RFT and 281 Reach Agreement

According to the sun post the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers and District 281 have reached a new two-year contract agreement;

Robbinsdale Area District 281 Schools and the Robbinsdale Federation of Teachers announced Friday, Feb. 17, that they have reached tentative agreement on a new two-year contract. The 900 members of the federation, the Robbinsdale Area Schools teachers’ bargaining group, are working under a contract that expired June 30, 2011. Peter Eckhoff, president of the organization, said the tentative agreement will be presented to the group’s executive board and then to the full membership for ratification, hopefully by Feb. 29.
If the teachers ratify the agreement, the District 281 School Board tentatively is expected to consider final approval and full ratification of the two-year contract at its March 19 meeting. No details of the agreement will be released publicly until it is approved by the School Board, according to Eckhoff.

A spokesperson for Education Minnesota, the bargaining group representing teachers throughout the state, said last week that 178 of 338 school districts have settled their contracts thus far. Metro area school districts that have settled their two-year contracts as of Thursday, Feb. 16, include Anoka-Hennepin, Columbia Heights, Eden Prairie, Edina, Elk River, Fridley, Hopkins, Osseo, Richfield, Spring Lake Park and Wayzata.

Districts no longer are penalized by the state for failing to reaching contract agreements by Jan. 15. Contract settlements so far are averaging salary increases of 0.92 percent in the first year and 1.04 percent in the second year, according to the Education Minnesota spokesperson. Those figures do not include increases that go with seniority or increases in educational attainment.

The District 281 School Board on Feb. 6 approved a new two-year contract for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5, Local 499, which includes office employees in District 281. The agreement, which is retroactive to July 1, 2011, includes a 1.25 percent wage increase in the first year, but no increase in the second year.

In addition to the RFT, the district still is negotiating with the Service Employees International Union, which includes separate contracts for bus drivers and custodians, and also with the child nutrition employees and principals bargaining groups.

Union employees in the bargaining groups have continued to work under the two-year contracts that expired June 30, 2011. All new two-year contract settlements will be retroactive to July 1, 2011.

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