotiating process, EPEA negotiators are available to provide more context.

Settled Contracts Across Minnesota:

To date, 9 MN school districts have tentative contract agreements. These salary schedule increases are listed below. Please note, these numbers lack full package consideration--other benefit improvements, workload improvements, leave improvements--which also may have financial implications :

  • Big Lake: 2.1% yr 1; 2.47% yr 2 (214 FTE)

  • Crookston: 3.75% yr 1. 4% yr 2 (92 FTE)

  • Laporte: 6.5% yr 1; 1.5% yr 2 (30 FTE)

  • Pine Island: 4% yr 1. 2% yr 2 (117 FTE)

  • Randolph: 9.24% yr 1; 2.27% yr 2 (52 FTE)

  • Roseau: 4% yr 1. 3% yr 2 (80 FTE)

  • Stephen-Argyl: 4.5% yr 1; 5.4% year 2 (25 FTE)

  • Ulen-Hitterdal: 3% yr 1; 3% yer 2 (27 FTE)

  • Walker-Hackensack-Akeley: 17.65% yr 1; 3.25% yr 2 (113 FTE)

Negotiation Schedule:

Once the "Maintenance of Status Quo" has been lifted, negotiations will resume weekly until we reach a tentative agreement to bring to the membership.

In your service,

Dominic Kirkpatrick, EPEA President

Charles Cooper, EPEA Vice President

Michelle Rada, EPEA Negotiator

Mira Martin, EPEA Negotiator

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