Monday, August 31, 2015

Updates Coming Fast

Update: Renton's union approved their new contract today with over 95% approval.

As well, word is that the Sisley slums on 65th and 15th are coming down tomorrow.  Good news no matter what but 1) I won't be there to see it and 2) not the ones in front of Roosevelt High.

end of update

Ross Hunter (D-Medina and one of the "roadkill" Dems) is leaving the Legislature to become Governor Inslee's Director of Early Learning.  It's a nod to the prominence that early childhood ed is increasingly taking in public education.  That means he is likely to be a point person for the City's Preschool Program.

The district announced that Ron English - on administrative leave since February - has "retired."  I have seen no press announcement but this from a tweet from KPLU's Kyle Stokes.

Latest on the SEA contract negotiations comes from two directions (one a teacher and one Stokes) - there is nothing new.  No movement towards an agreement.  The word from the teacher is that the union can't even understand what the district is offering.

We had one reader suggest that there may be some collusion going on by the district and the union to "create" a crisis in the district.  That would be a fairly venal thing to do but with the leadership at the top of both, I don't discount it entirely.

A strike will do no good and I find it hard to believe - with the McCleary money to both the district and to teachers - that there is not a way forward.


Anonymous said...

From the SEA:

In the spirit of good-faith bargaining, the SEA Bargaining Team this
morning provided school district administrators with significant
counterproposals on recess and pay.

On recess, the SEA Bargaining Team proposed a guaranteed 30 to 45
minutes of recess each day (our previous proposal was for a
guaranteed 45 minutes).

On pay, our team proposed a raise of 6 percent a year for three years,
for a total raise of 18 percent (in addition to the state COLA). Our
previous proposal called for annual 7 percent raises.

As of 4 pm Monday, the school district administration bargaining team
had not formally responded to either of the new SEA proposals.

We still have no tentative contract agreement. That means the school
district administration is running out of time to negotiate a tentative
agreement with us prior to our Sept. 3 general membership meeting at
Benaroya Hall.

David Edelman

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what kind of raises the districts around us are getting?


Anonymous said...

Hunter fled right when McCleary is coming to its crux in terms of real money and real tough legislation needed to fix the funding issue. That takes real leadership. Which is what Hunter was supposed to do. Instead he flies to a political appointee refuge.

What a lame punt. And strike another blow for do-nothing Gov. Inslee. He's a 3rd stringer when it comes to any education leadership. Make that someone who should be cut from the team. He stinks.


Greenwoody said...

So Jonathan Knapp has been busy trying to save Marty McLaren. But what has she done for SEA so far? Has she called on the district to settle and avoid a strike? Has she spoken out in support of the union's requests? Of course not. I wonder if the MLKCLC will want to reconsider giving her a dual endorsement with Leslie Harris.

n said...

Seattle hasn't had many strikes. I can only remember one real strike. Nurses strike. And they strike pretty regularly when they don't get what they want. We haven't seen that in recent years except in California. But I remember several strikes over Seattle teachers. Like garbage workers, they have more leverage. But it is the same in principle.

n said...

How do you know that Greenwoody? That Jonathan has been working to save McLaren?

Anonymous said...

n remembers "several" Seattle teacher strikes. I tried searching the Times the other day and except for the 1-day strike last year found 1985 (29 days) as the latest. Having been mostly in Seattle (3-4 years absent) I thought there was a more recent one. Can others confirm if there were others or has it really been 30 years?


Greenwoody said...

n, that's based on publicly posted stuff I've read, such as here: http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/happening-now-34th-district-democrats-make-key-endorsements/ and here: http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2015/07/seattle-school-board-races.html I've seen other statements to that effect in the comments as well, but those links offer some public verification.

As to teachers strikes in Seattle, there have been the occasional one-day protest strikes, like this past spring, but the last strike over a contract does appear to have been in 1985.

I still believe this will get settled without a strike, but the district does not seem interested in seriously negotiating at all - which is why I'd expect a union leader to be applying pressure to board members they have a relationship with.

seattle citizen said...

Greenwood - I seem to recall that either there is a prohibition on board members involving themselves in labor negotiations or its considered bad form or something.....but I could be imagining that, it's early....

n said...

When I said (poorly) "over Seattle teachers" I meant that nurses have struck more often than teachers and that they have more leverage when they strike. The occasional one-day teacher "strike" with placards is typical in Seattle but nothing beyond that.

On another thread I found a discussion of compensation and didn't realize that about the time I started teaching, salaries were equalized throughout the state. From what I understand, the feds provide a salary schedule based on the cost-of-living in an area. Why was the state so dumb as to try to equalize salaries? Seems to me that was a huge mistake. Now the only way I know the feds do that is because I had a friend (since moved) who worked for the feds and he told me that. He compared the wages of a Spokane teacher he knew with mine and it was eye-opening.

Finally, I do remember TRI when it didn't demand more mandated time such as today but did pay you for some of the hours the state recognized teachers worked beyond regular schedules. That is long gone. I remember that we were expected to be able to account for those hours if asked but of course we never were asked.

Eric B said...

Who is next in line to fill Hunter's chair on the Appropriations Committee? Timm Ormsby (Spokane) is vice chair, but Reuven Carlyle (NW Seattle) is also ambitious and on that committee. I don't know who holds seniority or what else might be in play.

Melissa Westbrook said...

N, Knapp went to the mat at the KCLC for McLaren. That I know on that score.

The Board has zero role in the negotiations. That's the district's job and the Board isn't supposed to be involved (and cannot even be in the room, I don't think). They certainly can have input before the negotiations start re: Strategic Plan and how the contract can support it.

Anonymous said...

The state sets the salary schedule, not the feds. The feds may provide information to help the state determine compensation equalization but has ZERO role in setting teacher/educator salaries in our state (or any other state).

Ross Hunter has been working on statewide teacher compensation for years and has had a levy swap proposal on the table for over 10 years. He's been the canary in the coalmine and his own caucus (as well as everyone else) essentially ignored his warnings and proposals for years. The Democrats had been in the leadership of the House and Senate and the Governor's office for years and DID NOTHING. How long do you expect this guy to beat his head against the wall? You people are a pit of vipers. The guy cares deeply for early learning --- it was through his leadership that the Dept. of Early Learning got created, full-day kindergarten got funded, and more slots in ECEAP got funded --- and he truly wanted this position. He didn't flee. Heading up the DEL will be no walk in the park.

Citizen Kane

Melissa Westbrook said...

Citizen, I'm sorry but who is a "pit of vipers?"

Patrick said...

Photos of the Sisley properties being torn down:
Seattle PI

Melissa Westbrook said...

Patrick, and me not able to be there. I am pleased as punch but, at the same time, there's a LOT more of those.

Anonymous said...

Ross Hunter was never a member of the Roadkill Caucus. He might be a centrist but he never aligned himself with this group.

Citizen Kane