After more than seven months of negotiations, Eden Prairie Schools and the teachers’ union reached a tentative agreement on the 2023-25 contract for teachers and licensed staff Thursday morning.
The Eden Prairie Education Association (EPEA) and Eden Prairie Schools Administration announced the tentative agreement in a joint statement sent to families later that day.
They said the agreement still requires the approval of EPEA members and ratification by the Eden Prairie School Board, which both groups said they expect will happen this month.
The joint statement read, “This tentative agreement reflects months of hard work and collaboration, as well as a commitment by all of us to reach an understanding that honors teachers and licensed staff and the work they do while prioritizing safety, workload, and retention. We appreciate our community’s attention to this process, and we are grateful for the many people who spoke up about the value of our educators.
“We also want to be clear that this is not an end to our collaboration, as there is always more to do to ensure competitive and responsible contracts that attract and retain the best possible talent while empowering them to fulfill our district mission of inspiring each student every day. Today we celebrate the progress made and move forward together as one Eagle Nation,” it said.
The statement was signed by the EPEA’s team: Charles Cooper, lead negotiator; Dominic Kirkpatrick, EPEA’s president; Michelle Rada, negotiator; and Eric Herrmann, a representative from Education Minnesota.
It was also signed by Eden Prairie Schools Administration: Thomas May, lead negotiator; Joshua Swanson, superintendent; Aaron Casper, school board chair; Carlondrea Hines, negotiator; Robb Virgin, negotiator; Charles “CJ” Strehl, school board negotiations committee member; and Steve Bartz, board negotiations committee member.
The agreement followed months of back and forth as the union and district negotiated the 43 proposals initially presented by the EPEA at the start of negotiations on June 20, 2023. In recent weeks, reaching a final agreement had been impacted by an inability to find common ground in areas concerning teacher working conditions, safety, and retention.
It is expected that details of the tentative agreement will be shared publicly at a later date.
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