Bargaining Update

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


12 Responses to “Bargaining Update”

  1. Teacher Says:

    I love the first two on this list! I wonder what the language is for the “Civility” clause. I just hope my boss does not interpret that to mean that her employees must follow it, but not her or her favorite friends/employees on staff. What is good for the goose is good for the gander!

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      The Civility Language sets a standard that communication will occur with respect. The contract addresses the employer/employee relationship. Make sure you come to the general membership meeting on August 30th (5:00 pm at Kentwood) where you will get the actual language and have the opportunity to asks questions before voting on it.

  2. Just Me Says:

    You rock KEA Bargaining Team!!

  3. Veteran Says:

    I know last year there were some questions about members being recorded during observations. My understanding was that this was not allowed per the contract. Could someone explain how and why the tentative agreement allows this with the stipulation that both parties agree in writing? If both parties do not agree (member refuses) then it might set them up for retaliation. Does the tenative agreement speak to how the recordings might be used and who has access to them?
    Thanks for the feedback in advance.

    • Proud to be a Teacher Says:

      Good question Veteran. I wonder the same. For example, in our contract sometimes the word “and” is used. In this case, when the word “and” is used, can mean that if the teacher says “no”, then the supervisor can still go ahead and mandate a video recording be used? In some ways I can see how a video recording can benefit teachers, but in many ways I can see how it can be used against us! Here’s an example: My supervisor walks in to observe me. She gives compliments here and there, but then says, “I would suggest you review some of that vocabulary before you do that exercise with the students.” STOP! She DID NOT see what part of my lesson was BEFORE she entered my room where we DID review the vocabulary. See my point? So, unless a recording is ongoing, things can be taken out of context. BTW, if we are recorded w/o our knowledge, that’s illegal correct? I am speaking about audio recordings as well.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Love it. Hate it? I can hear it now. Supervisor: It would be a good idea for you to be recorded. It would help your professionalism. Teacher: I don’t care to be recorded at this time. Supervisor: Well, others are doing it and you should too. Teacher: No thanks, maybe another time. Supervisor: Think of your students. This will help them as well.

      Coercion? Pressure? Intimidation? And what of the students? What if their parents say no to video recordings? Do we take that student out of the room who then misses the lesson? Please don’t tell me we would have to teach that kid at a later time or via a paraeducator. We are running out of paraeducators!!

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      The previous contract did not specifically address this issue. The language of the tentative agreement provides that there must be “mutual” agreement. If one party does not agree, then the recordings cannot occur. Again, further details will be shared at the general membership meeting. We hope we see you there.

  4. madashell Says:

    Your readers may be interested in some of the documents posted on Particularly this one between the Teach for America’s development director and the UW

    And professors’ skepticism about any arrangement

  5. Weary Says:

    I’m a bit confused. Students are scheduled to begin school on Sept. 1, yet KEA and KSD haven’t agreed on a calendar. We are voting on the contract Aug. 30. Are we going to have a paid day to set up our rooms? When will we know?

    Please help me sort this out.

    Thanks for all you are doing.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      We realize this is stressful for everyone trying to get ready to roll for the next year. Our goal is to make sure you have pay equal to or greater than last year and the time you need to do the work you need to do. If we approach the tentative dates for workshop days and classroom set up and we do not yet have a tentative agreement, we will give your direction on those days.

  6. madashell Says:

    Does anyone know whether or not Kent has signed an agreement with Teach for America?

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      At this point, it doesn’t look like they have. We do know that there have been conversations with the UW TfA placement people, but we don’t know the content of those discussions. Rest assured that we will be having our own conversations about TfA with the district.

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