Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What's Up with SPS?

Final from West Seattle Blog (5:57 pm):

SEA reps voted to end the

Update #4: West Seattle blog is reporting that the room has gotten quiet (this is 5:45 pm):

Very quiet in meeting room now. We can only speculate that COULD mean they're voting -we were told paper ballots, not voice vote 

Update 3: West Seattle Blog is at the Machinists Hall, tracking the SEA discussion.  Apparently, they heard applause and cheers but nothing definitive.  Current Tweet (Wood is WEA spokesperson):

 Rich Wood says it'll still be a while = lots of questions being asked.


Update 2: as of an hour ago, here is what SPS tweeted (but no verification from SEA):

For clarification, SPS & agreed this morning school starts Thursday. SEA has 3 days to review & vote on the tentative agreement.

Update 1: as of an hour ago, the SEA had NOT agreed to the latest deal.  I will track this on Twitter.

end of update

I was told at one of the press conferences that they had to be careful who they let in because one day last week, strikers surrounded the Superintendent's car as he was trying to leave.  They sang a union song and then moved away.  The district feels/felt that was a threat to him and decided to make things more secure at JSCEE

That escalated to the silly today when marchers came to JSCEE and a group of kids was trying to deliver letters to the Board about asking them to support fully-funded education in Washington State.  The district locked the doors to headquarters (see this video).

Is SPS not open for business because of the strike?  I appreciate that the Superintendent didn't like the strikers surrounding his car but they did not appear to me to be aggressive nor did I hear of ANY threats at all.

Then there's this from their actions today:

80 comments:

Eric B said...

Is this an open thread? :)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sure, go for it.

Ebenezer said...

I don't know if the District's premature announcement that school is starting Thursday is to pressure the union into voting for it, provoking the union to reject it, or simply another instance of District incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Wishful thinking? ;o)

reader47

Ebenezer said...

At least we now know why the District went on a HQ hiring spree. It's because the superintendent needs a lot of staff to protect him from students delivering letters.

Patrick said...

Horrors, surrounded by people singing a union song. Put in for combat pay.

Anonymous said...

Latest from RA meeting is that there are lots of questions and no vote yet. Time will tell I guess

reader47

Anonymous said...

IMO, this is yet another example of the board and district making themselves look ridiculous, untrustworthy, inept and completely dysfunctional. The board is also seeming to show how aligned they are with the district staff, rather than with the families of the district they are intended to serve.

Even if an agreement is reached today, the board and district have generated a lot of resentment and frustration among teachers and families that will continue to simmer. People I'm talking to are especially upset with the lack of funding for the schools/students/teachers when the district headquarters seem so bloated with overpaid staff/consultants. Why does the board stand for this?

With the exception of Sue Peters, they seem to have completely lost sight of their mission. They think they're meant to be the best friends of the district staff and the superintendent they ordained on the sly. I hope the voters remember all this when the election rolls around. Out with all but Peters, and out with Nyland.

BTW, the video link didn't work for me. If there's a way to repost, that would be great. I watched the crowd walk (very peacefully)down 1st and up Lander chanting "bring back school." It was mostly moms, dads and elementary age kids- hardly a menacing mob...

-Frustrated parent

Anonymous said...

BTW, I know we don't get to vote Nyland out, but I certainly wish we had that opportunity. We don't have a good track record with superintendents, but he's another one in the bad news column.

-Frustrated parent

Anonymous said...

Come join Washington's Paramount Duty, a new group. As the description says, we're a grassroots group of concerned citizens and organizations who believe that our children have waited long enough for an adequately funded basic education.

A small group of us met last weekend to talk about what to do in response to the amazing outpouring of support for our teachers in Seattle, and how to harness that energy now that more and more parents are realizing just how broken our education funding is.

Apparently our legislators say they don't hear from people on this issue. Unsurprising - it's hard to manage a public advocacy campaign when you can't even get your 5 year old to put on his or her pants fast enough to get to school on time (we've all been there as parents, haven't we?)...So our response was to create this group, as a focal point for the conversation about fully funding education, and to push that demand forward.

We are still very new (less than 60 hours old ) and we're scrambling to get things going. Please get on Facebook and join us!


https://www.facebook.com/groups/1642839539315325/

-NW Voter

Floor Pie said...

"The district feels/felt that was a threat to him and decided to make things more secure at JSCEE"

It was the accordian, wasn't it? https://www.facebook.com/SocialEqualityEducators/videos/10203763263880904/?pnref=story

Okay, so the guy in the front acts a bit menacing, but only after Nyland taps him with his car.

Eric B said...

Wait, was there a bagpipe? That was declared a weapon of war once, so maybe that was the problem. A fully weaponized 12-year-old is a pretty terrifying thing, too.

n said...

Someone commented that they should have made him wait the exact amount of time they are trying to make teachers work longer. That might have been reasonable . . .

sped ratios need to be real said...

There is no such thing as a tap with a vehicle. That is hitting a pedestrain with a car which is illegal.

Accepting the terms of a MOU with Bill Gates is another example of::::::>

#Lawless Nyland

Anonymous said...

Strike is suspended per RA vote - text from SEA

Cameo

Anonymous said...

"SEA Representative Assembly has voted to end the strike & to recommend ratification of the TA. Wednesday is a workday for everyone, certs, paras, SAEOPs"

-full text from SEA

Cameo

Unknown said...

"Recommend ratification of the TA"... does this mean there is still a union wide vote to ratify it? It sounds like it is not a done deal yet?

Anonymous said...

Komo TV has reported that all employees are to report to their schools tomorrow and school begins as scheduled Thursday.

The Teachers vote within 72 hours of the TA and they need a facility large enough to hold those coming to vote.

So officially the strike is "suspended" and is based on the final vote when that is scheduled w/in the window.

And the building recriminations and nastiness will begin by Monday at the latest.

Wow is that Jonathan Knapp a pill

- "Union" Member

Anonymous said...

"We have met the enemy and he is us" - new motto of the SEA

Frustrated teacher

Anonymous said...

Since we daylighted all the salaries of the SPS staff on negotiations, how much does Jon Knapp make? Does he get incentives? Is that public?

Parent

GarfieldMom said...

The site with the spreadsheets now has them embedded in the post. New spreadsheets reflecting the agreed-on percentages will be posted ASAP.

Visit Projected Salary Schedules based on proposals from each side of the bargaining table

This will be helpful for understanding the difference between 2%, 3.2%, 4% (where SPS was at the beginning of the week) and 3%, 2%, 4.5% (the agreed-on numbers).

Anonymous said...

The .5 added to the 3rd year is listed as compensation for the extra time added to the day. So really, SPS's offer went DOWN. The district played the shell game and the SEA fell for it.

Hey hey, ho ho, let's kick the can on down the road....

-Rook

Patrick said...

Is the rest of the agreement public yet, or not until the ratification? I want to know about special ed and support ratios.

Anonymous said...

Another example of lowered expectations ... the way of life in the public school system ... for the students and the teachers.

Anonymous said...

Were sped students rolled under the bus?

Sped inquirer

Anonymous said...

Nothing in transparent or disclosed. Go back to work unwashed and on Friday or Saturday or even Sunday.. as long as it is early..to meet that timeline.. we will know then the details.

So far we no none of them. NONE of them. Generalizations and vague concepts yes.. specifics no.

Meanwhile back in the real world the ugliness will come down to he/she/they said and did! The posturing and grandstanding will be fun stuff to watch for those vying for union gigs in the year ahead. I got my money on a fame seeker from Garfield. And not the mom who should be the one as she is awesome and actually gives info. Thanks!

Rook is my new favorite. This is not much different from Game of Thrones only with less hot people.

"Union" Member

Anonymous said...

"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which." "Animal Farm" George Orwell

veteran sub said...

"Union Member said: "Rook is my new favorite. This is not much different from Game of Thrones only with less hot people."

Hey, speak for yourself! I'm MUCH hotter than those people on Game of Thrones. And less likely to die at the drop of a hat.

Anonymous said...

Veteran Sub

Do you wear fur and leather and have dragons? I can see that one going well in the Teachers' Lounge.

I am voting for Garfield Mom as head of the Union and Rook as a rep. Veteran Sub you can of course be the sub should they not be able to fulfill their duties

And this may be the best thread ever!

"Union" Member

Anonymous said...

Veteran sub, I challenge you to a duel!

I choose Jonathan Knapp as my champion.

For weapons, I choose complete absence of objectivity & an utter lack of respect for rank & file SEA membership. I was in that room today and saw the havoc he wrought with those humble tools.

-Rook

veteran sub said...

Rook,

I accept your challenge. My champion will be randomly chosen from the current allotment of GOP Presidential candidates.

"Union" Member,

If I gave details about my fur & leather and/or reptilian companions, I'd probably get thrown out of teaching. Someone would say I'm a bad influence on kids or something.

Tresanos said...

My staff has very strong morale and we feel positive and unified coming out of this experience. The only thing I have heard from our staff is THANK GOD FOR THE BARGAINING TEAM. These brave souls gave up over 250 hours since May to get us as good a contract as possible. I don't believe any of the negative-leaning complainers out there (people who have not even seen the TA yet) would have done any better. Please trust the bargaining team. Please, please, let's stand in solidarity now.

Anonymous said...

I stand alone.. I just reviewed my in box and the emails from the union alone led my system to crash.. Oh wait it didn't.

This is going to be a building to building battle that rivals Game of Thrones for superiority and divisiveness. Can't wait!

Call me Mother of Dragons or "Union" Member

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Now that we have a tentative agreement and the strike is suspended, I want to thank Melissa Westbrook for hosting discussions of the issues and offering her commentary. What a powerful experience this has been for many of us who were involved in the strike. This blog played an important role, and we have Melissa to thank for it.

Educators stayed strong throughout the strike, and the parents, by and large, supported us. I believed in parent-power from the beginning, and I feel confirmed in my belief.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm a little tired, and I'd like to step away from blogging for a time. I'm thrilled to be returning to the classroom and overjoyed to be seeing my students soon.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
At what point last night did the roofies get dropped?"

We saved you some! Grab a helmet and a feather boa and LET'S DO THIS.

-Rook

Anonymous said...

From WSB:
http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/happening-now-union-meeting-in-south-park-to-review-tentative-agreement-decide-whether-to-suspend-strike/

"Student day increase beginning in 2017-18: “Student day is extended 20 minutes each day, within the 7.5 hour teacher workday; students are released one hour early (or arrive one hour late) once per week. Net increase in student instructional time, 22-25 minutes per week. Building Leadership Teams still set the school schedule just as they do now."


That's crazy! So parents and childcare options will be disrupted every week by a late start or early dismissal. Could this be more complicated and inconvenient. Blows me away parents don't get a voice in these discussions...

- B

Anonymous said...

I agree "B" that this is a crazy idea. I'm a teacher and a parent. I will have a teacher voice this weekend and will be voting against this agreement.

I cannot figure out what happened to the bargaining team to have them make such concessions. Or perhaps I was naive to believe that what they said they expected to have in the agreement was really what they meant. A little bit of movement is one thing. It seems like they made a huge shift and the district barely wiggled.

Anonymous said...

Let me see a blog has the contract agreements while the members of the rank and file know nothing.

Let me check my in box again to see that I have the specifics.. nope well I guess they are busy.

Well I am a

"Union" member

Anonymous said...

I got something, underwhelming for secondary teachers to say the least.
-SecondaryELA

Anonymous said...

I think the union did really well with this contract, as did the district. Good compromise. The union scored their #1 priority which as caseload caps for ESAs. As well, SpEd ratios did not get thrown under the bus, they got a lot of metoring for peers on improvement plans, Equity teams (whatever the hell that is) in 30 schools, RECESS...make a list of the positives. It's pretty long.

The district seems to have spent more than planned but didn't get totally hosed either.

Looks like a lot of good faith bargaining from both sides.

Oh, and no STUDENT GROWTH RATINGS! That, my friends, is huge. I think this is a celebration across the board. Teachers, you should have a good list from your picket/strike captains.

Relieved Parent/Teacher

Anonymous said...

I am still amazed at the need to disrupt the regular daily schedule one day each week.
Why is this necessary?
Cannot a once or twice a month faculty meeting when coupled with email make due?

Or is it for more Top-Down directives like the fake Professional Learning Community concept?

Do not tell me it is for Professional Development.

PD such a waste.

... Because the current gurus of ed reform are "not into the details of teaching".
Those gurus make the PD decisions.

OH now I get it... the teachers will not have enough time after school to collaborate because the SPS is going to extend the school day but not the contracted teacher work day.

The SEA bought this plan? You must be kidding!!

Time for a parent revolt.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Relieved Parent/Teacher wrote:

Oh, and no STUDENT GROWTH RATINGS!

That is quite an accomplishment. Getting the SPS to end the pushing of a completely unreliable practice in which there is not a large enough sample size to produce a result that has any statistical significance.

Good job -- any chance this could spread to other SPS practices that are irrational?

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Dan, what did they do to bring that about? They traded on special education.

Let's celebrate!

Not celebrating.

Anonymous said...

B, I'm a teacher and I agree. I really think families should have had some say regarding early release.
Disappointed

mirmac1 said...

Think of the #$%^&€×÷@!! millions wasted by these clowns on that VAM crap! Dumping VAM should lead to quite a few pink slips in the glass palace right there.

Anonymous said...

Moving minutes from the beginning or end of day to one day per week and extending contact time has not been adequately compensated. While HS teachers will be increasing their contact time this year, we will not be paid for it until year three. It looks like elementary will get paid for it right away. Their day is shorter than a secondary day and they being are currently paid on the same schedule as a secondary teacher. The way I am reading the TA section on the increased contact time is that they will now be paid more than secondary teachers starting this year by 2.86%. Anyone else seeing this? I do hope I am reading it wrong.

-exhausted

Anonymous said...

Early Release once per week?

*That* of all things ought to be something that parents are consulted on. VERY disappointed in SEA for shafting us on that after all the support we've been giving our teachers this week.

-unimpressed

Lynn said...

Exhausted,

I thought the student day wouldn't be changing until 2017-18. What is changing for high school this year?

Anonymous said...

What is VAM?
Curious

Anonymous said...

Soup for teachers has this statement from UW profs:

"The UW chapter of the American Association of University Professors has adopted the following statement of support for Seattle’s K-12 teachers as they negotiate a contract with the Seattle Public School district.

UW AAUP supports Seattle’s K-12 teachers
The mission of the UW Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance. In this, we share with our colleagues in K-12 education the value of faculty engaged in defining the fundamental values and standards for education, promoting the economic security and working conditions of all educational workers, and in setting the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education. Founded in 1918, the UW AAUP chapter has worked with allies to shape public education in Washington State by opposing privatization and corporate control, promoting diversity and equity, and advocating for accessible, high-quality education.

The UW AAUP concludes the Seattle educators are making reasonable demands, which include professional pay, workload relief, fair evaluation, and a focus on issues important to improving the quality of education (time for student recess, reduced standardized testing, and new student equity and discipline strategies to eliminate racial disparities). Faculty are best positioned to advise the district on matters pertaining to educational policy.

Seattle educators have sacrificed for six years with no pay raises from Olympia, while the Legislature remains in contempt of the Supreme Court’s requirement to fulfill the State Constitutional “paramount duty" directive to "make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders."

THEREFORE, the UW Chapter of AAUP stands in support of SEA contract proposals for the schools Seattle’s children deserve, and stands in opposition to any attempts to force SEA members back to work through legal sanctions.

Submited,
Amy Hagopian,
AAUP Secretary
Amy Hagopian, PhD
Associate Professor
Director, Community Oriented Public Health Practice
University of Washington School of Public Health
Box 357660, Seattle WA 98195-7660"

To teachers, please don't let yourselves be pressured into accepting this contract if you have reservations. Don't allow SPS illegal, premature and manipulative statement re schools starting on Thursday to force you into voting for this contract if you don't think it's a fair one.

Ugh, so disgusted by how manipulative and bullying SPS has been throughout this process. Has Central Admin always been this creepy and conscienceless?

CCA

GarfieldMom said...

So, the numbers have been crunched backwards, forwards, inside out, and upside down through the spreadsheets. Using JUST the figures provided today for raises (3%, 2%, 4.5%) gives the results below. But with the mention of this additional 2.86% compensation for the extended day from a couple of sources now, there's no way to ensure this matches up with what's in the TA without more info. If any SEA members want to share a copy of the TA, you'll find a contact form on the website: Seattle Schools Data

These figures are "unofficial" in that I haven't quadruple checked my numbers.

To recap:
COLA
3%, 1.8%, 0% (unknown if legislature will provide COLA in 2017-18)
Agreed on raises
3%, 2%, 4.5%
Reported increase over length of contract (from media, and among the public)
14.3%

After applying math:

Actual percentage increases year over year (projected)
4.8%, 2.98%, 3.59%
Actual percentage increase over length of contract (projected)
11.8%

More analysis to follow over on the other website.

Anonymous said...

"Has Central Admin always been this creepy and conscienceless?"

In a word "YES".

This behavior underscores the support parents and students have for he teachers and the SEA. I think parents put up with abuse from the central administration because we never always knew for sure if teachers are happy with the situation. Seeing that they are not has triggered an explosion of support among parents. My only hope is that the SEA has not squandered this support.

-Parent

Anonymous said...

West Seattle Blog got a paper copy of the agreement apparently during last night's meeting. This is what they've reported:

*30 “equity teams” – 10 schools the first year, 10 more the second year, 10 more the third year.
*Also re: equity: “Partnership Committee between SPS, SEA, and community reps to eliminate disproportionate discipline”
*SEA and SPS will determine how the lost days are made up
*Compensation – same raises for certificated, SAEOPs, paraprofessionals
-3.0% raise now, with 3% added state COLA
-2.0% raise in 2016, with 1.8% added state COLA
-4.5% raise in 2017

*Recess, as previously reported, at least 30 minutes per day “during the student instructional day”

*Calendar: Full midwinter break every year, school starts first Wednesday in September, “rules to develop calendar in any year so staff and families can plan ahead”

*Re: testing, “no more Seattle student growth rating … evaluation language updated … SEA and SPS agree to jointly petition (state) regarding use of focused scores”


Student day increase beginning in 2017-18: “Student day is extended 20 minutes each day, within the 7.5 hour teacher workday; students are released one hour early (or arrive one hour late) once per week. Net increase in student instructional time, 22-25 minutes per week. Building Leadership Teams still set the school schedule just as they do now.

Pay for longer student day: 100 minutes – 60 paid as collaboration, 15-18 paid as prep, 13.3 paid as tech, 10 paid as .5% of 3rd year raise.

Special Education: Special Ed preschool ratio lowered to 10:1:2, Distinct (social/emotional) classrooms lowered to 7:1:2, Special Ed Task Force will review special ed coasts; savings will be redirected to reduce employee workloads. Special Ed Team to decide on Instructional Assistant deployment when students are grouped across classrooms in a building.

ESA Caseloads: Enforceable caseload ratios for the first time.



reader47

Anonymous said...

Something I'm not getting (maybe nobody does at this point) is how the additional 20 minutes works at the high school level. If the school day is 20 minutes longer, but the teacher day stays at 7.5, does that additional class time mean less time for teachers to meet one on one with students before and after school for extra help, answering questions, etc.? Or maybe the once a week early dismissal or late arrival makes that play out differently?

R Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

VAM is value-added modeling. It's a method of measuring teacher impact on student learning. It's largely discounted b/c of the difficult of measuring from year to year. (You can be teacher of the year one year and the next at the bottom with this type of measurement.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value-added_modeling

Patrick said...

It's a nice plus that they agreed to set the calendar in advance. I didn't realize they were negotiating that, but it could make life a little easier.

Anonymous said...

Well, I can't say I'm happy about the new calendar. Now the kids will end up in school before Labor day any year that Labor day falls late (like this year - school would have started Sept 2nd under the new calendar). Plus the useless (for those who don't ski & can't afford to fly somewhere warm) week of paying for daycare while it is cold & rainy out in February. Having a 4-day weekend for midwinter break & getting out a week earlier in summer is so much better - easier with daycare arrangements, and time off when the kids can be outside. But I guess we are saddled with a midwinter break forever now. Not that big of a deal, just a waste of vacation time for working parents (less time off of the holidays because you have to save the vacation), plus just sitting in daycare instead of school for the kids. I wish they could have somehow polled the families on this one - maybe I'm in the minority & other people like having mid-winter break, but I suspect a lot of people would happily skip it.

Odd that there is no mention of Access staffing ratios in the West Seattle Blog - are they saying nothing because it is really bad, or did they somehow agree to settle it later rather than defining the ratios now?

Mom of 4

Anonymous said...

Hale has had late start on Tuesdays forever but we lost it this year and we are trying to get it back. Late start once a week for Hale allowed the teachers to collaborate on classes. In sophomore year, the biology, LA and history collaborated together such that the kids were studying social Darwinism, the Lord of the Flies and evolution in a coordinated manner. It was great. The late start or early dismissal thing doesn't start until 2017 so there is plenty of time to plan for it and child care providers will adapt. They have had early dismissal on Wednesdays in Bellevue schools for a long time. You just plan around it.

HP

NW mom said...

Mom of 4, I have always loathed midwinter break. They've just had two weeks off in December and they'll have a week off in April. No reason to have a week off in Feb as well.

Anonymous said...

Midwinter break is awful. No wonder parents don't get to weigh in. It totally disrupts learning, weather is usually poor, etc. A longer winter break is better than a mid-winter one, if teachers need more time off. Better yet is simply eliminating it and ending school earlier in June.

-another anti-mid-winter-break-er

NW mom said...

Yes! No reason to end school so late in June. I loved it when they had just a long weekend for President's Day.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Funny how what parents think/want does not weigh in with what SEA/SPS want.

Honestly, I don't think that's right.

bphill said...

I love mid-winter break. In February I can go skiing or just somewhere in the snow or go somewhere warm. I believe it started because many families were going off on ski trips anyway. Skiing in April is possible but is just not the same. Skiing in December is often not great and I'm really focusing on Christmas. I thought that having the full week off every two years was a good compromise.

School before Labor Day is just not right.

-NWskier

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of the mid-winter break either. Only just starting kindergarten, but I've already calculated that I will not have enough vacation hours to take off in Feb if I take time off during the Dec/Jan break. And the day care expense during that time will be a bummer. Is it for sure that's how it will be for a while?

Tee

Anonymous said...

It's hard as a parent to see the outrage from teachers for the adjusted day/week. I keep seeing outcries of needing to be paid for the extra 20 minutes a day. Which, with the early dismissal/late arrival day we now know works out to 22-25 minutes a week. That's ~5 minutes a day or <1.5% more time a week. Plan ahead more?

As a parent I think it's annoying, but Lake Washington and Northshore all seem to be getting on fine with it so it might not be as annoying as I expect. No less annoying than the random 2 hour early dismissals and all of the other random school days off is already anyway.

North Seattle

Anonymous said...

I believe the West Seattle post is just a overview - apparently the entire details will only be available to SEA membership to vote on at scheduled meeting Sunday at Benaroya Hall. Some indicators on Twitter that it might be a close call.

Some remaining issues mentioned on twitter include MS Sped Access ratios, nurse caseloads and the extra 20 minutes.




reader47

Rainier said...

Has anyone heard when the strike makeup days are?

Kate said...

Thank you to Garfield Mom for your ongoing calculations, which are very helpful and much appreciated. A question on your numbers above, showing an actual percentage of 11.8%. Does that take into account that the state is (as I understand it) taking back the 2016/17 1.8% COLA?

Patrick said...

Having midwinter break wouldn't be my first choice either, but as long as they announce what they're doing far in advance (12 months+) I don't mind too much.

As I look at future calendars, the next year that the 1st Wednesday of September is not the Wednesday after Labor Day will be 2020. I'll be done with SPS by then, but that will be the next contract period so anyone who feels strongly about it can try advocating for a change next negotiation period.

Bemused said...

FWIW, when I used to teach, I understood midwinter break to be a strategy to keep kids away from each other during the height of the flu season. Not sure if it worked, but I always thought it was an interesting idea.

Maureen said...

Bemused, I heard that same reason from a teacher.

GarfieldMom said...

Kate, what do you mean by "taking back?" I understood that there was no COLA that year, but do you mean taking back as in salaries would go DOWN by 1.8%?

Lynn said...

Yes. From the state budget:

The appropriations in this section are subject to the following conditions and limitations: (1) Funding in this section is sufficient to provide a salary increase of 3.0 percent effective September 1, 2015, and 1.8 percent effective September 1, 2016. Of the salary increases provided in this section, the increases of 1.8 percent effective September 1, 2015, and of 1.2 percent effective September 1, 2016, are provided as annual cost-of-living adjustments pursuant to Initiative Measure No. 732. The remaining portions of the salary increases are provided as a one-biennium salary increase for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years as the state continues to review and revise state-funded salary allocations, and the increase expires August 31, 2017.

Kate said...

Lynn and Garfield Mom, thank you for your responses. Earlier in the negotiation period the 1.8% was described as being paid over two years, then being taken back. Then it seemed that SPS started saying 3% and 1.8%, no mention of the take back. But that is my understanding - it goes away in the third year. Like a loan?? It doesn't make sense, but that seems to be how it was budgeted. Which, if correct, makes the third-year increase smaller (unless the legislature decides to retain it).

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of midwinter break. I always vote against it as it extends the school year. My compromise? A 4 day weekend (Friday off plus Monday holiday) that feels like a week!

--Baile Funk

GarfieldMom said...

Holy Moses, you are right. I went and found the budget and, since it references Initiative 732, that text as well. The 1.8% expires after 2016-17. So year 3 is not 0, it's -1.8% (although that won't be the effective decrease due to the TRI 4.5%). I know they have to simplify somewhat when communicating these numbers because most people are NOT going to wrestle with the math, but geez, this feels almost deceptive.

Anonymous said...

The legislature only funds a biennial budget. This legislature cannot obligate future legislatures to budget allocations. In other words, the current biennial budget runs only through the school year ending August 31, 2017. There are no state salary increases for 2017-18 because the state budget covering that school year hasn't been written yet.

The legislature isn't technically taking anything back.

Citizen Kane

GarfieldMom said...

OK, let's put it in these terms. 3% of the raise will carry over as an increase in base salary into the next biennium if the next legislature carries over the existing method for determining teachers' salaries without any new COLA or other adjustments. It is considered "permanent," barring a total restructuring of how teachers' salaries work.

1.8% will not carry over into the next biennium if they make no COLA or other adjustments. It is "temporary" unless the next legislature makes it "permanent."

The effect of the above is that base salary will increase year 1, increase year 2, then decrease year 3. They aren't technically taking back the 1.8%. They don't have to, it happens automatically unless they do something. If the current legislature had made the entire COLA pursuant to I-732, it would all carry over.

True, the current legislature can't obligate the next to maintain any of it. Heck, they could throw out the entire budget and start from scratch. I don't think that's gonna happen though.

Patrick said...

Bemused, I thought midwinter break's effect was to free students up to go on vacation and catch flu strains from somewhere else and bring them back to Seattle for us to enjoy.