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April 16, 2024


Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond, MINN – Paraeducators in the ROCORI ISD 750 school district who are members of SEIU Local 284 reached a tentative agreement with the district on Friday, April 12th for schools in the central Minnesota cities of Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond. This agreement comes just days after the membership filed their intent to strike with the Bureau of Mediation Services following an earlier strike vote that saw 90% voting in support of striking if a deal had not been reached.

Stacey Evens, a paraeducator at ROCORI High School and member of SEIU Local 284, shared what this agreement means to the group:

“We were able to reach this deal that provides strong across the board raises, holds the line on insurance costs, and improves the financial stability of paras who make this a career because of our unity and resolve. I’ve been doing this work for years and this contract is an important first step to get us on the path to where our pay should be.”

The group comprises 78 paraeducators who work directly with students, supporting their academic, physical, and social-emotional learning and providing much support to students who receive special education services. After working for a contract for over a year, the two sides reached a tentative agreement late Friday afternoon. The full details are being shared with membership, but the agreement includes important across-the-board raises and improvements in pay for the longest serving paraeducators.

Kelly Gibbons, the Executive Director of SEIU Local 284, details how this situation unfolded:

“After almost a year of bargaining, the ROCORI paras got a tentative agreement that starts to recognize the critical work our members do every day to make school happen for the kids of this community. But workers and communities should not have to come within days of a strike to make incremental changes towards making these jobs sustainable for the long term. We have a critical staffing crisis and a wave of retirements that has started in Minnesota schools. The legislature needs to take action to raise wages for hourly school workers so our districts are not paying these workers $22,000 a year to do this work that is essential to our kids’ education.”

The next step is for the members to vote on ratifying the new contract. The bargaining team is recommending a “yes” vote.