Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tentative agreement reached in Anoka-Hennepin

COON RAPIDS, Minn. April 1, 2014 - The negotiators for Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota and Anoka-Hennepin public schools have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for the district’s 2,800 teachers.

The deal was reached after seven hours of talks on Monday night at the offices of the state Bureau of Mediation. The contract would be retroactive to July 1, 2013 and expire June 30, 2015.

“While we did need to make compromises to come to an agreement, we believe this settlement will allow our teachers to return their full attention to the work they care about most deeply – educating our students,” said AHEM President Julie Blaha.

Blaha said the agreement does not include a controversial extra step on the salary schedule that would have targeted younger teachers. The two sides also reached compromise positions on health insurance benefits and compensation.

Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota negotiators will recommend canceling a planned strike authorization vote scheduled for April 17 after reaching the deal. The members of AHEM will vote on the tentative agreement the week of April 14. If they accept it, the agreement will go to the school board for final ratification.

The two sides agreed to share the following details Tuesday. Additional information will be released after members of AHEM have been briefed on the contents of the tentative agreement.

  • 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 the 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 salary increase, not including increases in experience or training, in the first year was $1000 for each teacher plus an additional 1.5 percent for more experienced teachers. In the second year, a 1.5 percent increase for newer teachers and 2.0 percent increase for more experienced teachers.
  • 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.