Because you asked…

August 24, 2011

Several people have wondered why you can’t have the details of the Tentative Agreement before the General Membership meeting on Tuesday, so I asked Connie Compton if she could craft an official response to that question.  Here it is:

It is best practice in Bargaining a contract to present the details to membership in a general meeting that allows all members the opportunity to hear the same information at the same time. This allows for members to participate in a question and answer period as well as debate any issues.  Then, in a democratic process, the contract can be put to a vote.

While ideally, we would like to present the details to members immediately, we are a very large group and we must plan logistics and reserve space in advance.  At the time we scheduled the August 30th date we had no way of predicting when we might reach a tentative agreement.  Therefore, it was prudent to plan for as much time as possible to complete the bargain.

We appreciate your patience and look forward to meeting with all members next week.

Connie Compton
President
Kent Education Association

Advertisements

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT!!!

August 24, 2011

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED!  COME TO THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING TONIGHT (8/24) TO HEAR THE ANNOUNCEMENT AND BE READY TO COME TO THE GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING ON AUG. 30 (5:00 PM AT KW) FOR RATIFICATION VOTE, DETAILS  AND DISCUSSION !

Bargaining Update 8/18

August 24, 2011

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

Bargaining continued today. Your KEA Bargaining Team                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    presented a package that encapsulated the issues in the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           last bargaining update. The KSD team is reviewing the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  proposals. The teams have agreed to reconvene on Tuesday,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Aug. 23, for a marathon session with the hope of reaching                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        a tentative agreement.

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

General Membership Meeting
5-7 p.m. Aug. 30, 2011
Kentwood High School

Be there. Your vote matters.

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/2nd grade, Panther Lake
Ron Nauer, Science, Meeker
Rose Racicot, Occupational Therapy/Assistive Technology
Sandra Goveia, KEA UniServ Representative

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 – https://kenteducationassociation.wordpress.com/ .

 

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

The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom

August 6, 2011

This just in from Cindy Prescott, KEA Vice President: 

“The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom.” This is a quote I read recently from Howard Behar, President of Starbucks North America. I got to thinking about this quote and how it applies to the Kent School District and to us, as educators.

Brooms have parts and they can all be researched to find the best the industry can offer. The bristles can be made from various synthetic or natural materials. What binds the bristles together likewise can be made from different materials. Bristles might be bound in differing ways, such as in a slant. The research on these materials might show different results in performance and longevity.

The handle itself can be fashioned in many ways and thus the handle would show various results in performance and longevity. The overall design of the broom might also be a source of research results, as we like or dislike the very looks of things that we buy to use in our homes.

Like brooms, instructional programs and initiatives are made of various “materials”. Research on these programs and curricula provides various results on performance, which might include longevity and overall appeal.

Consider then, a sweeper who is given a “broom” (program) that has been highly researched by those at the top. The “broom” might have bristles that last quite a bit longer than other bristles. It might have a handle that purports to be the best in the industry. Perhaps the overall look of the “broom” is pleasing to those choosing it.  In fact, the “broom” is chosen with the intention and desire for the best fit for the sweeper.

However, the broom chosen may not be the best fit for the sweeper. Perhaps the sweeper understands that the floor being swept is uneven and needs a particular kind of slant or bristle. Perhaps the handle is too long for that particular sweeper.

This is the problem with being given a “broom” when we are the actual sweepers. Those of us sweeping have additional information that cannot be easily known by those choosing brooms because they are not involved in the actual sweeping. Without our input, the wrong “broom” might be chosen.

Complicating matters, when the wrong “broom” is chosen by others, those choosing sometimes have difficulty hearing that they have chosen the wrong broom. After our report on the broom, we sweepers are sometimes told to continue using the wrong broom anyway. In fact, we are sometimes told to use the wrong broom to sweep a bigger room. And to leave no particle behind!

Collaboration is not just a word. It is an action that includes hearing and taking into account the knowledge the sweeper has when choosing a broom. If the sweepers in our district were part of the process in choosing brooms, I can only believe we would see great results.

 

Cindy Prescott
KEA Vice President

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 https://kenteducationassociation.wordpress.com/ 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

KEA Bargaining Update June 2011

June 23, 2011

Please note:  This bargaining update is reprinted here for the purpose of your response.  Questions, comments, suggestions, complaints and/or kudos are all welcome and will be answered, if that is called for, by bargaining team members as soon as possible.  This will be an ongoing feature during bargaining and please feel free to make use of the interactive component of this media.

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

Bargaining continues! Your KEA Bargaining Team has met with the KSD district team four times this spring. The next joint meetings with the district are scheduled for all day June 24th and June 28th. We will continue to meet throughout the summer.

Between meetings with the district, KEA’s team meets to strategize and develop proposals. KEA’s focus is on improving learning conditions for our students, time (late start days, calendar, meetings) and teacher rights. Our proposals are based upon your input from listening sessions over the past two years, and member concerns.

Teams have stated interests and begun exchanging proposals addressing workload, teacher rights, and Learning Collaboration Time. At this point, no tentative agreements have been reached between the district and your association.

The current contract expires on August 31, 2011. 

Stay informed this summer.

Regular Bargaining Updates will be sent via home email and will be posted on the KEA Blog https://kenteducationassociation.wordpress.com/ where you can also post your questions and comments.

Be sure to give your input when asked.

General Membership Meeting

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

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, General Music, Daniel

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

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.

http://jd2718.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/could-i-have-been-a-great-teacher-without-a-union-no-never/