Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Seattle Schools Statement on Contract Negotiations

From SPS Communications:

We are working with our labor association partners to achieve what we all desire – what is best for our staff and for our students. We have discussed and explored a variety of options during negotiations with the Seattle Education Association. 

We have discussed with SEA an increase to the cap on class size.  Enrollment in Seattle Public Schools has increased dramatically over the past five years and that trend is projected to continue.  An increase to the class size cap is one of a number of solutions we are exploring to ensure that we can accommodate all students as they enroll. 

We are still in conversation with SEA, and we are optimistic that an agreement will be reached so that we can get the school year off to a great start.  

What other solutions besides increasing class size is the district exploring?  I'm sure parents would like to know.  

I was at the Executive Committee meeting this morning (thread to come) and they are holding their cards close to their vest but it would seem they believe any contract signed will come so close to the start of school that they will need to intro/approve the contract at the same Board meeting (as they did three years ago).


robyn said...

Who do we write to saying our teachers should get a raise and class sizes are already too large?

mirmac1 said...

You can write to the individual board members:

Or schoolboard@seattleschools.org,

or go to this handy link.

I used the link and got, for the first time ever!, a response from Harium:

I am sending you this email in response to the concern that you raised regard the ongoing negotiation between Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association around class size increases. I have received several hundred emails on this topic. It is my policy that I do not publicly comment on issues that are under negotiation to insure that the work is done at the table. We are all look for a balance between meeting the needs of our students, our staff and our financial situation. I am confident we will achieve that balance.

Harium Martin-Morris
School Board Director
Seattle Public Schools

robyn said...

Thanks Mirmac. I am wondering who I can send it to during negotiations since the original post says it will be introduced to the Board at the same time they vote on it. The Board clearly debates but rubber-stamps everything put in from of them.

I am sick of reading about budget and capacity issues while hiring all the highly paid administrators (who seem to get everything wrong). Meanwhile, our kids have to sit in huge classrooms with no supplies, bad curriculum, 1/2 days all the time, way too many test days as well as having underpaid teachers.

It would put my family in a pickle, but I'd rather see the teachers strike than agree to larger classes in exchange for a 1% raise. The theme is consistent across the country. The rich are getting richer while the rest of us are left to fight over scraps.

Anonymous said...

I agree Robyn, I would completely support a teacher strike. And it would also be a hardship for my family.

The district administrators do NOT listen to the community, support abusive and/or incompetent leadership, and quite frankly are bloated (too many of them). If a teacher strike is the only way to attain positive change, then as a parent, I am going to support it.

We absolutely need to demand smaller/capped class sizes, revamped curriculums and teachers paid fairly to attract and retain talent. Every day we delay, our children are cheated. If the union can help achieve this, then go for it.

Wishful in the NE
(although not optimistic)