KEA Rally on May 13th A Huge Success!

On May 13th, KEA members made their voices heard loud and clear. 

A rally was held at the KEA Administration Building that was attended by over 300 staff, students, parents, and community members who support a quality education for all students.  Though the weather was cold and rainy, those in attendance were in high spirits as KEA Vice President Connie Compton spoke of the Association’s bargaining proposals related to improving the time, workload, and compensation of KEA members.   “These proposals that we bring to the bargaining table,” Compton said, “come from what you KEA members have identified as the issues that affect you and your students.” 

Supporters chanted, “Time, Workload, Compensation!  Support A Quality Education!” as reporters from KOMO-TV, Q13-TV, and KING5-TV, as well as The Kent Reporter, covered the event.   After the brief rally, more than 250 members packed the School Board Room from wall-to-wall as a show of unity to the School Board.   The room was so full of KEA members that some audience members were even forced to sit on the floor or stand behind the Board Members.  KEA members not only showed their desire for a fair contract, but they did so with the utmost professionalism.  In fact, KSD attorney Chuck Lind commented to several KEA officers after the meeting that he, “appreciated the professionalism and respect,” shown by members in attendance.

Following Liz Jones’ discussion of Time as a major KEA issue was Maureen Atkins from Grass Lake Elementary, who recounted the overwhelming effect of the Workload KSD teachers and staff personally experience, and how that workload has prevented teachers from adequately meeting the needs of her students.  Compensation was the last bargaining theme to be illustrated by Ridgewood Elementary teacher Kris Holmquist, who clearly demonstrated why KSD’s ranking as the worst-compenssated district in the Puget Sound Region is inexcusable.  KEA’s presentation was concluded by Kentwood High School teacher Tom Larsen, who summarized the KEA comments by describing how the issues of Time, Workload, and Compensation had driven excellent Kent teachers to leave the district.  Larsen called on the School Board and KSD’s Bargaining Team to work to resolve these issues immediately.

In all, the event was viewed as a positive affirmation of KEA members unity in advocating for Time, Workload, and Compensation, which will guarantee that Kent can provide a quality education for all students.


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