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Union board urges St. Paul teachers to ratify new contract

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The executive board of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers voted Sunday night to recommend that union members approve a new two-year contract, the Star Tribune reports.

The teachers averted a strike last week when they entered into a tentative agreement with St. Paul Public Schools. The agreement came after a marathon negotiating session between both sides, and just days before a scheduled Feb. 24 strike vote.

Union President Mary Cathryn Ricker revealed the recommendation of the board in a tweet Sunday night.

Details of the agreement were not disclosed, but the Star Tribune says it is expected to include provisions relating to class sizes, standardized student testing and early learning. The agreement is also expected to include new provisions on wages and benefits.

The Pioneer Press says union members won't learn of any details until Monday's membership meeting, which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

The new two-year contract comes after more than nine months of negotiations between the teachers and the district. The agreement was made with the assistance of the state Bureau of Mediation Services.

"Though this has been a long and difficult process, both parties learned just how passionate we both are about the education of St. Paul's students," said SPPS Superintendent Valeria S. Silva in a statement Friday. "I'm pleased that this tentative agreement strengthens the partnership between the school district and our teachers."

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