Bargaining Update June 15

From: Lacey Unseth [WA] [mailto:LUnseth@WashingtonEA.org]
Sent: Wednesday, June 17, 2015 3:15 PM
Subject: Bargaining Update June 15

First day of negotiations short on substance from PSD

Monday marked the first day of bargaining the new contract to replace our current PAE contract, which expires Aug. 31.

Based on PAE’s prior surveys, building meetings, small-group discussions and one-on-one conversations, PAE came to the bargaining table with a comprehensive proposal, a paper stack about ¾ inch thick. The district’s opening package was much more vague: five pages outlining the administration’s bargaining philosophies, but stating that PSD won’t commit to financial issues until the Legislature agrees to a new state budget. PAE noted that it is not crucial to know how much additional money PSD will receive from the state: PAE’s entire opening package totals about $11 million, and the district already is expected to end the year with $30 million in cash reserves.

The opening-day tone was calm, with the district apparently wanting to de-escalate PAE members’ concerns with long-festering problems over teacher compensation, insurance, workload, curriculum, class size, teacher evaluation, transfers, state testing, and decision-making practices within the district. The district also suggested PAE should split out issues so they can be negotiated or rejected individually by the district vs. a comprehensive, broad-based package that holistically shapes our schools.

Key issues put forth in Monday PAE’s proposal include:

· An 11.2 percent pay increase for teachers, matching the salary increase given to state legislators.

· Increasing the individual insurance allotment by $30 per month, to $100 per teacher, plus increasing the district contribution to insurance pool.

· Additional pay when teachers are “voluntold” to fill in for missing substitutes during planning time.

· Converting time-sheeted Tier Days to “deemed-done” days so your pay recognizes the work teachers do but eliminates the extra paperwork.

· Clear, consistent student discipline procedures that are supported and enforced by administrators so that classroom learning isn’t continually disrupted.

· Additional planning time for elementary teachers.

· Lowering class sizes by two students per classrooms, and lower daily maximums for PE and other specialists to match daily limits for other classes.

· Fixes for special-ed caseload language to reduce huge disparities that have arisen under the district’s current contract interpretations.

· Changes to department heads, with leaders being elected by building staff instead of hand-picked by the administrator, plus the creation of department-heads for other grade levels beyond high schools.

In addition to the district’s opening philosophical statements, such as being committed “to significantly and consistently increase student learning and achievement” (as if PAE opposes those goals?), the district proposed an additional tier day for elementary specialists, a limited tuition-reimbursement program (but only “if funds are available”) and new teacher support program.

Because PAE came so well prepared with a comprehensive package, the district said it would not have time to respond Monday. The teams are next scheduled to meet for negotiations Wednesday, June 17.

Bargaining update 1 — 6-15.pdf

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