Thursday, April 17, 2014

Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota approves tentative agreement

COON RAPIDS, Minn. April 17, 2014 –Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota announced Thursday that its members have voted to approve a tentative labor agreement reached with the district earlier this month.

The agreement was accepted by teachers with 84.6 percent approval. The agreement now goes to the Anoka-Hennepin School Board for final approval at its regular meeting April 28.

"We are relieved to have our contract resolved,” said Julie Blaha, president of Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota. “Months of negotiations on an overdue contract have been an unwelcome distraction from our classrooms.”

If approved by the school board, the contract will be retroactive to July 1, 2013, and run through June 30, 2015.

Highlights of the agreement:

  • Teachers will receive a salary increase in the first year of $1,000 plus an additional 1.5 percent for more experienced teachers. In the second year, there is a 1.5 percent increase for newer teachers and 2.0 percent increase for more experienced teachers. This does not include other compensation increases tied to gains in experience and training.
  • AHEM accepted a cap on health insurance contributions from the district after the district agreed to guarantee 100 percent of the cost of a plan next year.
  • The district agreed to drop a proposal to add an extra step on the salary schedule for younger teachers.
  • AHEM agreed to take a portion of its members pay increase as a one-time stipend.
  • The district will add a new high deductible health plan with an HRA option next year and include an incentive for those who choose the plan.
Education Minnesota, the state union of educators, reported that 17 percent of the 331 regular school district contracts it tracks were unsettled as of April 16. The average salary increase for teachers this cycle was 1.7 percent in the first year and 2 percent in the second.