Moorhead teachers reach tentative agreement after months of contract talks

Moorhead School Board meeting
Moorhead teachers and their supporters packed the meeting room of the Moorhead School Board Monday night, Jan. 27, for contract negotiations. Teachers have been working without a contract all year. WDAY

MOORHEAD — After more than seven months of negotiations, Moorhead Area Public Schools and its teachers union signed a tentative agreement on Wednesday, Jan. 29, that would establish a new two-year contract.

The new contract would mean salary increases totaling 4% over two years, according to information released Tuesday by the union, known as Education Moorhead.

A statement from Superintendent Brandon Lunak said the entire package agreed to represents a total cost increase to the district of 7.54% over two years.

Lunak said the agreement came after the two sides held a mediation session Wednesday.


"The district believes that the settlement is fair for both our teachers and our taxpayers. This tentative agreement is not final and needs to (be) ratified by Education Moorhead and approved by the school board," Lunak said in the statement.

Moorhead's collective bargaining process began on June 18, and union and school board representatives met 10 times before the matter went to mediation.

The last agreed upon contract expired in June, though teachers have been working under the terms of that contract since then.

Lunak said highlights of the tentative agreement include increases to salaries, health insurance benefits, and improvements to the way early childhood and adult basic education instructors are paid.

Education Moorhead President Blake Plankers said prior to Wednesday's mediation session that both sides had essentially agreed to increases to the salary schedule of 2% each year of the new two-year contract.

He said the union was also looking to the district to increase its contribution to health insurance premiums and to boost its retirement contribution from matching up to 3% of a teacher's salary to matching up to 4% by the end of the two-year contract.

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