Teachers urge school board to attend bargaining session, up economic offer

Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota, District 11’s teachers’ union, brought two requests to the school board at its meeting Oct. 28: come to the next bargaining session and bring a better economic offer.

Approximately 250 Anoka-Hennepin educators, clad in red, packed the Oct. 28 school board meeting. The teachers were there to support Paul Goupil, lead negotiator for Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota, as he addressed the board, asking members to attend the next bargaining session Nov. 6. Photo by Olivia Koester

Approximately 250 Anoka-Hennepin educators, clad in red, packed the Oct. 28 school board meeting. The teachers were there to support Paul Goupil, lead negotiator for Anoka Hennepin Education Minnesota, as he addressed the board, asking members to attend the next bargaining session Nov. 6. Photo by Olivia Koester

District and union negotiation teams will meet for the 10th time this year Nov. 6.

By law, the bargaining sessions between the district and AHEM are public, but this is the first year that AHEM has provided detailed updates and reached out to members, asking them to attend if interested.

Approximately 250 educators, dressed in red and holding signs, packed the board room Monday to cheer Paul Goupil, a teacher at Coon Rapids Middle School and the union’s lead negotiator.

Goupil addressed the board during the communications portion of the meeting.

“We have increased transparency, teacher involvement and communication,” Goupil said. “The one thing missing is you. We invite you to attend our sessions. In the past when we’ve had difficult problems, we’ve solved them by all coming together and working toward a solution.”

In an interview before the ninth bargaining session, AHEM President Julie Blaha said that when the decision-makers, school board members, aren’t at the table, it can be problematic.

The district has made three economic offers with no change in value, Goupil said in his address. Money has simply been rearranged between compensation areas – salary, benefits, etc.

“Bargaining needs to be more than just pushing vegetables around the plate to make it look like you’ve eaten your broccoli,” he said.

The 10th bargaining session is set to occur at the AHEM office at 4:45 p.m., Nov. 6.

To see AHEM’s specific requests and negotiations updates, visit www.ahemnegotiationsnews.blogspot.com.

Olivia Koester is at olivia.koester@ecm-inc.com

  • R.Hill

    Let’s not forget “It’s about the children” Ya right!

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