Teachers approve contracts in state's two largest districtsby Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Teachers in the state's two largest school districts - Anoka-Hennepin and St. Paul - have approved new contracts.
Even in a tight budget year and with contract proposals that offer little in the way of pay increases, each union reports their members have overwhelmingly voted for the deals.
In St. Paul, 83 percent of teachers voted for approval. The approval vote in Anoka was 89 percent (2032-248).
With teachers having signed off, each district's school board then met Wednesday evening to ratify the deals.
Anoka union president Sandy Skaar says pay was an obvious concern for teachers, but so was job security. "We've had a lot of concern in the ranks about job cuts next year, and I think this will certainly minimize the job cuts that would happen," she said.
All districts in Minnesota face a Friday deadline to have new contracts ratified or risk a fine from the state. The Minneapolis district will miss that deadline and faces an $800,000 penalty.
Other districts that will likely miss the deadline include St. Cloud and Eastern Carver County (Chaska).