Sunday night and still no breakthrough in contract talks

Parents want teachers back in school, but with a fair contract, not under a court order. Hear their message as hundreds of parents and community supporters joined Kent teachers outside the district headquarters on Friday. Watch video …

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61 Responses to “Sunday night and still no breakthrough in contract talks”

  1. Concerned Says:

    KEA:

    What is keeping KSD and KEA from moving forward?

  2. question Says:

    just out of curiosity, how exactly do you know what parents want? w/ 10,000+ students in KSD, the parents are tens of thousands. Do you base your statement on what you get from a few hundred that give vocal support? I do not think you, or the district for that matter, can claim to understand what parents want, or more importantly claim that you have their support. Many of us are disappointed equally w/ both KSD and KEA

  3. Parent/Teacher Says:

    I thought that we were told that there had been some movement on the district’s side as far as class numbers were concerned. This was stated sometime earlier this week. Could we see that information or have answers regarding it. I believe that KEA is where we heard this information.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      Only hearing general info, not details. Sorry I can’t be more specific. I think that they don’t want to spoil what they are bargaining over by taking it to the public. That’s what got us here in the first place. I will say that from what I’ve heard second hand, there have been proposals exchanged, but no details. I’m going as crazy as you all are about this! Stay patient.

  4. Wondering Says:

    Has there been any compromise from the district–no matter how small–as far as class size goes? Is KEA willing to compromise as well? This has been going on for too long. I realize that KEA is hearing from supportive parents, but I am hearing many comments from frustrated parents and students that are not supportive of the strike continuing. Is this worth it for a year long contract? I am also concened about some of the not so positive actions of KEA members during the strike. In particular, I was dismayed to learn that the teachers striking in front of the new Panther Lake Elementary school were willing to get in the way of construction workers in hopes that this would halt construction. How would that effort have helped in regards to class size? The students of that school would have been greatly impacted had this been allowed.
    I hope the efforts of KEA are truly what they say they are.

    • Parent Says:

      It is my understanding that the construction workers were not crossing the picket lines by choice. If they get there before the teachers then they will work for the day. There are other unionized companies that are not crossing the lines either such as trash service and delivery companies. There are so many different stories going around and all I have heard is the district’s side. I would like to here KEA make a statement about what is going on so that people can make a better decision as to what they want to believe from each side. Right now alot of the information seems one-sided.

      • kenteducationassociation Says:

        Note to KEA members:

        If we do choose to defy the injunction, our supporters in the Teamsters and other unions will be forced to cross our lines, or risk legal sanctions. If that happens, we should wave and cheer for them. We will not block their access to KSD facilities.

        If I had news, I would share it. Nobody in KEA is talking right now in the belief that we shouldn’t interfere with the process. I’m just the messenger, I’m not in the loop at this point. Sorry.

      • MLRKe Says:

        Having been at Panther Lake several times during the picketing, I can tell you that NO workers have been prevented from crossiing the lines. If workers choose to cross, they can. Some do, some don’t, but I do know that KSD administration has asked some workers and inspectors to come back at times when there would be no active picketing.

      • Wondering Says:

        The information I received regarding Panther Lake came directly from a KEA member–not the KSD. That is why I was so bothered by it.

    • striking teacher Says:

      I have been on the Panther Lake picket line and no one has obstructed any workers entry or exit on the School property. We have picketed peacefully and respectfully throughout this ordeal. I am saddened by the negative rumors that are out there on both sides of this issue.

  5. a Kent teacher Says:

    Now I am really conflicted, as I am guessing some of my fellow teachers are. What to do? What action to take? Do I break the law and go against a court order? I tell my own kids to obey the laws and expect them to. Do I consider the class size issue and number of meetings on par with other civil disobedience issues? Am I willing to pay up to $250 (Yes, they say nobody has ever had to pay but then the courts haven’t been called in this early either.)
    What do I tell my friends that work in lunch services, drive a bus, or others that aren’t going to get paid what they are expecting? (Yes, they will get paid for the same amount of time like we will, but their checks aren’t going to be on time for the expected bills.)
    What do I say to the excited child and parents that have made plans to be at school on Wednesday? “Oh, so sorry, we haven’t been able to agree yet so you’ll have to wait until we are ready. It really is for your own good.” Parents are making plans, as I am writing this, many don’t realize the possibility of no school. Ok, so it isn’t our fault that the district put out all the information via postcards, web page, robo-phone calls, and each school has the sign out front saying so. It will be our problem, come Wednesday ,if we aren’t there.
    The other part of me asks how we can get anywhere without the drastic actions needed on our part.
    Still confused, probably until the vote tomorrow night.

  6. readyforchange Says:

    I am wondering if we will be given the opportunity to vote on what the distrit IS offering before deciding to vote to break the court order to return to work. I don’t feel comfortable making that decision without having a chance to decide if the contract is something people are okay with or not. I don’t know that I want to break the law without having exhausted all possible outcomes first. Am I the only one? I can’t be. I will support whatever the decision is, and have done so everyday thus far. But I do feel we should be able to decide based on what has happened so far, not just on what has not happened. Once that is explored, I feel more comfortable deciding where to go from there.

    • teacher Says:

      I agree. The handouts given on Friday at the rally showed the district and KEA not that far apart on actually numbers in classes but on the way to handle it if they go over. After 3 days, adults negotiating this can’t come to an agreement? Really?

    • Concerned for the kids Says:

      I am with you! I did read the district’s 9/6 proposal on class size and that caps were set with specific ways to address the class size issue with the principal. Options were given and time limits were included. I saw progress. Is the only choice the union is giving is the per pupil fee when we are over the cap…we should look at other options. Getting less confused and want to be able to vote on what the district IS offering. I too feel for the bus drivers, parents, food service workers….

    • veryconflicted Says:

      I have been wondering this exact same thing the entire time this has been going on. Not once has the union ever fully outlined the district’s proposal before we vote to strike, etc. Why is that?? I don’t think it’s entirely fair for us to be faced with such difficult choices without a clear picture of all of our possible choices. It seems that the union has it’s on agenda here that may or may not address the needs of the majority of the union’s members.

    • Therapist in KEA Says:

      Looking at the KSD proposal it is missing caps for significant numbers of teachers and specialists. The KEA proposals have always included caps for special education caseloads, counselors, nurses, therapists, psychologists and social workers. I have yet to see anything regarding the above caseloads/class sizes from KSD. The children served by the above staff are our most vulnerable and most needy and need staff who have the time to provide quality services. KSD has extreme difficulty recruiting special education teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, and psychologists and KSD has a history of dumping larger caseloads and increased workloads on these difficult to hire specialists. I hope that KEA continues to negotiate caps which include these specialists caseloads and not just stop with general education classrooms.

  7. EI@LY Says:

    This is very disappointing news for teachers. I felt from the beginning that the District was goading us into striking. On Friday, when I saw that the District made the premature decision to announce to the community the first day of school as Sept. 9, I thought there would be a breakthrough in the talks. But now, I think just as they did not think we would strike, I believe they are betting we won’t defy the court order.

    I do have a question that has been nagging at me. I see that there are three district principals on the District bargaining team. Why doesn’t class size and more teacher time with students matter to them? I don’t understand why they aren’t being advocates for their students.

    • Concerned Says:

      I agree completely with you! My principal is on the KSD bargaining team, and I don’t get it. Why are they not being advocates for their students? I know for a fact (since I have received an email) that my principal is already planning meetings during the student day. How is this good for students? These are meetings that I will be required to attend, and a guest teacher will cover my classroom. This meeting will happen during the first few days of school. How is this good for students?

  8. Kteacher Says:

    It is so very encouraging to see the parent support. This has been an extremely difficult time for teachers to not return to our classrooms and kids. Things have been said that attack my personal integrity as a teacher. Thank you so much for the support.

  9. Susanne Cox Says:

    It seems to me that the issue of class size and its effect on student achievement has been lost during the negotiations. My hope is that the district and the bargaining team are using recently published articles and research from peer-reviewed journals to inform their discussions. The crucial question, it seems to me, is what factors can we embed within this new contract to improve or increase student achievement in the Kent School District? How can we get the most bang for our buck?

    Class size and its effect on student achievement, as we all know, is a complicated issue. Lowering class size as a solitary intervention is not a panacea. But, there is plenty of recent research and papers (position papers) which highlight or measure the effects of class size in concert with other interventions and its effect on student achievement. Here are a few:

    Bacio, N. & Fredua-Kwarteng, E. (Nov, 2008). Reducing class size: Promises and perils. Education Canada, 48(5), pp. 30-33. Brief summary: reducing class size, especially in the primary grades correlates with academic and social benefits. These benefits endure beyond the first years of school. Class size reductions are not a cure all; on-going professional development for teachers is necessary to maintain benefits of lower classroom size.

    Halcombe, A. (Mar, 2009). More than the sum of its parts. Principal Leadership, 9(7), pp. 32-36. Brief summary: author describes a multi-faceted program that improves mathematics instruction in a school district’s ten lowest performing schools. Some of the support components necessary for the programs success included: monetary incentives for teachers, professional development, education technology, reduced class size. Three year follow-up indicated that program helped close the gap in student performance in those schools and improved recruitment and retention of math teachers.

    Jepsen, C. & Rivkin, S. (2009). Class size reduction and student achievement: The potential trade off between teacher quality and class size. Journal of Human Resources, 44(1), pp. 223-250. Brief summary: authors investigate the effects of California’s class-size-reduction program on student achievement. Smaller class sizes raised mathematics and reading achievement. Teachers with no prior experience or full certification dampened effects of smaller class sizes, especially in schools with high proportion of economically disadvantaged minority students (in other words, the necessary components for student success were lower class size and experienced teachers).

    Duke, D. L. (May, 2008). Diagnosing school decline. Phi Delta Kappan, 9(9), pp. 667-671. Brief summary: one of the most important strategies for stopping school decline is recognizing its signs early on and promptly intervening. Authors outline eleven indicators of school decline: undifferentiated assistance, inadequate monitoring of progress, unadjusted daily schedule, alignment problems, ineffective staff development, lost focus, lack of leadership, hasty hiring, increased class size, overreliance on untrained helpers, and more rules and harsher punishment.

    So, lower class size is one factor, albeit an important factor in improving student achievement. As the bargaining team and district weigh the balance between fiscal issues, budget constraints, federal and state mandates, and the myriad of other issues affecting a viable contract, I am hoping that factors which will improve student achievement are put at the forefront. Lowering class size seems to me to be a practical element to include within the contract.

    • question Says:

      Everyone agrees that smaller class sizes would be better, the issue is a balance between what is best, and what can be done w/ the funding provided. The assumption to this whole strike, is that KSD has some significant source of untapped funds that can provide LONG TERM class size reduction. Using reserve funds t will just set up an entitlement senario which funds will need to be located later to maintain.

      I am amazed that WEA isn’t putting our legislators feet in the fire a little with regards to the funding. They’ve spent a great deal of money w/ lobbying and campain adds to assist the election of a great deal of these legislators. Why aren’t they being held accountable

      • kenteducationassociation Says:

        The WEA is taking action, and has been for some time. The “NEWS” lawsuit is a direct result of a lack of movement by the legislators. That, however, is probably best left to the WEA blog, not this one.

      • Lech Walesa Says:

        No, everyone does NOT agree smaller class sizes would be better. For every study that says small class size is good, there is one that says it doesn’t. And yes they are well researched, peer reviewed, bla bla bla

  10. Growing Impatient Says:

    We need more details!

  11. Neil & Mary Rucksdashel Says:

    Our household supports the KEA 110%. The teachers in this district are accomplished wonderful educators and we feel LUCKY to be in this school district. Your request are reasonable and the school districts attitude and lack of cooperation are wrong. The reasons for this strike have been developing for a long time. We will continue our support of the teachers until they feel the conditions are right for them to go back to school. GO KEA!!!!!

  12. Concerned Says:

    At the meeting Monday evening the members have a right to hear what the district has offered and how far apart on the issues we are before making a decision on whether to defy a court order.
    We should see the actual contact proposal not just listen to an editorialized interpretation of what has been offered.
    There are no winners and losers anymore, just kids that deserve an education.

    • question Says:

      the most recent district proposal as well as KEA’s is on the KSD website and has been all along, along w/ previous district proposals. I would hope teacher’s have already reviewed these so they can, in the calm of their home and own thoughts, analyze it.

      • kenteducationassociation Says:

        The most recent proposals we don’t know, because they are being passed among the bargaining teams. This is a fluid process. The District is giving you a still picture of a movie. Be aware that the proposals they are posting are being carefully selected for you, the audience. You are not seeing everything from the Bargaining Table, only snippets of information.

        It is interesting to note that until the Bellevue strike a couple years ago, the posting of specific contract language during negotiations was considered bad faith bargaining. I’m wondering if KSD would do it again if it had the opportunity to reconsider this tactic. I know everyone’s thirst for information is strong, but I think that getting the proposals without context or background has done more harm than good.

    • Wanting to do the right thing.. Says:

      I completely agree with this. I want to see exactly what has been proposed before casting any ballot today. This is not because of any distrust of our KEA, but rather because I want to make my own educated choice.

    • Concerned for the kids Says:

      I too want to see all offers to make a decision! Whether it is bad faith bargaining to publish offers, the bottom line is that I can see what is being offered from the district as of the 6th and I have NO IDEA what my own union is doing to help in the process. It is not a lack of trust but a lack of information. If we do not have more information, then I for one cannot support defying a court order.

  13. goingnowhere Says:

    First and foremost, thank you parents! Your support is amazing.
    WHY NO BREAKTHROUGHS!!!!! If we still have no breakthrough in talks, how much are we responsible for? No one side is sweet and innocent is this arena, how do we get this thing settled? While I will not return to work without a contract, union suicide, I want to return to work ASAP! Has this powerplay gotten out of hand on both sides? At this rate with no breakthroughs I am very concerned we might be another Marysville, that would be another form of suicide.
    Hope this comment clears the chopping block!

  14. Karen Says:

    If I am not mistaken the contract proposals are on both the KEA and KSD websites. Teachers need to read this and be informed. Although there may have been changes over the last few days, this published document proposal is the most recent, to my knowledge.

  15. Parent & Community Member Says:

    I wish the teachers would go back to their classrooms. I don’t know much, I’m just a parent and Kent home owner, but I believe it’s not right to disobey the law plus a court order. I’m sure many teachers feel powerless beyond the strike to make positive changes. Are there other ways to make changes without disobeying the law? Is it possible to picket and strike during the ridiculous meetings, instead of during class time? What other possibilities are there? I’m sure there are other creative ideas out there. Can you try some of those instead of disobeying the law and denying the children their need to go back to school?

  16. Lookingforthetruth Says:

    The most recent class size proposals from both KEA and KSD are posted on the district’s website:

    http://www.kent.k12.wa.us/KSD/CR/Budget/budget_negotiations/budget_negotiations/budget_negotiations/html/

    You can read each and compare the details.

  17. Kent Auburn Says:

    If you want details of the proposals, the complete text of both KSD and KEA proposals are on the KSD website. Reading the porposals side-by-side, they seem very very close.

  18. Another Parent Volunteer Says:

    I have waited patiently for the process to move forward between KSD and KEA. I hope that KEA will agree to some of the compromises that have been offered by KSD and therefore recognize that the district does not have an unlimited amount of money and settle. If that is not possible and there is still work occurring on the contract, teachers should agree now to return to work while the negotiations continue (if necessary). Please think about the effect of a continued delay of schools on the students in our district.

    I am frustrated that the parent’s who do not support a “strike” have not been heard. I keep hearing the teachers and the KEA say that all the parents support the strike. I do not believe that to be true based on the conversations I have had with my neighbors and friends. I want to be clear that supporting a strike and supporting the teachers getting a contract are two different things. Many parents are afraid to say publicly that they don’t support the strike, because they don’t want that to be misinterpreted that they don’t support teachers. We don’t want to walk around the schools or in our child’s class and have that label, as we want to work with KEA and KSD to make the schools a better place.

    Please do not suggest that I am uninformed. I have been volunteering in Kent Schools for over 10 years, easily volunteering hundreds of hours every year. This includes volunteering at elementary through high school, in the classroom, school office, student clubs & activities, advisory committees and as an officer. I have taken the time to read all the information from both the KSD and KEA websites I am a professional person, who has worked in a professional capacity with much unpaid overtime

    While I understand that KSD may not have always acted in the best manner possible, I would also suggest that KEA & WEA review their behavior, their willingness to defy a judge’s order and the presentation of the facts that they have publicized.

  19. TeachersHubby Says:

    I am the husband of a teacher that teaches in the KSD. While I am directly affected by this strike and have supported it from the beginning (in fact I told my wife there should have been a strike last time around), I am extremely disappointed by the incompetence running rampant within the KEA union leadership. Let me explain: First of all, the KEA claims we have community support. We don’t. How could we? The KSD has been running a PR campaign portraying the teachers as the bad guys right from the beginning. They send out letters, run ads, have news conferences etc… What does the KEA do for its PR campaign to counter the KSD’s claims? We hand out a few flyers on a corner and rally some teachers in front of a district office. Are you kidding me? What are the union dues being used for? The KEA should be running radio spots, running newspaper ads and for gods sake, please do some press conferences. The public at large is turning against the teachers not because they don’t support the principles you are fighting for, but because the KSD has portrayed the teachers as unreasonable, greedy people and there has been no rebuttal from the KEA. EVERY TIME the KSD has a news conference, the KEA should have one in rebuttal. This is all about getting the community on our side, but if all they are hearing is negative stuff (one sided) in the media, how can you expect the community support us? Throw some facts out there. Let the public know what these 16 or 17 things are that the KSD has agreed to IN A PRESS CONFERENCE. Give them specific examples of why class size is worth fighting for. Tell them how class size has caused the WASL scores to drop last year maybe. SOMETHING! ANYTHING!

    Second: What the heck are you doing in these bargaining meetings? Secret, closed door meetings are not how you gather community support. Let the community (and us) know the BS tactics the KSD is trying to pull in these meetings. If you give the community ammunition against the KSD, they will support you. Currently, all we hear is Dr. Dumbbutt up there telling us how it’s the KEA that is being unreasonable and that THEY (the KSD) are the ones negotiating in good faith. Are they? If not, tell the community why he is lying. If there is no rebuttal, then it must be true right? The KEA has done a piss-poor job of representing the teachers. This is not a bake sale people, this is a politically charged event and they (the KSD) are using professional political techniques to win over the public at large. We need professionals on our side in the KEA leadership, not soccer moms playing political activist. At this point I think we need to do the following:
    1. Hold a press conference letting the public know what is going on and why you are still on strike.
    2. Vote to strike for 48 hours. Thus defying the judge, but yet still showing you are willing to put the students first by getting them back into classes and helping cafeteria workers and others affected by the strike to get back to work. This puts you back in class on Thursday and most likely the KSD will hold off putting kids into school until Monday so teachers will have 4 days to prepare.
    3. Run a professional PR campaign including radio spots and ads in newspapers. Keep the pressure on the KSD because once you are in the class room, the KSD has less of a reason to bargain reasonably.
    4. When this is all done or 30 days (whichever comes first), fire every person in the KEA leadership and replace them with professionals. Amateur hour is over. If not, join a new union. I’m sure the Teamsters or some other union that knows what they are doing would be willing to take on 1800 new members.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      TeachersHubby,

      Your frustration is understandable, but I think your focus is in the wrong direction. This is a sore spot for me, personally, because I am one of those “incompetent” union leaders you speak of. Monday Morning Quarterbacking is nice, but you have the complete wrong idea about how KEA works.

      Bargaining is behind closed doors because that is the standard practice. Confidentiality of proposals on the table is meant as a protection for the members of the bargaining teams. It is supposed to allow for the free exchange of proposals (although in this case, that hasn’t worked out so well). Again, bargaining is a fluid process, complex proposals and the accompanying arguments for or against are not something that easily can be packaged for our members to quickly examine as they might a bumper sticker or a T-shirt. KEA members need to trust that the Bargaining Team comes to the table with an understanding of what our members want and need, as well as what is feasible. KEA spent a great deal of time with Listening Campaigns and other formats to gather up information on what our members needs are, and our Bargaining Team is now working for members based upon that information. It is completely unworkable to bring each proposal to the 1,800 members, have them discuss and vote on the issue, and then go back to the District.

      Holding a press conference is a great idea, but what if nobody came? The press was sent multiple press releases, letters to the editor, etc. for the past several years, and yet you didn’t see much out there, did you? It is only when the threat of a strike loomed that people started to take notice. WEA has now provided us with a media specialist who is in constant contact with the media outlets to give our side of things. The problem is that we cannot control the media and tell them what pieces to air or print. A five minute interview is summed up in a one sentence quote by the TV media.

      Having seen the KEA budget first hand, I can tell you that union dues could not even begin to buy radio airtime or full page ads. We do not have the District’s resources in money or man hours. We do not have access to the home phones, addresses, or telephone numbers that the District has been using for its robocalls and direct mail campaigns. (Although Rep. Simpson is working to remedy this, it sounds like.) The best tool KEA has for getting our message out is a grassroots effort involving our members sharing their challenges and frustrations with community members directly. Our members were reluctant to do that until recently, and we are only now starting to see the results of this as parents are starting to organize themselves.

      KEA is made up of volunteers. I can’t tell you how many people have told me, “Thanks for the work you do, I appreciate it,” but are unwilling or unable to actually get involved in the committees that have worked to get us where we are. A small group of us spent many hours after our teaching days ended at the KEA office over the past several years, working hard to get our members to stand up and be heard. The groundswell of union participation we’ve seen in the last six months would have been unimaginable to those of us who have been active in KEA if you asked us what would happen at this time last year. We hope that one of the legacies of this strike is that the membership learns to never again be inactive and passive in union issues in the hopes that someone else will solve things for them.

      I would suggest that if anyone has good ideas on how the KEA could run better, they should get involved by volunteering their time in the union as a member of one of our committees, volunteering to serve as a Building Rep in their building, or running for office in the KEA. The WEA people that have been sent to us to help with this strike will be leaving us as soon as the strike is over and we return to work. At that point, members will need to step up.

      • TeachersHubby Says:

        Comment deleted for violating blog policy on personal attacks and name calling.

        If you cannot be respectful to all parties in your posts, sir, I will not post them. If your wife wants to get involved directly, I again invite her to show up at the KEA office first thing Tuesday morning.

  20. Tuvok Says:

    I have felt very conflicted this weekend on how a resolution can be reached. How can the state force workers to go back without a contract? Is that legal? I did some research about the results from the 2002 Issaquah teacher strike and it was very similar to the Kent Strike. I felt more reassured that everything would turn out alright after reading the article. (I have included the link)

    The end result for the Issaquah strike is that they went back to work after 3 weeks and were not fined or put in jail.

    • Tuvok Says:

      http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20020925&slug=strike25m

    • concerned parent Says:

      I’m so happy that teachers and union leaders are showing my child that it’s OK to defy a judge’s ruling. That’s the mssage I want her to take away from all this: When you feel law the is ambiguous or does not apply to you, ignore it. And expect everyone else to do the same. What does law and order matter anyway?

      • kenteducationassociation Says:

        Do you ever break the speed limit? Jaywalk? Double Park? Spit on the sidewalk? If so, what message are you sending to your child as a lawbreaker? Do you denounce all violations of the law, no matter how big or small, or do you have a nuanced view, based upon circumstances? Teachers in this decision had a variety of viewpoints on the issue of following the law vs. following their conscience or other guiding principles. Please don’t trivialize their very difficult decision.

  21. Tuvok Says:

    If you cannot click on the link. Here is link to the article on the 2002 Issaquah teacher strike

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20020925&slug=strike25m

  22. veteranteacher Says:

    KEA has accused the district of not being as transparent as they say they are. I am having a hard time understanding why KEA thinks it doesn’t have to be transparent. Isn’t it pretty paternalistic for the bargaining team to keep district offers a secret and to say,’We know what’s best” and “The offer isn’t good enough” without consulting the membership? I’d like to see what the current offer is before I go to the meeting and hear the union spin on it. This has turned too ugly on BOTH sides and it needs to stop. I don’t want a union pep rally designed to suck people in by their emotions without hearing both sides any more. I think that KSD and KEA are BOTH at fault and BOTH have behaved in a manner that does not respect the teachers who have supported them. I have supported KEA all along, but I cannot defy a court order and the law when I don’t even know what is happening in negotiations. I don’t trust that EITHER side wants to come to an agreement. This has been a power struggle from the beginning, but if we don’t solve this NOW with a compromise, we will pay the price for years to come.

    • concerned parent Says:

      This comment deleted for violating blog policy regarding personal attacks.

    • IP Advocate Says:

      I have been a teacher for 24 years and have been a participant in other strikes in another school district. Our Bargaining Team was assigned the duty of working as our representatives in behalf of all 1,800 of us teachers based upon those issues that we indicated were critical for us to best educate our students. Because the term “negotiation” infers an ongoing, fluid process, it is unrealistic to expect updates from KEA regarding details of each meeting between KEA/KSD. In fact, revealing in that manner would not be bargaining in good faith. When there is acceptable tentative agreement, based upon what membership indicated was critical, I want to be informed.

      I understand that deciding to go on strike and following through with what that entails tests our emotions, energy, and resolve, both personally and professionally. I too want to hear what has ensued so far at our meeting tonight at 6:00 before I make any decisions. However, I also believe that KSD leadership would be most pleased to see infighting, confusion, possible distrust of our Bargaining Team, and division in our ranks. Could that possibly be the real outcome they desired all along as a result of the injunction, postings on the KSD website etc.?

      I have felt all along that they would like to be known as Washington “strikebreakers.” Yes, “veteranteacher,” negotiating requires compromise, but beware of compromise just to get things over with or surely we will all pay the price for years to come as KSD continues to dictate, rather than negotiate, that which they deem we deserve. “United we stand, divided we fall.”

      • kenteducationassociation Says:

        Well said. We live in an instant gratification age that has no patience for process or tradition. I am lobbying hard for at least some of the details shared with members at tonight’s meeting to be shared here. Please know that no matter what gets posted, it is only a small portion of what is going back and forth, and can change in an instant. If the Bargaining Team were constantly feeding me updates to post on the blog, they wouldn’t be bargaining. I’d rather leave them alone and let them get the job done.

        United we bargain, divided we BEG.

  23. What should parents do? Says:

    As a parent, what should I do? My family supports the teachers 100%, but come Wednesday, if you all do decide to continue to strike, should I take the kids to school anyways?

    I read the Issaquah teacher strike article and it said that, “If few or no teachers report to schools, classrooms will be staffed with substitutes, administrators, support staff and parents, district officials said.”

    Will this be true for KSD as well? Could KEA give the parents a little direction?

  24. Cici Says:

    Just curious – how will the classes be cut to smaller ones in just one day? Will school really begin Wed?

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      This brings up a great point that was made at tonight’s meeting. The details of how things will work out is a big part of what is still being negotiated. Those details are not the kinds of things that either side traditionally releases until the final contract language is agreed to. KEA has looked at including language that would allow a phase in period, but no agreements have been made thus far. That’s all I can say in response to your question at this point. Hope that helps.

  25. A Parent In "Limbo" Says:

    As a parent, I supported this strike in the beginning. However, 26,000 kids need to go back to school. NOW!

    KSD and KEA need to work togther for a common goal, our kids. It seems somewhere along the way we have forgotten this.

    The possibility of teachers breaking the law and defying the judge’s orders also bothers me. If this is allowed, how will teachers have any credibility as role models? How can they be expected to command any respect or authority?

  26. 6th Grade Student Says:

    I don’t need to know why the teachers are striking, I already know that. I want to know why this issue hasn’t been resolved and why we kids, we 26,000 kids are not in school!!
    You may think we don’t want to go back to school. But we do. I am bored at home. I don’t have a car, I can’t go to my friends house when I please. No I get to see them at SCHOOL.
    Can these adults not handle this so that they must look to for a judge to be forced to be put back in school.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      We are bored on the picket lines. We are trying to compromise, but our bosses are being very slow to work with us. We are hoping things are going to change soon. Please know that we are looking forward to seeing our students soon, and getting this year going.

  27. teamster Says:

    What is with all this secrecy this last weekend. up until now the updates have been fast and furious but since friday all news has stopped?

  28. Cici Says:

    thank you for the update to my ? – I just need to know what to tell my employer and kids – can’t go day by day – business does not understand that at all. I don’t want to lose my job over this! Please, something has to give – I am apt to show teachers support, but I just can’t now over this. If you can be back and settle I can help to rally for needs then…

    Please help…

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      This is really tough, Cici. I know from all your comments that you have gone back and forth on this. I’ve appreciated your comments and questions. We simply just don’t know. Our bargaining team invited KSD to bargain all night tonight, but we hadn’t heard back as of 9 pm. I think we are making some progress, but we are still quite a ways apart. Keep putting pressure on the KSD to keep bargaining, and keep posting here to be heard by teachers. My prayers are with you and your family.

  29. Cici Says:

    Very quiet out today and no news….

    Is this a case of “no news is good news” maybe?

    My neighborhood has had kids running all over the area since the fog cleared this AM – they need structure and I can’t bring them all into my house! Went to Safeway and there were some very young ones in the parking lot – their parents are at work and they were just out walking around 😦 I worry about all these little guys with no supervision…..

    Still hopeful –

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