District proposal falls short of District’s own pay study – Bargaining Update

You recently received a letter from School Board President Berrios and Superintendent Vargas, telling you that the district had commissioned a study which compares the pay of teachers in Kent with surrounding districts.  The letter went on to say that the District had modified its compensation offer to KEA.  It implied that the District’s new proposal is adequate to bring salaries up to area standards.  The numbers themselves, however, tell a different story.

Below is a table based on the data in the salary study commissioned by KSD.  The table shows all “effective ed,” TRI pay, stipends and bonuses that were paid above the state base salary schedule in this past 2008-09 school year.  The study even included as income the value of cashing-out unused discretionary leave days.  Please note that the District pre-selected other districts for comparison, and deliberately excluded Seattle, Issaquah, Edmonds, Everett, Mercer Island, and a number of other higher paying area districts.  Also note that the District’s study used six benchmarks for comparison, two of which are beyond the normal end point of the state’s 16-step base schedule.  These are shown in the last two columns and reflect longevity pay.  In Kent, it takes 25 years– almost one’s entire career– to reach the level of longevity pay that the study calls “Top Step.”

As you can see from the numbers, Kent teacher pay is well below area averages, even using the District’s own highly selective set of comparables and benchmarks.







Top Step

Auburn $     4,951 $     5,964 $     6,437 $      8,665 $     10,565 $     10,947
Bellevue $     7,386 $     8,337 $     9,258 $     11,972 $     14,899 $     15,530
Federal Way $     4,285 $     4,971 $     5,422 $      6,324 $      8,976 $      9,375
Highline $     5,354 $     6,181 $     6,724 $      7,811 $      9,509 $      9,923
Lake Wash $     6,868 $     7,898 $     8,316 $     10,035 $     11,902 $     14,602
Puyallup $     4,181 $     4,479 $     4,866 $      5,639 $      7,590 $     10,710
Renton $     4,940 $     5,291 $     5,771 $      6,731 $      8,852 $      9,246
Tacoma $     6,534 $     8,953 $     9,088 $     11,528 $     14,178 $     14,596
Tahoma $     3,923 $     4,552 $     4,964 $      5,790 $      7,081 $      7,395

AVE Comps

$    5,380 $    6,292 $    6,761 $      8,277 $    10,395 $    11,369
Kent $     3,457 $     3,905 $     4,163 $      5,281 $      7,790 $      9,287
KEA proposal $     4,834 $     6,532 $     7,051 $      8,518 $     12,024 $     13,712
KSD proposal $     4,837 $     5,247 $     5,551 $      6,660 $      9,420 $     10,948

Now, take a look at the proposal rows, showing the current proposals of KEA and the District.  As you can see, the District’s proposal for next year is still below last year’s averages in the districts they selected for their salary study.  KEA’s proposal more closely approaches area averages and the “market value” of educators in our region.

The District’s proposal falls short by their own standards.  This inadequate financial offer is conditioned on KEA’s acceptance of unreasonable give-backs on layoffs and subcontracting, and makes no provision for our issues regarding Time and Workload.  The District can and should do better.  In contrast, KEA’s proposal is affordable and realistic, and moves educator pay in Kent closer to the true average of a broader group of comparable districts in the Seattle area.

With your support, the KEA Bargaining Team will continue to press for a settlement that is in the best interest of educators, students, and our community


10 Responses to “District proposal falls short of District’s own pay study – Bargaining Update”

  1. theresa Says:

    $20 million dollars in the bank. Over 14 teaching positions were RIF. A superintendent paid $240,000 a year. Is it all about money? Not where teachers are concerned according to the KSD actions.
    Give us a competitive salary, but not all of our demands costs money. More time, for example, will help us.
    Teachers need a commitment to class size, as well as in classroom support. Instructional assistants who can help learning disabled or emerging English speakers are critical. Class size makes a big difference in the level we can reach with kids. Having unfair loads where one teacher has the most special ed children is also not fair.
    And counselors with 450 students, nurses with responsibility for two or more buildings, and speech pathologists that travel from closet to closet in several buildings to serve 60 or more students is unfair.
    KSD needs to step up to the plate and give us a package that addresses time, workload and compensation. And they better hurry! Our general meeting on August 26 at 5 p.m. is coming soon. See you all at Kentlake High School.

  2. Terry Says:

    Do we have a funding comparison by district as well so we can see which districts receive more funding for salaries? The way the state allocates money for schools is a major problem that we should all (KEA, District, citizens) be up in arms about. It impacts Kent’s ability to pay it’s teachers. I know Federal Way is one of the lower funded districts and it is reflected in the chart above in their salaries. Bellevue, Tacoma, Seattle, Mercer Island, Everett an Edmonds all receive more funding from the State compared to Kent, is that not true as well? That would probably be why they pay more in salaries. It would be nice to see the differences so we can show it to our state reps and senators to get them to fight for our District.

    • Teacher Speaks Says:

      What concerns me greatly is KSD’s priorities. Their priorities do not seem to include adequate health benefits, competitive teacher pay, lower class sizes, paper supplies, teacher-directed workshop days, less meetings, etc. How about respect? I’d love it if my principal would quit talking to us as if we were 2 years old.

      There are many issues that do not involve money, yet the District just shrugs their shoulders as if it’s no concern of theirs. Really? Are we ready to put up with that attitude or treatment and accept a bad contract that will set us back steps rather than forward? Unless you are a classroom teacher, you cannot even begin to contemplate the stress and unrealistic demands foisted upon us. Whatever money KSD does have, they seem to have enough to pay 6 figure salaries to administrators and creating job positions within schools that DO NOT LOWER CLASS SIZE.

  3. Teacher Says:

    Some buildings don’t even have counselors, EA’s, or Librarians. Counselors should be manditory. Our kids success isn’t all about their accademics, they won’t pass “tests” if they are emotionally unhealthy or in crisis.

  4. Julie Says:

    It’s so disappointing that the district does not see bringing our salaries to an “average” as being necessary. When I got the bargaining update from the very first bargaining session, I was so bummed that I went ahead and began to update my personel file at my prior district (who is one of the comparison districts-a $6500.00 raise at least if all I do is go back). Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem like the year that I’ll be able to make that change in districts. So, until then, I’ll keep being involved in KEA and fighting for what we deserve! I hope you will too.

  5. lisa Says:

    The numbers listed in the chart are the TRI (effective ed) monies. These funds are NOT from the state. The amounts are on top of the salary schedule. Though some districts do receive more money on the salary schedule it is because years ago when Washington went to a statewide salary, some districts were already paying above the state rate, so those districts were grandfathered in at their higher rate. Other districts that were below were raised up to the state level. However, the difference in the salary schedules of other districts compared to Kent DOES NOT account for the disparity. The difference is in the TRI pay.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    The point is, KSD is sitting on a fat chunk of change–much more than most other districts– and obviously enough to pay their managers a handsome salary. I’d like to hear them explain the reason for those exorbitant salaries to the parents of KSD students.

    As far as some buildings not having counselors, EAs , etc, why is that not happening? KSD needs to involve the staff members in decisions of where monies should be allocated. I’d trade a data specialist (aka coach) for a good EA anyday!!!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Its only fair to also inform people on how our admin salaries compare to other districts as well.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    No matter what district, I have yet to see any administrator worth a six figure salary. And still, if other districts such as Issaquah, pays their administrators over $100,00 per year, we should be up in arms over the fact that we don’t have what the teachers in those districts get, such as: early release every week for planning ( not disrict controlled planning), higher pay, NO micromanaging, input from staff, TRUST, etc. The list goes on…..

  9. CounterpointSue Says:

    Compensation is just ONE of the things that, in my mind, justify a vote to strike. Time and workload are equally, if not more, important to me. I consider the poor compensation to be an additional slap on the face when combined with the fact that I have more meetings and a heavier workload than my contemporaries in surrounding districts. It’s important for us to talk about the compensation, but I think my students’ parents will appreciate my dissatisfaction with the time and workload issues more because it directly impacts their kids. I can’t meet with students more than 2-3 times a week for individual help or instruction because my mornings are tied up with mandatory meetings and I travel 2-3 times a week in the afternoons. We need to be sure to stress all three points equally when we speak with community members.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: