Tentative agreement reached between Cloquet School District, secretarial unit

The board will vote on the contract agreement at its next meeting scheduled for Aug. 8 at Garfield School.

Garfield School
The updated school still stands today on the same site.
File / Pine Journal
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CLOQUET — Following an extended contract negotiation process between the Cloquet School District and its secretarial unit, Superintendent Michael Cary shared that the two sides have come to a tentative settlement.

Details of the agreement will be brought before the board for a vote at the next meeting on Aug. 8. In the meantime, the settlement will be shared with the board subcommittee, and with the secretarial negotiation team.

During the board’s Monday, July 11, meeting at Garfield School, Cary went on to state that negotiations with the paraprofessional group have been temporarily halted for summer break, and will resume Aug. 30. Negotiations with the principal group are ongoing, according to Cary.

“We’ll see how things go with principals. If all goes well there, maybe we’ll be lucky and we’ll have two (agreements) for you at the first August meeting, but we’re just engaging in the process,” Cary said. “So, we’ll see how that goes.”

The process of coming to an agreement was months in the making as noted by Cary at the board’s meeting June 27. At that time, negotiations were stagnant as the two sides remained far apart in their offers.


“I think from a board perspective, we have a very generous offer on the table,” Cary said at the June 27 meeting. “It’s more than what we’d typically offer in a negotiation. It’s still pretty far from what they’re asking for, and I think a lot of what’s driving what our units are asking for is the rapid increase in inflation and other pieces.”

Board tables 'BL Spirit Pump' vote

Citing a desire to gather more details about the proposed “BP Spirit Pump” at the British Petroleum (BP) gas station off Highway 33 in Cloquet, the board opted to table the vote for the next meeting on Aug. 8.

The BP Spirit Pump would be a designated gas pump painted with Cloquet High School colors, which would donate 2 cents per gallon sold to the Cloquet School District.

The Cumberland School District in Cumberland, Wisconsin, is the closest school district in proximity to Cloquet to have the Spirit Pump.

Board member Nate Sandman expressed interest in going over the contract language at the next meeting, while fellow board member Gary Huard didn’t rule out the possibility of other gas stations companies also expressing interest in the idea.

“I don’t know how it works, but maybe somebody else will come over and say, ‘you know what, we’ll give you 3 pcents a gallon,’” Huard said.

Abdulla Gaafarelkhalifa is a reporter for St. Cloud Live, and welcomes your story ideas and suggestions at
Jordan McAlpine

Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
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