Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tentative Agreement in Teachers Strike: Stay Tuned

Per this Slog entry about not getting ahead of ourselves, there is this Tweet from SPS:

The union members also need time to be informed and vote.  

This is true; leadership may not like the deal but the members do have to vote.

From SPS Communications:

Bargaining teams from Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association have reached a tentative agreement to end the strike. Both teams worked diligently all day Monday and overnight, with a shared goal of getting the district’s 53,000 students back into 97 schools. The tentative agreement was reached just before 7 a.m. today.
Details of the agreement cannot be released at this time due to an embargo to allow the union to inform its membership about the contents of the agreement.

District staff are working persistently in attempt to start school on Thursday. As previously mentioned, because of the length of the strike and many logistics involved, getting class started might not happen immediately.

Updates will be provided as they become available.


From KPLU:
Agreement finished after 7 a.m

The District says school will open on Thursday at the earliest, citing transportation and food issues. My question is: weren't they ready on day one to go? Why should students and teachers miss another whole day? I'm sure there are logistics but if I had a strike stretching on, I'd be primed to go when I could.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is the district still paying the bus drivers? Or were they furloughed?

--Eager4School

Outsider said...

One assumes the whole point of picketing schools was to cause other staff (such as cafeteria) not to cross and enter the schools, so food service might be less prepared than they would be prior to a normal school opening. They might need X amount of time after picketing stops.

Anonymous said...

The District might be ready, but it doesn't mean the contracted bus and special transport drivers are. The district doesn't pay the individual drivers, they are contracted employees of First Student etc.


reader47

Anonymous said...

I wonder this too. I heard that this weekend teachers were bargaining for a day before school started with no students, which I thought was maybe a thing to be negotiated away since wasn't that last Tuesday?

We don't know which side the delay is coming from, though.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Outsider is correct that many of the worker bees have not been working due to the strike - respecting picket lines and with no students, nothing to do (and no pay either). It takes a little while to ramp everyone back up again, however prepared they might have been originally.

reader47

Anonymous said...

Would have been great to have the bus drivers driving their routes this past week, for practice. Might have minimized the usual transportation issues the first couple of weeks.

- On the Bus

Anonymous said...

I would go to this morning's rally in Pioneer Square, but boy would I feel like a chump to find out that SEA made concessions on the special education inclusion caseloads and SLP and OT caseloads. Can anybody find out a single thing about this. I am assuming no news is good news. Maybe I will just stay home.

Teacher parent

Anonymous said...

@On the bus
The drivers did in fact do just that the last week of August in prep for school starting. They do this every year actually -it's called "dry run". But there are always going to be variables when you throw kids into the mix - it's just inevitable there will be a few snafus.

reader47

Anonymous said...

The SEA board still has to review and approve the TA today, which also factors in to the timing of when school can start back up.

R Parent

Anonymous said...

An article in The Stranger today makes me question the District's honesty here. Also, I'm getting really confused.

http://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/09/15/22861535/hold-up-the-school-strike-is-not-over

North End Parent

Anonymous said...

I can think of many reasons you ccan't just start immediately due to transportation and food issues alone. For one, as mentioned above, drivers are NOT SPS employees and some of them might have other jobs that they added hours to during the strike, so they might need at least a little notice to rearrange their hours once again. It's also possible-likely, I'd hope, that fresh food deliveries were halted during the strike to keep spoilage to a minimum. That too, would take time to reschedule, stock, store, etc.

That's not even taking into account the parents who had to massively reschedule their family to accommodate the strike. I know of at least one kid who was sent out of town to stay with relatives while his parents worked, because their schedules are not 9-5 and the free community center options didn't work for them. Not everyone can just charge over to the schools tomorrow.

But it seems like the district can't win. If they'd announced the start of school tomorrow, people would be whining that they weren't given enough time.

I'm just glad we're going to be back in school.

Yay?

Po3 said...

Thursday makes sense as they probably won't vote to ratify until tomorrow.

mark r said...

1) Food spoilage is definitely a issue, especially not knowing that a strike could have possibly gone into week(s).
2) Surely a Seattle group would be outraged at buses wasting fuel, carbon footprint, traffic, and resources if they'd made "extra" runs.

West Seattle Dad

seattle citizen said...

Po3, I doubt a vote to ratify, by General Assembly (GA - all members) would happen as soon as tomorrow. Today, the Representative Assembly (RA) will look at tentative agreement (TA or TC) and decide whether to suspend strike. If they like TA, RA will suspend strike and educators can go back into schools. Later, GA will meet to vote on TA. They might vote "nay" and go back out on strike, or vote "aye" and the contract, after board approval, is ratified. SEA will try to schedule GA ASAP (need BIG hall, not as easy as it sounds on short notice...)
In the meantime, we're not waiting on ratification, we're waiting on RA approval so strike can be suspended.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I understand all this reasoning for why school would not open the next day if the strike is settled. I'm just pointing out out upset people have been over the strike and yet seem fairly blase about losing one more day.

Eric B said...

It's a lot easier to accept one more day when you know it's only one (or two), and not the first of who knows how many.

Anonymous said...

My hope is that we get a contract that made all this worthwhile. Once school starts, people will forget and go back to their routines. In my opinion, our only hope is a new board that will remember the issues and make changes at John Stanford.

Hoping...

Patrick said...

My question for the District is: if you know you need more than 24 hours notice to resume school, why have you waited until the press conference at 3 PM each day to announce that there's no school the next day? Give families as much notice as possible so they can arrange care or something interesting to do.

Anonymous said...

CALL THE STATIONS NEWS DESK AND ASK FOR A CORRECTION:
KOMO: 206-404-4145
KING: 206-448-5555
KIRO: (206) 728-7777
SEA has reached a tentative agreement (TA) with the district, BUT THIS DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN THAT SCHOOL WILL START THURSDAY as the district is saying and some media outlets are repeating. Both the SEA Board, and the representative assembly are meeting today to review the TA and decide on whether to call off the strike. The SEA membership also has to vote to approve or reject the TA.

The district has very deliberately pushed the Thursday school start day to pressure SEA members, and to try and turn parents against the SEA if they decide to continue the strike. Please spread this message and contact KOMO, KIRO and KING to ask for a correction to their news pieces.

-Cut and Paste Thief