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Negotiations Update #4: August 23, 2023


We hope that everyone is finding some excitement in the final week of our summer! Our negotiations team has some good news to share as our school year comes into focus. As of Monday, August 21, the EPPEA (our preschool teachers) has been officially dissolved, and our preschool colleagues have successfully been recognized as teachers within the EPEA. Our preschool teachers’ years-long fight to be recognized as teachers is concluded. We congratulate those teachers on their membership, and we continue our work to make Eden Prairie Schools the best for students AND teachers.


As district personnel initially did not accept the unanimous vote of EPPEA members to join EPEA, in accordance with state law, our negotiations were forced to hold “status quo” for the month of July and August while the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) worked with both parties (the district and the EPEA) to come to resolution. This seven week process resulted in a BMS Order (attached below) which clearly identifies the legislation's new definition of teacher and includes early learner (preschool) teachers as members of the bargaining unit with all contract language applicable, unless negotiated otherwise. This new definition also recognizes Tier 1 teachers within the contract as well. This BMS Order also lifted the Status Quo.


BMS ORDER:

24PCL0014 - Unit Clarification[58]
.pdf
Download PDF • 298KB

With the status quo order lifted, our negotiations team immediately returned to the negotiation’s table with the district. Our team continues to work to advance the needs our teachers have identified: a reduction in workload, smaller class sizes to drive student achievement, and compensation that truly aligns with the positive impact we have on our community. The EPEA team has introduced additional language items and will likely present financial proposals in the near future.


Many of us have become accustomed to beginning the school year with a tentative agreement for a new contract. The extensive delay as a result of BMS process prevented that from occurring this round of negotiations. However, we are seeing that most school districts are proceeding through lengthier negotiations processes. So we are by no means "behind the curve" for this round of bargaining.


So what does this mean for our paychecks if a ratified contract has not come by September 15?

1) You will be paid at the same step and lane as last school year. (For example, you you were STEP K, BA 45 during the 22-23 school year, you will continue to see that payroll amount for your pay checks until a ratified contract occurs.)

2) Once ratified, continuing employees will advance to their next STEP and receive back payment for the difference of salary for the period of August 28 - date of ratification.

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Settled Contracts Across Minnesota:

To date, 15 MN school districts have tentative contract agreements. These salary schedule increases range from 4.57% to 20.9% over two years. Please note, these numbers lack full package consideration--other benefit improvements, workload improvements, leave improvements--which may also 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)

  • Dover-Eyota: 3.5% yr 1; 3.5% year 2 (84FTE)

  • Glencoe-Silver Lake: 4% yr 1; 2.2% year 2 (118FTE)

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

  • McGregor: 3% yr 1; 3% yr 2 (44FTE)

  • Norman County East: 6% year 1; 3% year 2 (23 FTE)

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

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

  • Red Lake: 6.69% year 1; 6.27% yr 2 (165FTE)

  • River Bend: 4% yr 1; 5% year 2 (66FTE)

  • 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 school year starts, the negotiations team will meet on Wednesday afternoons until a tentative agreement is reached.

As we begin the school year, know that we are standing together to advance the needs of each of our students and teachers in Eden Prairie. Our negotiations team will be working tirelessly to share the concerns our teachers encounter on a daily basis. If you are interested in hearing more about the process, please reach out to a member of our team to learn more! Additionally, if you are interested in sharing your perspective with our negotiation’s team, sitting in on a negotiations session, or acting as a voice for your local site, let us know!


Above all, know that as the school year begins the EPEA stands with you as you deliver world-class learning opportunities for all of our students.


In your service,

Dominic Kirkpatrick, EPEA President

Charles Cooper, EPEA Vice President

Michelle Rada, EPEA Negotiator

Mira Martin, EPEA Negotiator





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