Bargaining Updates

  • Bargaining Update as of September 14, 2018

    The Selah School District and the Association continued their bargaining work on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 with a marathon of exchanged proposals and counter proposals with both sides looking for common ground in language and compensation. The end of bargaining was signaled by a Tentative Agreement between the District and the Association reached around 10:30 Tuesday night providing both sides an opportunity to thank each other for earnest discussions regarding language and salary enhancements. The Association leadership was charged with providing their members the revised language and salary increases prior to members casting their vote for ratification. Votes were collected on Friday, September 7 with the tabulation taking place on Saturday, September 8. With a simple majority of yes votes signaling ratification the Tentative Agreement would then move to the final hurdle in the process with the Selah School Board voting to authorize or reject the proposal.

    Given the long hours and hard work of both groups, it was unfortunate to hear that the Association membership voted against ratifying the Tentative Agreement struck at the bargaining. The Association followed with a notice to the District that they intended to bring WEA Mid-State to the bargaining table which up to this point in the process neither side had brought individuals to the table outside the school district. In response, the District informed the Association that the District would contact their legal counsel to attend future sessions if the Association intended to bring outside representation. The District challenge with this approach is the difficulty in scheduling the addition of these individuals to the bargaining teams and their availability. Additionally, both sides agreed to file a joint request for mediation through the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) recognizing the difficulty in satisfying the majority of the membership’s demands for additional enhancements over what was agreed to in the Tentative Agreement reached at the bargaining table.

    The Association and District are currently in the process of coordinating available dates for their new bargaining representatives as well as a date of availability for an assigned mediator from PERC. The District is hopeful a meeting can be held before the end of September but at this point a date has not been set nor a mediator assigned by PERC. The District continues to offer to meet with the Association’s current bargaining team absent their legal counsel and the Association’s WEA Mid-State representative while both sides wait for PERC to assign a mediator in hopes of settling the contract without delay.

    Below is a general summary of the salary language from the most recent Tentative Agreement reached with the Association on August 28 compared to the 2017-2018 agreement.

    A 2018-2019 beginning educator total salary compensation of $46,173 compared to $40,781 in 2017-2018 (approximately $449 more per month or $5,392 per year) is an increase of 13.22%.

    A 2018-2019 senior educator total salary compensation of $88,560 compared to $76,867 in 2017-2018 (approximately $974 more per month or $11,693 per year) is an increase of 15.21%.

    A 2019-2020 beginning educator total salary compensation of $47,558 compared to $40,781 in 2017-2018 (approximately $564 more per month or $6,777 per year than 2017-2018) is an increase of 16.69% over two years.

    A 2019-2020 senior educator total salary compensation of $91,171 compared to $76,867 in 2017-2018 (approximately $1,192 more per month or $14,304 per year than 2017-2018) is an increase of 18.6%.

    Additional points of clarification:

    • The District was provided an additional $2.3 million dollars in funding for certificated salaries.  The cost of the Tentative Agreement is just over 3 million dollars.
    • The District will be losing 3.1 million dollars in levy funds over the next two years.
    • With the current Tentative Agreement and local levy loss, District reserves will fall below 1% in four years. Because of this, reductions to all programs and staff will need to be made.
    • The District’s message continues to be that it values its staff greatly and wants to attract and retain teachers in Selah with a competitive and sustainable contract. Each district has its own unique financial situation, and Selah’s has its fair share of challenges compared to some of its neighbors.

    Bargaining Update for August 14, 2018

     The Selah School District received a welcomed notice when the Selah Education Association reaffirmed that they would not be able to meet on Monday, August 13 as originally scheduled but would be available to meet with the District on Tuesday, August 14. Tuesday provided both groups the opportunity for continued dialogue and brainstorming on the outstanding issues still at hand. Association was unable to present a formal proposal/response to the District’s most recent proposal provided them on Tuesday, August 7 so progress for the most part was presented verbally throughout the day. Through these discussions the District felt the two groups were making headway in closing the financial divide along with other language interests. Recognizing the opportunity for continued progress, the District offered a draft salary schedule in the interest of continued progress to the Association that reflected an additional increase in wages from the previously proposed 11% increase to an increase of some 13% of “new money” over two years. This schedule was reflective of an effort to provide all “new money” being received by the District and then some to all Association members.

    The District anticipates an opportunity to respond to the Association’s written proposal during the August 24 bargaining session.

    Below is a general summary of the most recent draft proposal shared with the Association on Tuesday, August 14.

    • A salary schedule with a beginning salary of $43,970 which includes 2017-2018 TRI days (8.34%) rolled in to the base salary, 2 of the 6 2017-2018 optional days rolled in to the base salary and an additional 10% (new money) added to the base salary schedule for 2018-2019.
    • Continue to provide 4 professional learning opportunity days directed by the District for professional development paid in addition to the base salary schedule for staff participation.
    • Supplementary days of pay rates increased by 3.1% of the 2017-2018 supplementary salary rate starting in 2018-2019.
    • An increase of 1 Annual Leave Day (4 total days per year) for K-5 specialist providing plan time coverage to classroom teachers.
    • Two-year agreement: Year 2 with the greater of 3% or the Implicit Price Deflator (new money) also referred to as a (cost of living adjustment) for 2019-2020.
    • In all, a two-year agreement equaling an increase of 13% over the previous 2017-2018 salary schedule.

    The Selah School District and the Selah Education Association find themselves on common ground with multiple school districts working towards new agreements. Recognizing these efforts, State Schools Superintendent Chris Reykdal offered the following. 

     http://mynorthwest.com/1081795/reykdal-teacher-strikes-funding-2018/

    Bargaining Updates for August 1st and 6th 2018

    The Selah School District and the Selah Education Association recently met on Wednesday, August 1 and again on Monday, August 6 to continue with contract negotiations. The August 6 session provided the District an opportunity to analyze both the continued financial and language interests shared by the Association during the bargaining session on August 1. August 6 brought the District’s third and most recent proposal for Association consideration. This session provided an opportunity for both groups to continue to collaborate, dialogue and bargain for a full day with additional topics of interest finding their way to tentative agreement (TA) status which is very positive.

    Continuing to acknowledge salary as the area where the two groups are furthest apart prompted the District to provide a revised proposal to significantly close the salary divide with their offer of an 11% increase of new money over 2 years. At the same time, the District continues to work to ensure sustainable and fiscally responsible decisions around the District’s finances. Below is a general summary of the financial progress and impacts currently being considered following the District’s most recent proposal.

    General Summary of Selah School District’s Proposal as of August 6, 2018:

     

    • A salary schedule with a beginning salary of $43,170 which includes 2017-2018 TRI days (8.34%) rolled in to the base salary, 2 of the 6 2017-2018 optional days rolled in to the base salary and an additional 8% (new money) added to the base salary schedule for 2018-2019.
    • Continue to provide 4 professional learning opportunity days directed by the District for professional development paid in addition to the base salary schedule for staff participation.
    • Supplementary days of pay rates increased by 3.1% of the 2017-2018 supplementary salary rate starting in 2018-2019.
    • An increase of 1 Annual Leave Day (4 total days per year) for K-5 specialist providing plan time coverage to classroom teachers.
    • Two-year agreement: Year 2 with the greater of 3% or the Implicit Price Deflator (new money) also referred to as a (cost of living adjustment) for 2019-2020.
    • In all, a two-year agreement equaling an increase of 11% over the previous 2017-2018 salary schedule.

     

    The next bargaining session was originally scheduled for Monday, August 13 with a tentative second date set for Tuesday, August 14 if needed. During the August 6 session, the Association shared that it would be unlikely for their team to have a response to the District’s August 6 proposal ready for either the 13th or 14th dates so the District is anticipating the next response from the Association to their August 6 proposal to be presented on Friday, August 24.

    District Bargaining Update #2: 7/31/18

    The Selah School District and the Selah Education Association recently met on Tuesday, July 24 where both groups exchanged proposals. They then met again on Thursday, July 26 where the District provided a response to the Association proposal shared with them on July 24. The two groups continue to work to collaboratively bargain a new contract to replace the current contract that is set to expire on August 31, 2018. From the District’s perspective, bargaining sessions continue to provide opportunities for collaborative authentic conversations around more than 2 dozen areas of focus, many of which are of common interest found in both groups’ opening proposals.  

    Salary continues to be the area where the two groups are furthest apart prompting the District to provide the Association with a four-year budget analysis and the impact of their current proposal. The District followed back up on July 26 with the same four-year budget analysis but reflective of approximately half of the Association’s prior proposal, again illustrating the budgetary impact over the same four-year cycle.

    The next bargaining session is set for August 1, with the Selah Education Association scheduled to respond to the District’s July 26 proposal.

    District Bargaining Update #1: 7/18/18

    The Selah School District and the Selah Education Association met for the first official bargaining session on June 28, 2018.  The two sides are looking to collectively bargain a new contract to replace the existing 3-year contract that is set to expire on August 31, 2018.

    From the district perspective, the first session was very collegial and professional.  It appears that both sides are willing to work together in a collaborative manner to find common ground.  During this session opening proposals were discussed with very healthy and productive dialogue taking place.  As is normally the case in collective bargaining, salary is the main issue where our two groups are furthest apart.  At the next session, the district will provide some detailed financial information about the district budget to help the two sides work together to find a solution.  

    The next bargaining session is set for July 24, with subsequent sessions on July 25 & 26 to be determined.  Following that there are further dates established into August. Stay tuned for further updates.