Shaun Laden, President, ESP chapter
Minneapolis Federation of Teachers
Minneapolis educators earn the return of incentive pay for in-building work during the pandemic
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 1, 2020 -- The Minneapolis Public Schools will resume paying a $5-an-hour pay differential to education support professionals who are working in the school buildings with the children of essential workers, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers and Education Support Professionals announced Tuesday.
“After months of working together and lifting up our collective voices, workers won an important victory for our students and families,” said Shaun Laden, president of the ESP chapter of the union. “Providing a quality education for the children of our Tier I workers by ensuring safe and stable staffing for on-site emergency childcare has been our goal from day one. This agreement provides the conditions to do that.”
The agreement says educators who are providing emergency childcare will receive an extra $5 per hour. The district also agreed to make certain staffing changes to ensure there are safe ratios of students to staff, including a special arrangement for students with special education needs.
The new agreement comes after weeks of protests and negotiations. The agreement restores the differential the district paid education support professionals last spring when school buildings closed to most students during the initial COVID-19 outbreak.
Since the pandemic began, education support professionals have been on the frontlines of keeping Minnesota working. Laden said nearly a dozen ESPs who provide child care have already left the district this year because of concerns about pay and workplace safety.