Skip to main content

The Minneapolis Public School district says it has shared its "last, best and final offer" to striking education support professionals (ESPs). 

But the ESP and teacher chapters of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT 59) say the district can do better, and they'll continue to strike until that happens. Classes were canceled in Minneapolis on Monday, marking the 10th day nearly 30,000 students have missed school since the strike began on March 8.

The main sticking point in contract negotiations continues to be pay for ESPs. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT 59) has demanded starting pay for ESPs be increased to $35,000 annually (it's at about $24,000 right now). 

The district's offer on Sunday would increase starting wages of 85% of current ESPs to $23 per hour or more, "bringing most of our full-time ESPs close to $35,000 annually," the district says. And it would increase pay for the lowest-paid ESPs from $15.45 an hour to $18 an hour.

The district's offer also includes $6,000 in bonuses over the next two years and wage increases between 8.2% and 34.6%, depending on an employee's job classification. 

Minneapolis School Board Chairwoman Kim Ellison said in a video Sunday the district's offer puts the district beyond what it has in resources and would mean the school district would have to make $10 million in cuts for the next school year. 

Ellison said they asked ESPs to accept the offer "today" or join the district in arbitration so they can get a deal on the current ESP contract. 

The MFT59's ESP chapter offered its own settlement proposal Sunday night, which you can find here and in the video below, which includes $35,000 starting salary for most ESPs, $10,000 in bonuses over the next two years, and five additional hours for ESPs working 30-plus hours so they can get their work done and be paid for it.

"While we appreciate MPS getting to where they are, we know they can get to $35,000 for ESP. It won't take much more on their part to settle this strike and get our students and educators back to school. We believe we can get this done," MFT59's ESP chapter president Shaun Laden told Sahan Journal reporter Becky Dernbach

Related [March 17]: District says progress is being made with striking Minneapolis educators

Laden in his statement called on the school board and MPS to do better for ESPs and in terms of recruiting and retaining educators of color, reducing class sizes, adding mental health supports and creating stability for students by proposing competitive pay for licensed staff, which have all been among MFT59's demands since contract negotiations began.

"Our members are ready to hold the line until we get there," Laden said in the statement.

As for negotiations between the district and teachers, the union sent to the district a comprehensive proposal for settlement on Sunday, which you can find here and is in addition to the union's demand that ESPs earn a living wage. 

The proposal asks for a 5% salary increase in the first year and a 4% increase in the second year. It also includes language to help prevent layoffs of teachers of color. 

MFT 59 says it believes the proposal is something the district can accept to help both sides reach a settlement.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 7.45.25 PM

Four shot in alley near St. Cloud State campus

Police say an argument led to gunfire.


Acclaimed investigative podcast 'In the Dark' canceled by American Public Media

The Peabody Award-winning investigative podcast earned national acclaim.

Screenshot of the incident showing a teacher throw a hockey stick at a second-grade student at a Sherburne County school.

Former MN teacher charged for knocking student's tooth out with hockey stick

Kimberly June Neubauer has been charged with third-degree assault and is no longer a teacher at Princeton Public Schools.

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 11.56.59 AM

Guthrie cancels 'Emma' performances, Illusion Theater delays premiere due to COVID

The pandemic is continuing to leave theater seats empty in the Twin Cities.

Ellie Ragin

Property owners asked to monitor river shorelines in ongoing search for Elle Ragin

Investigators are focusing their search on the Mississippi River in Stearns County.

Shots fired scene

Over 100 shots fired in Brooklyn Center, no injuries reported

Police said they haven't learned of any injuries as of Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 12.37.52 PM

Unleashed, off-duty police K-9 attacks boy in Isanti

The attack involved an Anoka County Sheriff's Office K-9, named Bubba.

Michael Bruner

New 'Big Brother' season includes a Minnesota attorney

Michael Bruner will compete against 15 other houseguests starting Wednesday night.

grain bin, farming

Man, 34, dies after being found unresponsive in grain bin

The incident happened in Stearns County Tuesday afternoon.


Laser pointed at plane descending into MSP Airport

Nationwide, laser pointing incidents rose 42% last year compared to 2020.

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 9.48.02 AM

Gray's restaurant in Dinkytown to close in July

The restaurant, formerly known as Loring Pasta Bar, had only been open since late 2020.


minneapolis teacher strike

Here's the latest on the Minneapolis teachers, support staff strike

Teachers, support staff continue to hold the line on Wednesday.

mft 59 strike

Minneapolis educators accuse school district of 'demonizing' teachers

Union and district leaders continue to meet in mediation.

mft 59 - minneapolis teacher strike

Tentative agreement reached between Minneapolis educators, district

Students could return to school as soon as Monday.

minneapolis teacher strike

Minneapolis DFL signs letter supporting city educators ahead of potential strike

"The time is now to make significant changes that our educators believe will improve outcomes for our students," the letter says.

minneapolis federation of teachers

Educators in Minneapolis and St. Paul could strike as soon as March 8

The unions filed their intent to strike paperwork on Wednesday.

student with megaphone minneapolis schools

Minneapolis school board approves new calendar in tumultuous meeting

Students were upset over the calendar changes, calling them unfair.

mft 59 strike

Mediation ongoing, but Minneapolis teacher strike set to continue Monday

Negotiations between union leaders and Minneapolis Public Schools have so far not yielded an agreement.