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Still no settlement on teacher contracts after 45 weeks

The Pequot Lakes School Board and teachers again left the table with no contract settlement after a negotiations session Monday, May 12, marking 45 weeks since the current contract expired.

Superintendent Chris Lindholm said by email Tuesday, May 13, that the district will need to schedule another session, and that the school board plans to end its regular meeting Monday, May 19, with a closed meeting to further discuss negotiations.

More than 30 Education Minnesota Pequot Lakes (EMPL) members gathered outside the high school and district offices Monday, where negotiations took place for around an hour.

“(Teachers wanted to) show their support of the EMPL negotiators and efforts to obtain a fair settlement for our teacher members,” union president Kim Johnson said by email Tuesday.

Members further showed support for a settlement by leaving the school as a group at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in a demonstration of solidarity, similar to Pine River-Backus’ work-to-rule demonstrations held in April.

It appears teachers do not expect a settlement before the end of the school year, as a unity rally is planned for June 3. The rally, which will take place from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Lakeside Ballroom at Breezy Point Resort, will feature a speech from the statewide Education Minnesota President Denise Specht.

Johnson will speak, and guests in the labor movement and community will make appearances as well.

The news release for the event says, “We are coming together to say (EMPL) teachers are unified and focused on achieving a contract that will carry the community forward with excellent schools.”

Chelsey Perkins can be reached at Follow her at and on Twitter @PEJ_Chelsey.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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