St. Paul Cafeteria Workers to Get $15 Minimum Wage By 2019

After 16 hours of mediation, the bargaining unit reached a deal with St. Paul Public Schools to raise the minimum wage for nutrition workers to $15 an hour.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Lunch workers at St. Paul Public Schools have reached a deal to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019.

After 16 hours of mediation, Teamsters Local 320 reached a deal with the school district guaranteeing 2 percent pay increases this school year and the next. By 2019, all nutrition workers will be increased to $15 an hour.

Previously Alpha News reported that the cafeteria workers were demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage. Currently cash-strapped St. Paul Schools district is running millions of dollars over budget. The increase in wages up from $11.66 an hour would cost the district up to $350,000 annually in additional labor costs.

In spite of the large deficits, the district was receptive to the request, pledging to reach a $15 minimum wage for all of its employees by 2020. Union leadership was not satisfied, insisting the nutrition workers receive a wage raise sooner. Earlier this month, 92 percent of the members voted Monday to authorize a strike.

With the threat of a potential strike, the school district reached a deal with the bargaining unit.

“After a 16-hour-long meditation session, we have reached a tentative agreement. Details will be coming out later today after the group gets some much needed rest!” Teamsters Local 320 wrote on Facebook.

Of the close to 300 nutrition workers employed by the St. Paul school district, more than 100 currently make less than $15 per hour.

Christine Bauman