Minneapolis food service workers reach tentative agreement with MPS – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minneapolis public school food service workers, who voted overwhelmingly last week to allow a strike, say they have reached a tentative agreement with the district. At the same time, educators are already well into the second week of their own strike.

“The contributions these staff make to each school community and to the district are invaluable, especially to our students who depend on their hard work to get the tasty, nutritious meals they need to fuel their bodies and healthy growth,” said said MPS Superintendent Ed Graff. “SEIU employees have played a key role throughout the pandemic, serving on the front lines distributing millions of food boxes for students in the early days of the pandemic and throughout remote learning. “

When members of SEIU Local 284 voted to authorize the potential strike, it was by a vote of 98.5%.

Food service workers said that despite being called “heroes” during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of them earned as little as $10,000 a year. They demanded higher wages and access to benefits.

(credit: CBS)

“I’ve been on many negotiating teams and this is the most exciting contract we’ve ever won. We believe this contract shows that we are valued by MPS and Culinary Wellness Services (CWS),” said SEIU Local 284 Seward Tilly Gitchuway. “It was so amazing to have the support of everyone in our union. I am so proud of our union, from the overwhelming turnout in the strike vote to the solidarity of everyone. We are a strong and powerful union. I’m so excited that this TA was able to win something for everyone, from new hires to those of us who have been here for decades.

The union said the agreement includes wage increases spread over the next two years, retroactive pay and improvements to life insurance, disability, vacation and retirement security, as well as furloughs. personal.

“We entered into bargaining with all of the United members and fought hard for this incredible win,” said Ken Nelson, food service worker at Patrick Henry High School. “We did this because we had the strength of our united members who showed up at strike votes and mediation sessions to show their support. The decisions we made and the huge gains we made were for them and for all of our members. We are so proud of our work and I am delighted that we have been awarded a contract which will reflect our professionalism and the quality of work we do.