Archive for July, 2011

Bargaining Update

July 19, 2011

This just in from yesterday’s bargaining session:

 KEA Bargaining Update      July 19, 2011

Bargaining Team Goal:  To strengthen the KEA contract in the areas of working conditions and compensation and benefits in order to improve teaching, and learning for the students of the Kent School District.

KEA and KSD returned to the bargaining table this week. The big news is that we reached tentative agreements (TAs) on some items, including:

  • A new “Civility Clause” outlining expectations for respectful communication.
  • Added language requiring that any audio/visual recordings of observations must be mutually agreed upon in writing.
  • Language allowing the district to move to the goal setting model at all elementary schools. This contract change will move elementary conference weeks to October and February and progress reports to January and June.
  • A provision requiring a three week period to roll over a discretionary day ending on June 10th each year.
  • No changes in insurance rates or coverage. The benefit allowance for a 1.0 FTE will remain at $768 per month.

 Your KEA Bargaining Team is now waiting for the district to respond to several proposals, including the Learning Collaboration Days (Late Start / Early Release Days), Supplemental contracts for Nurses and Psychologists, Bereavement Leave and reducing Required Meetings.

Finally, as you know the legislature cut teacher salaries by 1.9%. In June your Representative Council voted for Bargaining Team to take the position of “pay the days or waive the days.” The district has yet to address this issue. While the district has presented a proposed calendar, your KEA team cannot come to a tentative agreement on the calendar until we know how the district will address the 1.9%.

Reminder: Bargaining Updates are posted on the KEA Blog where you can also post your questions and comments.

General Membership Meeting

August 30, 2011, 5-7 p.m.

Kentwood High School.


KEA Bargaining Team

Connie Compton, KEA President

Cindy Prescott, 4th/5th grade, Crestwood/KEA Vice President

Michael Kerstetter, Music, Daniel/KEA Secretary Treasurer

Lisa Brackin-Johnson, Language Arts, Mattson

Brian Thornton, Social Studies, Meridian Middle

Emma Goliff, 1st grade, Panther Lake

Ron Nauer, Science, Meeker

Rose Racicot, Occupational Therapy/Assistive Technology

Sandra Goveia, KEA Uniserv Representative


Protect Your Rights

July 18, 2011

This comes to us from Cindy Prescott, KEA Vice President, on the heels of the NEA Representative Assembly in Chicago where she was busy being one of your representatives, doing the business of education at the national level:

Concerned about the 1.9 percent cut to your salary for next year? How about an $8,000 pay cut? Yes, you read that correctly! If you were a teacher in Wisconsin right now, you’d have just heard the news that your salary will be cut by that amount next year, AND you’ll be required to work an extra hour a day!

Doesn’t sound possible, does it? Because of our education association, we’ve been used to having protection from that type of capricious action. But without our COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS (which Wisconsin teachers lost under Governor Scott Walker this last year), the very same thing could happen to us here in Washington state.

It’s been an amazing fall of dominoes to watch what has been happening in Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Idaho, and other states. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened here. But CAN it?

We are living in a political climate in this country that includes a group of billionaires, corporate individuals, and politicians that believe unions are standing in the way of their agenda. It is an organized effort to undermine the rights and benefits we’ve worked hard over the years to put into place and to privatize education.

Is this an alarmist way of thinking? If being able to bargain for a living wage, for benefits that support you and your family during illness, for class sizes and caseloads that give you the ability to really reach all your students, and for a workload that is reasonable is an alarmist point of view, then put me in that camp!

We will be voting for the next governor of our state shortly. It is imperative that we, as educators with the best interests of the classroom, search for the facts about the candidates that are running and test their viewpoints against what we know is good for children and educators.

I know! You’re not political and don’t like to get involved in that political ridiculousness, but politics and politicians control our pay, benefits, and the conditions of our classrooms. It is up to us to be the shepherds of the environment we work in. As we all know, our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. When politicians get out of education, educators can get out of politics.

STAY INFORMED! And stand strong for public education!