Following Teamster rallies, St. Paul public schools agree to $15 minimum wage

Teamsters from the Local 320 protested for a new contract for school nutrition service workers ahead of a St. Paul School Board meeting Tuesday evening.

After their previous contract expired June 30, dozens of St. Paul Public Schools nutrition services workers took their fight for a living wage to a School Board meeting last month--and it seems to have paid off.

The district announced Tuesday that it would increase its minimum-wage to $15 for all employees by 2020, including the group of 110 nutrition services workers that rallied to put public pressure on SPPS as negotiations stalled behind the scenes, according to a source close to the discussions.

Teaching assistants in the school district had already secured the increase to a $15 base salary earlier in the summer, a change that will be phased in by the beginning of 2019.

The announcement follows months of activism across the river in Minneapolis, culminating in a June City Council vote to raise the city's minimum wage to $15. On Labor Day, fast food workers, Congressman Keith Ellison and activists with the Fight for $15 in St. Paul brought the fight to St. Paul with another rally in support of the increase.

A study from the state of Minnesota earlier this year found that nearly 250,000 workers earn $9.50 or less an hour.