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Minn. Senate Committee Approves Teacher Pay Freeze

January 26, 2011, 6:02 AM

ST. PAUL, MN - The Minnesota Senate Education Committee has approved a proposal for a statewide pay freeze for school employees on a 9-7 vote.

Sen. Dave Thompson, a Republican from Lakeville, is proposing to freeze pay for two years, including costs-of-living adjustments and rewards for experience and additional schooling.  He says the proposal will help school districts manage their costs at a time of tight budgets.

The bill would not affect contracts that are currently in place.  It does not prevent districts from spending more on employees' health insurance.  The bill also prohibits unions from striking over the salary freeze.

Don Sinner, the president of the teachers union in Lakeville, says freezing salaries while health care costs are rising could drive some young teachers out of the profession.

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