KSD Misrepresents KEA Bargaining Proposals

After only two Bargaining sessions, it seems that the Kent School District has chosen a hard line position in bargaining with the Kent Education Association’s 1,800 members.  First, the KSD presented a list of Bargaining proposals on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 to KEA that will cut salaries and benefits, among other repressive measures.  (See “KSD Brings Its Proposals To The Table, And They Ain’t Pretty,” previously posted on this blog for a summary of KSD’s proposals.)These proposals were brought forth only days after the Kent School District announced that 125 certificated staff faced layoff notices. 

On the other hand, the Kent Education Association brought forth a variety of contract proposals aimed at improving student instruction and attracting and keeping quality teachers and certificated staff in Kent.  KEA hopes these proposals will improve Kent School District’s standing in Washington, since Kent currently is among the lowest in terms of per-pupil spending and the worst in terms of teacher compensation in the Puget Sound region.  KSD provided no counter-proposals to KEA’s innovative ideas that would have shown a spirit of cooperation and compromise. 

The District’s draconian proposal was followed by a post on the Kent School District website entitled, “Bargaining Begins — Proposals Shared.”  The document purports to show KEA’s proposals side-by-side with the KSD’s proposals in a, “continued spirit of transparency.”   However, on closer inspection, one will notice that the KSD attaches dollar amounts to several of the KEA proposals, while providing no information about the financial impact on teachers of KSD’s proposed cuts to certificated staffs’ salary and benefits.  Additionally, several of KEA’s proposals are misrepresented or taken out of context. 

KEA Vice President Connie Compton responded, “What is posted there is incredibly slanted.  Some of the things under our proposals are taken out of context, some are misrepresented, some are slanted or imply things that aren’t true – for example the webmaster and roster master are not new positions we are asking to create, they are positions the district created and work we are expected to do, currently without pay.”  One can only wonder why the School Board would allow KEA’s proposals to be misrepresented on the KSD’s website, a public forum.

KEA encourages its members to write Superintendent Grohe and the members of the School Board to express their disappointment in KSD’s bargaining proposals and current tactics of misrepresentation of the KEA’s proposals.

Lisa Brackin Johnson

Kent Education Association

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3 Responses to “KSD Misrepresents KEA Bargaining Proposals”

  1. Teacher Says:

    The School Board has never visited my classroom. I don’t believe they care. Are they just “figure heads”?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    The district that I grew up in has always had some of the things we are asking for. I graduated high school in 2000, but we have had weekly early releases (mostly teacher directed) since I was in elementary school. They all get vision as part of their health package. It is not a question if they want it, they all have it. They too now have access to Moodle, but it is a choice. And they only have 1 staff meeting a month, usually on a early release date. Before and after time is reserved for grading, planning and helping students…no IEP meetings or eval meetings. Most of what we are asking for is so little.

  3. Teacher Says:

    …KSD is all about looking good in the public eye –but in the meantime, their other hand has a stronghold on teachers behind the public’s back– keeping teachers quiet about the real problems that exist.

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