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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tentative Agreement for Teachers

Yesterday, the teacher's union, Seattle Education Association (SEA), and the Seattle Public Schools (SPS), reached a tentative agreement on a one-year contract.

A summary of the agreement will be posted on the SEA web site next week and the full agreement (with the actual contract language) before the end of the month.

Here are some key features:

For all staff:
BLT decision-making authority and seniority rights remain intact
Two flexible use personal leave days
The contract is for one-year, and a new contract will be bargained in 2010.

For certificated staff:
Learning Improvement Day (LID) restored
A 1% pay raise
The District's performance pay proposals have been removed
The District's proposals for "flexible staffing" have been removed
A $1,500 ESA national certification bonus
All special education staff will get ten additional IEP hours

For classified employees:
Two additional paid professional development days (equal to a 1% pay raise)
201 and 220 day classified employees will receive two additional paid holidays (extra pay with no additional work
260 day employees will receive three additional paid vacation days which may be cashed out after the accumulation of 240 hours ofvacation
The classified to certified program will continue

For certificated and classified substitute staff:
A 1% pay increase for substitute employees

This is a tentative agreement for a one year contract. Under the SEA by-laws, the agreement will be presented to the SEA Board for consideration and, with the board's recommendation, presented at a Representative Assembly on August 26, 2009. Following discussion at the Representative Assembly, its recommendation will then go to a General Meeting on August 31 where the membership will vote to accept or reject the agreement.

12 comments:

Sue said...

Great news on the agreement - I was not looking forward to a strike.

But I do have a couple of questions. Why only a one year contract, and where is the money coming from to restore the LID and the 1% raise? I thought the district just laid-off a couple hundred teachers? And didn't have the money for the LID day?

If there are any details on how the district is going to fund this that would be great.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll try to post my comments to the Board last night at some point. But what I have learned is that the district cries poor when they need to and magically finds money when they need to. It's unbelievable.

TechyMom said...

While I'd like to see some sort of performance incentive eventually, I'm glad the district didn't push it this year. There are already so many changes with the closures and program moves. Adding extra instability with a teacher's strike would be terrible for kids wh are already going through so much.

gavroche said...

The School District that Cried Wolf?

Melissa Westbrook said...
I'll try to post my comments to the Board last night at some point. But what I have learned is that the district cries poor when they need to and magically finds money when they need to. It's unbelievable.


I've noticed that too. That's why so many of us don't trust the District and feel we've been lied to.

The Supt. and Board told us they needed to close, merge, split schools because of a 'budget crisis.' The Supt claimed all this disruption would save the District $3 million.

But closures, mergers and program replication cost money.

For example, I know of $1 million in subsequent expenses caused by the closures, and for which the District has magically found money.

That cuts the $3 million "savings" down to $2 million right there.

I'll bet there are other expenses resulting from the Capacity Management Plan that may in the end cancel out any alleged savings.

gavroche said...

Stories like this don't instill much confidence in the District's resource and financial management, either:

$500K in Stolen School Supplies—and No Report - The Seattle School District didn’t think to declare lost and misappropriated items. -- Rick Anderson, the Seattle Weekly http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-08-19/news/500k-in-stolen-school-supplies-and-no-report/

Sahila said...

Half a million dollar, eh? Wonder how many teachers that would rehire? That's a sixth of the $3M we are supposed to be saving from school closures, 1/4 of what we're supposed to be saving in bus and bell changes...

And its not been claimed on insurance??? How much is the District paying/wasting in insurance premiums, then?

And how many years has this been going on?

This and what's been spent on losing law suits over the past 20 years would probably add up to the $30M or so we are supposed to be in the hole - spoking plainly, this is fiscal irresponsibility at the least, and fiduciary failure at the worst...

Back on topic - I am glad the contract has been agreed, even if only temporarily and I am glad teachers/staff got something of a raise, though I would like to know how/why the District has the money for this now and not for other things...

Point of concern... I was looking at the annual report yesterday while I was searching for some figures - lovely glossy online publication - lots of pretty pictures... a bit short on data but that's par for the course...

The bit that stood out is that we have around 3,700 (if my addled brain with no short term memory is working) teachers in the District, but only around 110 of those are nationally certificated.... that to me seems a very, very low number... where is the professional development?

srbaughn said...

As a teacher I was disappointed but not surprised to see performance pay taken off the table. This is an issue that needs union engagement and not stalling tactics. At some point the SEA needs to accept that if teachers want professional pay and treatment (this one does!) we need to welcome professional accountability.

Charlie Mas said...

The District has issued a press release regarding the agreement.

The Press release from the District says:

"This tentative agreement is the first contract negotiated since the District’s current five-year contract with SEA was reached in 2004. It is the first step in an ongoing negotiations process to work together to achieve the goals of Excellence for All that were reflected in the proposals included in this series of contract talks."

Yeah, right.

Proposals reflecting the goals listed in the Strategic Plan may have been included in the contract talks, but none of them made it into the agreement. There is no progress on the Strategic Plan contained in this agreement. It's disgusting that they are trying to spin that lie.

Charlie Mas said...

On the theme of the District's elastic budget...

At the Board meeting last night we learned that the District hired two more high school math coaches as part of the implementation of the new materials - or is it a new curriculum? These are in addition to some math coaches from the University of Washington School of Education (paid for by UW) just for Rainier Beach and Cleveland.

We also learned that the District hired four "data coaches" to help the MAP teams at each school read, understand, and respond to the data they get from the MAP tests.

So despite the report from the auditor about how top-heavy the District is with too many administrators in the headquarters, and despite laying off teachers, they are hiring more coaches to teach the teachers as they lay off teachers who teach the students.

glovin said...

Great news on the agreement - I was not looking forward to a strike. This is an issue that needs union engagement and not stalling tactics.

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Sahila said...

Mrs Olsen says merit pay for teachers is foolishness:

http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2009/08/merit-pay-for-teachers-gets-a-demerit-from-mrs-olson.html

For more (non-Koolaid) information about the pressing (education) issues of our time, go to:

http://seattle-ed.blogspot.com/

With much thanks to Sue and Dora et al for putting all this material out there...

dan dempsey said...

Charlie,

While hiring more folks to collect and analyze data, the following must be noted.

Anna Maria mentioned the PSAT as a tool in obtaining information about Seattle Math.

I've tried to get the PSAT results from Fall 2008 but so far Nothing.

Looks like the joy is in talking about data and spending $$$ on testing .... but as far as disclosing the results I guess a couple people need to be hired to disclose results in a timely manner. Perhaps same new hires could also work on Strategic Plan information updates.

None of this apparently bothers current board members. Looks like we need a new section for lies of the month, where the most recent broken promises are discussed.