July 18, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Mary Cathryn Ricker, president of the St. Paul teachers union representing 3,300 educators, was voted executive vice president of the American Federation of Teachers. The election took place at the AFT national convention in Los Angeles on Monday July 14, 2014. Ricker will serve with AFT President Randi Weingarten, and Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson in the top ranks of the national organization in Washington D.C.
Ricker led the union in negotiating a new two-year contract with the St. Paul School District that would take union-district relations into the 21st century. Ricker was instrumental in gaining local community support in St. Paul which was critical in the union winning smaller class sizes and an innovative contract. As a result of the agreement in St. Paul, the district added 42 full-time positions, including social workers, and school guidance counselors. Richer has always been a strong proponent of smaller classes, a teacher-family educational partnership and teaching rather than testing.
“I am energized by the mandate the members of the American Federation of Teachers have given me and the rest of the leadership team,” Ricker said in a statement.