Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Latest on the SEA Front

 From SEA Facebook page:

These are all of the SEA proposals the district rejected today. 

Then proposed increasing secondary and elementary day by 1/2hr.

 And finally put out a proposal for a raise. 2%/2.5%/2.5%. 

This made it clear to the bargain team, the district wants us (cert., para and SAEOP) to work more for less money.


Anonymous said...

SPS administration: be very careful and very clear: Hearts and minds of the community are with the teachers, not the upper management. Under Nyland, Downtown is once again on the bloat-o-meter of mid-level management hires and their accompanying sizeable salaries (see flashback to Goodloe-Johnson). This after voters have made clear they want smaller class sizes, meaning more teacher bodies, fewer busy bodies.

Try to squeeze the teachers this contract go-round and Nyland + staff will sink like a stone.


Anonymous said...

Seated board members are understandably silent, but what about our 7 candidates, surely they have something to say.

Hale Parent

Charlie Mas said...

Where are the District's proposals on Special Education, ELL, and racial equity? Absent.
The District's response to the SEA proposals on these issues? Rejected.

Anonymous said...

Remember how giddy & supportive J. Knapp was over the Thanksgiving midnight installment of L. Nyland?
I wouldn't doubt that a lot of the district's last minute dumped-in-our-laps garbage will be ultimately accepted, and, I wouldn't bet against it being accepted. In the last decade a significant element of WEA-SEA "strategy" has been if we don't compromise with garbage dumpers the garbage dumpers will lie about us, and then they'll dump more garbage on us. At least the teachers who've cravenly or childishly supported Knapp's constant acceptance of garbage will get what they have earned and what


Anonymous said...

While it is interesting to see this, at the same time, doesn't that violate the whole confidential process that is supposed to be happening? I seem to recall them doing something like this last time, with Jonathan sharing information to try to get support for SEA, but then admonishing the district when they shared something. Can't have it....

Both Ways

Eric B said...

Let's just say for the sake of argument that they increase the length of the day by 1/2 hour, and that time goes into recess/lunchtime in elementary/middle school (leaving high school off the table for the moment). That's around an 8% increase in the length of the school day, but does it necessarily increase the total time teachers spend working? We all know they work more than the hours in the school day. If there's more recess time, wouldn't teachers be more able to take time to get some stuff done in recess time? Wouldn't they have an easier time teaching with students who have been active enough to be ready to learn?

Not saying that teachers don't deserve more than a 2% raise, but I'm also not sure that extra recess time is 1:1 with pay. If the extra time isn't going into lunch and recess, disregard the above.

n said...

SEA has never been a smart negotiator. Where are the picketers down at Stanford? Where are the signs informing the pubic of the outlandish salaries taken by these desk jockeys? The number of informed voters on any issue is usually quite small. Until SEA makes visible to every citizen the corporate headquarters that John Stanford has become, we will have very little support excepting lip service. Education on the cheap while the CEO and his staff profit. This blog is preaching to the choir and as much as I appreciate the sentiments of this choir it isn't that big in terms of rallying a citizenry behind its teachers and kids. To make change, we have to get publicly in the faces of the very comfortable top tier.

@Eric B.
I'm an advocate of a longer day and adding time to lunch and planning time. Those are the real issues for elementary. I've contributed those thoughts to our negotiators but the words seem to drift off into the ether. And I have co-teachers who agree. An extra half hour properly used would be a blessing and we don't need extra pay for it. A longer lunch and planning time benefits teachers and kids.

Melissa Westbrook said...

N, I would agree. I think it would be great to have that extra half hour - paid or not - because it would benefit both teachers and students.

n said...

By saying "a longer lunch" I'm not including teachers. Teachers would simply have an adequate time for a 30-min lunch and fifteen minutes prep time before students returned. I now have about a fifteen-twenty minute lunch and the rest is prep time by necessity. Sometimes my whole lunch is prep time! We simply have rushed day in elementary. It isn't healthy for teachers or kids.

One more thing which will probably not go down well with many people but I'm sick and tired of the efforts to address saeop and parapro issues. Neither category is rocket science and mentors for those positions is ridiculous. My school hired a past PTA president to be school secretary. I love her but if we now have to spend money on mentors to teach secretaries how to be secretaries, that is a waste of money. Provide initial training, a training manual, and get on with it. Our saeops and parapros are the highest paid in the state. They get the raises and bennies because those things do not cost the District as much as meeting teacher demands do. Meeting the demands of one or two secretaries, two or three IAs per school costs a lot less than adequately compensating teachers or devising schedules and programs for kids do.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know the status of the bizarre special education IA proposals? Why has SEA gone silent about this?


M said...

Many schools have teachers doing recess duty

Anonymous said...

N said and questioning-
SEA is planning two rallies tomorrow. 300 SEA members attended a bargaining session last week. SPS dropped the SpEd IA idea.


Anonymous said...

I can see why some teachers might welcome an extra half hour for lunch and/or planning even if uncompensated, and how it might not increase their overall work day (which I assume often includes time spent at home, as well). But wouldn't adding a half hour to the school day mean being on campus an extra half hour, since teachers need to arrive early and stay late? If so, that might mean additional childcare expenses for some, which doesn't seem right. Or if they don't have to stay on campus any longer, what would be the impact for parents trying to connect with them before/after school?


Anonymous said...

Seriously N. You think IAs are living high on the hog, for a non-rocket science job? IAs in SPS top out at $35k, and start at $25k. Sure, maybe they make less in Puyallup or somewhere - but here in Seattle that doesn't afford you a car, or an apartment without roommates - ever. Many ias have 2 jobs. It's hard, direct service, mostly "on" 100% with almost 0 respect. We deal with a huge range of students, from non toilet trained teenagers, to behavior aggressivity and de-escalation, to reading and math support. Are you saying that teaching 3rd grade IS rocket science? Clearly you are pretty sheltered in your current school. It's pretty shocking that an elementary teacher who has pretty low status job, in terms of pay and respect... would turn around and denigrate others, by pushing ias to the only lower rung. Don't know anything about the mentor issue, and it sounds bogus.


Anonymous said...

I don't mind the extra half-hour in elementary school, in fact I like it. I am sure many elementary teachers would agree, but I'm not interested in doing it for free. I don't need to be paid a per hour rate, but I do need more than a 2% raise. The kicker is that the district is not going to give any more money to the schools to cover that 1/2 hour. If recess or lunch time is extended, then who is watching the kids for the extra half-hour? Also, my understanding is that teachers would have a longer day, but not IAs. The last 30 minutes of school can be pretty hectic. I think it is odd to not pay to have IAs for the extra 30 minutes. Why can't the district get rid of some of the new administrative jobs they created and use that money to support the extra half-hour of school. I think all it would take would be a more significant teacher raise, money to pay IAs for the extra 30 minutes, and some money to the schools to help with the transition.
Questioning? .. The district dropped the proposal about the special ed IAs. It wasn't thought out at all.

Anonymous said...

"extra" time under the control of ... ????

unless, by contract, it is NOT under control of admin, then it will be: writing more crap to prove your PLC keeps admins happy? concocting more data crap for the Gate$ $ponsored lie 'student growth' to keep bureaucrats happy?

Count me on the


Anonymous said...

There you have it. IAs will, no doubt, be expected to give the extra 30 minutes for free. The salaried employees making 3X the amount will get the raise to do it, or be compensated.


Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that some comments are pitting teachers and IAs against each other. They both deserve the same thing - higher compensation for the critical roles they play in educating students.

It is *bizarre* to me to suggest that people be required to work a half hour longer each day without compensation. If you need help understanding why that is:
-Teachers oversee recess/lunch at many schools, so they'd be doing more work if this time were lengthened (which of course it should be - just with compensation)
-At schools where teachers don't have actual duties during lunch, many make themselves available to meet with students who need extra help
-Teachers have to pay for childcare for their own children - so more hours at work = more childcare expenses (and it goes up exponentially the later you get out due to Seattle-area traffic)
-Yes, teachers do a lot of work outside school hours - but being able to do some of that work at home is one of the few, vanishingly small perks of being a teacher today
-I cannot think of another job in which an employer would suddenly make all employees stay half an hour longer each day but not compensate them

I believe in the work of this blog because I believe the kids in this city deserve a better education - and increasing transparency in SPS is a critical part of that. I just wish that more people who posted here realized that another critical part of getting kids a better education is having passionate, excellent, experienced teachers. Once you realize that, it's clear that proposals like this that make life harder for teachers (yet again) are part of the reason we lose great teachers. If you care about the education your kid gets, you should care about the working conditions of the people who teach them.



n said...

Check out the pay scales for parapros and saeops in neighboring school districts and I'm talking North Shore and Lake Washington - not Puyallup. As for living expenses, teachers aren't doing so well either. A lot of people can't afford houses or even rents in Seattle. That's not a school district thing. And my point was that most contractual enhancements go to those groups representing the fewest people. Frankly, I can do without IAs. Some are wonderful and some are not. You have no responsibility, no extra hours (unless you choose) and few if any credentials required. If you want to become one of us "highly paid and respected" teachers, spend the time and money to become credentialed. If that's "pitting against..." so be it. I consider it reality and logical. Everybody today in social services deserves higher pay but until teachers catch up with pay that reflects the time, effort and qualifications, your points are moot with me.

What's bizarre about getting a more reasonable day? I'm there anyway - most of us are at my school. I dont' know of a job that sets it hours so its employees can get home at a certain time. You work that out personally. I'm talking about the quality of time at work for teachers and for kids. Rushed days do not enable good teaching and learning. So for me I am getting some out of adding a half hour and it isn't always about money. We all deserve more. But a less rushed day enhances my teaching and my kids' learning. Isn't that what it's about?

n said...

Clarification of above: Benefits come in many packages. It isn't always about money. A less rushed day with more planning time and increased lunchtime for kids is a benefit equal to money for me. That's a problem I see in teaching: closed minds that see everything from a monetary point of view.

-Teachers oversee recess/lunch at many schools, so they'd be doing more work if this time were lengthened (which of course it should be - just with compensation)

When do these teachers eat? Is that contractual? I don't see how that adds extra work. Are you talking about the fifteen minutes of extra lunch students would be getting requiring adding fifteen minutes of teacher supervision? So your complaint is that you (or someone you know?) will have to give extra time to supervision? Don't teachers rotate that? I'd like to know more about that. Teachers at my school do a recess supervision one day a week but no lunchroom supervision.

-At schools where teachers don't have actual duties during lunch, many make themselves available to meet with students who need extra help

Yes, I do that. And that extra lunch would not only give me more time for that exact reason but also allow the student to get some of the recess in. I'm speaking elementary here. Actually, we don't like to take recesses and definitely not lunch away from kids. But I occasionally have kids come back.

-Teachers have to pay for childcare for their own children - so more hours at work = more childcare expenses (and it goes up exponentially the later you get out due to Seattle-area traffic)

We're talking a fairly small amount of time. I think you could work it out just like we all have to do. What might be a problem for one group doesn't necessarily generalize to the whole group. Personal self-interest is one of our problems as a union. We need to be flexible.

-Yes, teachers do a lot of work outside school hours - but being able to do some of that work at home is one of the few, vanishingly small perks of being a teacher today.

I don't think the opportunity to work at home or on weekends will ever go away. Me, my self-interest is not wanting to turn my home into my classroom. I like to get it done at my workplace. But I'm not using that as an argument for a longer day.

-I cannot think of another job in which an employer would suddenly make all employees stay half an hour longer each day but not compensate them

Back to money. There are other benefits to consider besides money. To me that's short sighted.

For me and some of my colleagues it is about a less-rushed day. Not everyone at my school agrees. We all have different priorities. I just wish we could get away from viewing everything through the lens of money. We all work hard and the one thing we agree on is that we all work well beyond the school day and we all deserve higher pay.

I'm wondering how many schools are open to teachers on weekends? I prefer working a weekend day over staying at school at the end of a fatiguing day or taking work home. My friend in Mount Vernon has key pad access to her building at will. Do Seattle schools offer that benefit.

Finally, I think there are differences between elementary, MS and HS and those differences should be accommodated.