Breaking News
More () »

Hastings food service workers to return to job nearly 2 months after going on strike

In a statement, the district said its school board approved both the tentative food service agreement and strike settlement agreement, bringing an end to the strike.
Credit: KARE

HASTINGS, Minn. — Hastings Public Schools officials announced Wednesday the district's school board voted to approve a tentative agreement reached with its food service workers, putting an end to a nearly two-months-long strike.

In a statement released Wednesday evening, the district said its school board approved both the tentative food service agreement and strike settlement agreement, and that workers are scheduled to return to the job on Thursday morning.

The move comes after SEIU Local 284 workers announced they'd reached a tentative agreement with the district on March 23, which was ratified in a vote by the union members the next day.

The workers hit the picket lines on Feb. 7 in an effort to negotiate with the district for better wages and employee recruitment and retention.

According to the parties' tentative, one-year agreement, the district agreed to increase the hourly rate for paying out unused sick time from $14.50 to $16.50; increase the district's annual contribution toward purchasing workers' footwear from $125 to $150; and include a one-time, lump-sum retention payment of $800 for eligible employees.

On the eve of the strike in early February, the union said in a statement that it wanted a "fair wage increase to combat the impact of historic inflation and maintain stability through regular hours and health insurance benefits." 

After reaching the tentative agreement last week, SEIU 284 Executive Director Kelly Gibbons said in a statement:

“These workers showed amazing solidarity in the fight to improve the conditions for workers and students. Legislators must create a living wage for hourly school workers and provide the funding to pay for it. There should not be tax breaks for the wealthy while hourly school workers around Minnesota, like the Hastings food service workers, are in crisis. Staffing shortages and high turnover in these critical positions are because of low wages that we need to end once and for all.”

In the district's statement Wednesday, officials said the terms of the tentative agreement were "essentially the same" as the ones it provided to the union in its "last, best and final offer," prior to the strike.

To read more details about each agreement, click here.


Download the free KARE 11+ app for Roku, Fire TV, and other smart TV platforms to watch more from KARE 11 anytime! The KARE 11+ app includes live streams of all of KARE 11's newscasts. You'll also find on-demand replays of newscasts; the latest from KARE 11 Investigates, Breaking the News and the Land of 10,000 Stories; exclusive programs like Verify and HeartThreads; and Minnesota sports talk from our partners at Locked On Minnesota. 

Watch more local news:

Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities and across Minnesota in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out