Contract Ratified, Teachers Head Back To School

With over 1300 members in attendance voting 94% in favor of ratifying the tentative agreement reached Sunday, KEA members overwhelmingly chose to end their 2009 strike.  While the end result did not provide everything KEA members had hoped for, it did provide some additional help in relieving class size and caseload issues, as well as bringing at least some compensation relief through additional paid Effective Education days.  Unfortunately, many KEA members were disappointed that Psychologists, Music, and Physical Education teachers were not included in the class size case load proposals adopted, and class size caps in the Middle and High School levels were not agreed to.  Given the slow pace of bargaining, the KEA Bargaining Team came to the conclusion with much regret that the KSD would not agree to these issues at this time. 

So what happens next?  KEA members have returned to work as of Monday, September 14th to set up their classrooms, and school began on Tuesday, September 15th.  KEA members who have not yet worked the additional 7.5 hours of classroom prep time should complete those hours and turn in a time sheet by September 30th.  Additionally, the revised calendar for the 2009-10 school year still needs to be agreed upon by both sides.  Both the revised calendar, as well as the new version of the contract will be made available soon.

This is not the end of the book, just the end of a chapter.  The movement for change in Kent still has a long way to go.  If you are interested in helping shape the future of the Kent School District, please notify your Building Rep. of your willingness to help out with future KEA committees and activities.

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