Bargaining FAQs (newest at the top)
Why does it take so long to bargain a contract?
There are a variety of reasons bargaining a contract takes so long. One is simply the availability of both teams to meet - because of the limited amount of time both MFT and MPS has in the evenings, and because MFT wants to have a consistent date to plan for, MFT have agreed that the ESPs will bargain on Mondays and the Teachers will bargain on Thursdays.
Additionally, the District and MFT have numerous proposals, some of which both parties want to discuss at length before making additional proposals, amending proposals, and making decisions about what gets in the contract and what doesn't. Proposals that cost money are always contentious, and both sides want time to discuss these proposals, address the costs, find ways to save money, and decide which proposals are most important given the limited amount of funding available.
What if I have an idea for a proposal?
The best way to have your contract ideas heard is to joint the bargaining team. Every two years, when the contract is re-negotiated, MFT gathers a bargaining team. The last two contracts have greatly expanded the bargaining team, and the 17-19 contract had a 40-member team, while the 19-21 contract has about 18 members on the team.
The bargaining team leadership conducts a bargaining survey prior to planning priorities, which gives the opportunity for members to provide input about the issues most important to them.
Of course, the MFT always bargains for improvements in salary and in benefits (including health care costs), but expand the focus to include those issues that make both educators' and students' lives better: smaller class sizes; nurses, librarians, art, music, and physical education educators in every building; and clean and healthy sites for working and learning.
What are the teachers' bargaining priorities this time?
The teacher chapter has identified six main priorities, roughly divided into two categories.
The first category focuses on educator benefits and includes 1) salary increases, 2) reduced health care premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and 3) paid family leave and other ways to use or convert sick time hours.
The second category focuses on the working conditions in schools - which are also our students' learning conditions. This category includes 1) class size caps, 2) clean and healthy buildings, and 3) restorative practices that support, instead of punish, students.