In January, Director of Schools Dr. Shawn Joseph and his leadership team finished their review of the new Memorandum Of Understanding (“M.O.U.”) presented by SEIU Local 205 and have agreed to its terms.
The new M.O.U. between MNPS and SEIU includes language covering workers’ right to representation, the right to meet-and-confer over wages, benefits, working conditions, and other issues that matter to all support staff. Other articles of the M.O.U. clarify how the union and the school district interact with each other.
The agreement is the end result of the union’s “Fresh Start” campaign—a sustained effort by rank-and-file members to affect local politics and community initiatives which built an environment of trust and cooperation between both organizations. SEIU members worked on political campaigns, attended community events, participated in the search for a new Director of Schools, and hosted positive meetings that brought support staff and administrators together to find common ground and to unite around key principles that emphasized listening, respect, and the best interests of our public schools.
“This new agreement shows what happens when there is mutual respect between SEIU and MNPS,” said Brad Rayson, president of Local 205. “Dr. Joseph's administration has shown both the support staff and our Union that respect. It benefits everyone if SEIU and MNPS are working together to improve our public schools and we are glad to be partners in helping the district strive for excellence.”