Archive for the ‘Bargaining Support and Organization Team’ Category


August 24, 2011



Bargaining Update

August 16, 2011



KEA Bargaining Update      August 9, 2011,

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

 Your KEA Bargaining Team was at the table early both Monday and Tuesday mornings this week. Discussion focused on the Learning Collaboration Time, the 1.9%, and a proposal to enable nurses to meet the expectations of state law. Your KEA team has remainded focused on containing the workload of our members and on decreasing the expectation of time commitments outside the workday.

 While districts across the state have back-filled the 1.9% and agreed the work will be deemed done, the KSD bargaining team proposed tying pay for the 1.9% to incentive and accountability. KEA bargaining team members stated clearly that more work for the same pay would not be acceptable to our members. The value of our professional educators in Kent is certainly worth the 1.9%.

 In addition to the above issues, KEA is waiting for the district to respond to proposals on establishing a Workload Committee, Classroom Visitors, Bereavement Leave, Department Head duties, Meetings and the CTE CAM.

Some KEA members have expressed concern that the calendar is not yet settled. The bargaining team is unable to tentatively agree to a calendar until we have agreement on the 1.9%. That said, it would be reasonable to set aside August 29th and 30th as workshop days and one additional day for classroom preparation.

The next joint bargaining session is scheduled for August 18th.

Post your questions and comments for the KEA Bargaining Team on the KEA Blog – .


General Membership Meeting

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

Kentwood High School 

Make sure you’re there!


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

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!


Bargaining Update

June 30, 2011

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

More bargaining this week! KEA and KSD held an-all day meeting on Tuesday, June 28. Several proposals were exchanged and we are close on some smaller issues. The district has agreed to bring responses to the KEA proposals at our next meeting. Workload and teacher rights have dominated our discussions. Your KEA Bargaining Team is standing firm on the issue of teacher-directed time. Some of the remaining issues are complex and will not be resolved independently.

Staying informed all summer, as well as communicating with colleagues and community members, gives your bargaining team the power to get the most beneficial settlement for KEA members.

Some members of the KEA team left for Chicago for the NEA Representative Assembly Wednesday morning (June 29). Joint bargaining is scheduled to resume in mid-July.

In other news …
There are three school board positions up for election, two of which are contested. The Kent Educators for Legislative Accountability (KELA) team interviewed the candidates for each position. Look for the recommendations soon.

Don’t forget …

  • Regular Bargaining Updates will also be posted on the KEA Blog where you can also post your questions and comments.
  • General Membership Meeting, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 30, Kentwood High School

KEA Bargaining Team
Lisa Brackin-Johnson, KEA President
Connie Compton, Special Ed., Jenkins Creek
Cindy Prescott, 4th/5th grade, Crestwood
Michael Kerstetter, Music, Daniel
Brian Thornton, Social Studies, Meridian Middle
Emma Goliff, 1st/2nd grade, Panther Lake
Ron Nauer, Science, Meeker
Rose Racicot, Occupational Therapy/Assistive Technology
Sandra Goveia, KEA UniServ Representative

Why a Union?

May 9, 2011

This is a link to an article about a teacher who worked for over 40 years and recounts the many things that her union did for her.  The list is common, the telling is not.  Most of the things she speaks of are “perks” that most teachers expect in their jobs, but perhaps are unaware that union members had to be strong and committed in the fight for these rights.  It’s a great article.

Layoff and “Bumping”

May 9, 2011

Despite current rumors, “bumping” is not a part of the layoff process in the KEA/KSD contract. No one will get to select your job and push you out of it. And, although the contract groups jobs together into “categories,” the same process applies to all teachers in all categories. No group or job-type has greater rights or protections than any other.

So, how does it work, then? The district compiles a district-wide seniority list in January of each year, using all experience of a type that would be used for salary schedule placement, regardless of the district in which the experience was gained. Then, the school board decides which positions (not people) are to be reduced from the program. Next, the district looks at seniority within each broad job category in which there will be reductions, and identifies the staff with the least district-wide seniority. The least senior staff in those categories who have multiple endorsements will then be compared in seniority to staff in those other categories, again on a district-wide basis, to see if they are to be retained over less senior staff. The end result should be that more senior staff should be retained in any category in which they are certificated. If this causes them to move to a different category, then the least senior staff person in that second category may be the one to be let go.

Transfers to even out staffing then follow. Staff who are retained may need to be moved to another building. This is also done by seniority, with the least senior person in the surplus category being moved first. Unlike the regular transfer process, this “Transfer Due to Reduction of Staff” does not exempt provisional status teachers from being moved. This process is scheduled to take place in early June. A list of openings and of “surplus” teachers will be distributed in advance, then those to be moved will be called, starting with the most senior, to select from among the vacant positions in other buildings. No one may select a position that is not already scheduled to be vacant.

Admittedly, this is just a summary of the contract language. To gain a more precise understanding of the process, one should read the contract (Article VII, Section 8; page 112 ff). It can be found at the Contract tab at No one can accurately predict the final outcome of this process, nor can the Association accurately address each of a myriad of hypothetical scenarios. The best advice we can give you is to read the contract.

Politics is Important; Your Participation is More Important.

May 8, 2011

KELA (Kent Educators for Legislative Action) is the KEA Committee that goes to Olympia, lobbies with our Legislators for our organization, organizes letter writing campaigns, doorbelling and phone banking events, works together with WEA to promote education policies that benefit teachers and students and generally does the political business of KEA.  Because everything that you do as a teacher is either directly controlled or seriously affected by politics and politicians, that makes the work they do EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.  Please support this effort by reading and acting on the following short message from KELA:

Are you upset? Get info. Take action. Go to                                                                                                                                                                                                 Then click the links to the following topics to read more or to email your legislators and Governor Gregoire now.

  • State takeover of your health benefits
  • The teacher termination bill
  • The teacher tax (3% salary cut)
  • Larger class sizes

Remember to start your message with a short personal statement or example of how you and students may be impacted.

The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries

May 8, 2011

This is a link to an article from the New York Times Editorial page, briefly tackling the apparently forbidden and unspeakable topic of TEACHER PAY.   

  Op-Ed Contributor: A New Measure for Classroom Quality (May 1, 2011)

Getting ready for RIFs

May 8, 2011

With RIF (Reduction In Force) notices set to go out this week, it is critical that you know what to do, even if you do not feel you are in danger of being let go.  If you do receive one, note that there will be a meeting at the KEA office on May 17, at 4:00 to give you information on what this means and what your rights are.  This is a checklist from WEA and KEA:

Getting ready for RIFs: Six steps to take now

 With significant cuts coming in the state education budget, KEA and WEA want you to be prepared in case you receive a Reduction in Force (RIF) notice. Here are some important steps to take NOW, even if you have not received a RIFnotice:

  • Keep all notices and paperwork you receive from your employer, especially your RIF notification should you receive one. These explain your appeal rights and may be necessary for any potential challenge to a RIF.
  • Make an appointment to check your personnel file at the district office. Make sure the information in it is accurate and complete. For example, make sure that your contracted FTE, endorsements and other information are recorded properly. If you find mistakes, correct them as soon as possible. 
  • Make sure the district has current contact information for you, and keep it updated (mailing address, phone number, e-mail address, etc.). If you do not have a personal, non-district e-mail address, sign up for a free one and provide it to the district. Accurate contact information is important in case of a recall.
  • Get a complete copy of your personnel file. You may have to pay for the copy charges, but the investment will be worthwhile down the road.
  • Obtain letters of recommendation from your principal or other key people and have these recommendations ready in the event you need to look for employment elsewhere.
  • Make sure you know who your local association president and UniServ representatives are and how to get hold of them.                                                                                               (President: Lisa Brackin Johnson-, UniServ Rep: Sandra Goveia-