Strike Update Pages

Second update:  from SEA:

After productive talks w/mediators today, both sides have agreed to resume negotiations Saturday.

 Update: SPS had a press conference.  According to West Seattle Blog Tweets,

- hoping for school on Monday
- Spokesperson Stacy Howard says they don't know if the union has been speaking with mediators, thought.
- Howard said strike is costing district $100K/day, incl what they calculate as extra days of pay later for nonstriking staffers

SEA updates page

SPS updates page

A great Excel chart (admittedly complicated but the issue is) about teacher pay by reader John Wright.  (I will say that other threads have tried to suss this out and it's really confusing and detailed.  But, since it is taxpayer dollars, makes you wonder why neither side tries harder to be crystal clear about it.)

From the savvy Meg Diaz on salaries at JSCEE and teacher salaries:

Turns out that between 2012-13 and 2014-15, total compensation for the top 100 compensated employees in SPS increased by about $1.4M (~12%). It'd be fair to assume that some individuals would earn raises (although Ron English's pay jumped by over $50K?!?!?!), the top 100 positions in a large district would have fairly stable pay. Not so much.
Since I was on a data boondoggle, I had a look at the top 100 teacher's salaries, thinking... maybe EVERYBODY increased.

NOPE. The pay for the top 100 compensated teachers contracted slightly, by about 1.3%.

Soup for Teachers map.  Absolutely amazing.  Seattle Public School parents and community TRULY love and support their teachers and schools. 


Anonymous said…
I’ve been puzzled by the district’s bargaining strategy. It seems, on the one hand, designed to inspire in teachers lasting bitterness and anger toward central administration, bargaining team members, and especially Dr. Nyland. However, after becoming more familiar with the perspectives of teachers who’ve been in strikes in other districts, I think I now understand what’s going on.

In other districts, the bargaining team and superintendent dig in and wait for the weather to change and for the public to turn against the teachers. At that point, after twenty or thirty or more days, the union finds itself largely abandoned by the parents. No more coffee and muffins in the morning. No more sandwiches and juice at lunch. People drive by and yell things like, “Go back to work!” Finally, union solidarity fractures, and the union’s bargaining team attempts to salvage what they can get.

That is a risky strategy for a school district in Seattle. This is not Issaquah. The parents, on the whole, may not abandon us. They may get more organized and figure out how to apply pressure in unanticipated ways. Union solidarity may hold much longer than the district guessed. The strike may get personalized. Dr. Nyland, for example, may become the focus of public anger. He may begin to think about whether he wants to leave his last job with dignity or in disgrace. The people who work for him may begin to think about what will happen when a new Board takes office—a Board which sees its number one job as restoring some semblance of cooperation between central administration and teachers in the buildings. Some of those central administrators may begin to wonder whether they’ll have a job much longer, especially after the new Board comes in with their new mission to restore civility and cordiality.

Now, of course, I’m just speculating. Any number of scenarios could play out. I’m simply suggesting that this may not turn out the way district strategizers think it will. What they are doing now is risky. They could easily compromise by moving toward the SEA’s very reasonable last offer. They could save face by doing so, we could go back to educating young people, and parents could breathe a sigh of relief.

Yet, unless something changes next week, I don’t think that will happen. The district will keep to its strategy, and I, for one, will not waiver in my determination. And you know why? It’s because I don’t like the taste of subservience. I want my good work to be held up with dignity, not held in contempt. And for that, I will persevere.

David Edelman
So an expert on strikes said today on KUOW that it was unusual to have teacher strikes (compared to yesteryear) and to see this degree of parent support.

I think there are some cranky parents (justified) and there may be more the longer this goes on.

But the district pays their senior management (indeed the top 100) very well AND has a huge reserve of money. And more McCleary money will be coming.

The way to attract and keep good workers is to pay them and respect them.
Anonymous said…
At this point, I think it would behoove BOTH sides to just come back to the table and talk, whether or not there are new "offers" on the table. This little "we're waiting for you - no we're waiting for YOU" dance does neither side any good in terms of public opinion and just prolongs the inevitable. Sooner or later they have to come to SOME kind of agreement - whatever that might be - and it's like to hurt both. The time for all this dillydallying is done. SEA/SPS officials -your job right now is get back to the table and talk. Just talk, as long as it takes.

Anonymous said…
I heard from a building secretary (also on the bargaining team) that SPS is shutting doors to schools starting Monday and locking out secretaries as well.

-say it ain't so
Anonymous said…
The district claims that it is waiting for SEA to respond to THEIR last offer. What is frustrating for me as both a parent of SPS students who want to go to school AND a teacher for SPS is the conflicting information I am getting. Are there still sticking points not $ related? Are there concessions made that I am unaware of (evaluations and use of scores in them for LA and Math teachers, for example)? I have spoken to my strike captain, I read the updates, and I still have no idea what is going on. I would like to help my neighbors understand what is really going on. But I cannot even tell whose turn it is. Each side says "We're waiting for..."
Anonymous said…
"new Board comes in with their new mission to restore civility and cordiality."

I don't think that is the problem at SPS. If anything the board has been too meek, to willing to go along with administrators. Just take a look at the lawsuits and settlements costing SPS $ millions. Maybe with proper oversight by a board there would be more $$$$ in the class rooms and less $$$$$ spent at the JSCEE.

--Sell JSCEE
Anonymous said…

Right on! I think if I hear another board candidate say, "I not a micro manager" I'm going to puke! We need people who will manage even micro manage when the time comes.

It seems the time has come!

Rebecca Wynkoop said…
Please, no matter which "side" of this issue you support, ask both SPS and SEA to return to the bargaining table. Demand that both groups sit and work at it until this is done. All bargaining team members can and should return to the table, in good faith! We are at day 3 of a strike and day 3 of no bargaining. SEA and SPS sit down and get this done!
Anonymous said…
I am concerned about the special ed ratios for middle & high school in the district proposal. They are very high. I don't know how a special ed teacher could manage inclusion in gen ed classrooms with that ratio.

The SEA proposal is much lower.

This impacts all students in the classroom, not just special ed students.

-sped parent
Anonymous said…
I'm with InGoodFaith. Regardless of which side you take, the bargaining teams MUST just come back to the table. Let them know - unless and until BOTH sides start feeling some kind of heat from the public, we'll be sitting here talking about this stuff till Christmas.


Anonymous said…
It's very shameless to use special education students as pawns in this game. Shame on SEA and SPS. I hope SPS gets the Bejesus sued out of them this year for IDEA violations. WJ you are full of it!

pissed off
Anonymous said…
The SPS is reaping the bounty of years and years of kicking parents' concerns to the curb and treating parents like problems to be "managed". This is not about numbers, it is about turning around the SPS toward a culture of respect, truthfulness and professionalism toward teachers and parents. It is up to the SPS to meet the demands and come to the bargaining table, not the SEA. Furthermore, after being personally lied to by the district administrators for going on 10 years now, why would I, or anyone else, believe that they do not have the resources to meet the SEA demands? Only a fool would believe that. I've got computer screenshots of their district policies and watched them change to fit their arguments in real time after being called out. Let's all work to change the culture of SPS - hopefully by thinning and completely turning over the administrative personnel. I believe parents, students and teachers need to unite and push them to the wall on this. The Board has repeatedly and consistently failed to hold the district accountable to the people who educate and inspire our kids. The teachers.

The thing the district - the board, the Superintendent, his senior staff - doesn't understand is how profoundly unpopular they already were before the strike began. Years of disdain toward parents and their concerns, along with a teachers union that is fighting for some of the same policy goals parents have tried in vain for years to win, has ensured sky-high levels of public support for the union. That support isn't bottomless, and it probably has its limits, but it can last for a lot longer than Nyland, Carr, Peaslee, and the others believe. And if the strike persists well into next week, I suspect the district will be taking a lot more direct heat from the public than it already has.
Longhouse said…
One truly bizarre thing is that the district has decided not to release the SAEOPs (secretaries, cafeteria workers) even though they voted unanimously to go on strike with the certificated staff. So right now the district is paying somewhere around 5-10 workers (just a guess -- might be more, might be less) in each building to twiddle their thumbs when every one of them would rather be out on the picket lines. That means the district will have to pay even more when the teachers do go back to work and the end of the year is extended. The district won't have to pay the teachers because teachers will work the same number of days. But they will be spending more money on the SAEOPs. Why?

Don't complain about spending a $100K a day then, administration. It's your choice to piXX it away.
Who? said…
I agree that if agreement is not reached today, it is going to be a long haul. Then it will be down to who has the most stamina--who can hold their breath longer. One group will cave and accept the last deal offered.

Who has the most to lose?

Nyland (who makes $1,000 a day and is fresh out of retirement and not on a career ladder up but looking to go back into retirement in a year with a tidy sum from the district) vs. Teachers (who will see the end of the month approaching rapidly and realize there will be no pay-check w/o work. And quite a few of us teachers have babies at home, stay at home wives/husbands, mouths to feed and rent to pay.

Hmmm....Who do you think will cave first?

And Nyland really seems to believe (I believe this) that there is no money in the budget.
veteran sub said…
Text message just now from the union says both sides have been talking to mediators and negotiations will pick up Saturday. No other details.
Who? said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
The new special ed high school ratio's are about 2X the ratio's of last year. "Inclusion" for students with significant disabilities is funded at a rate of 15:1:3. 15 kids! Up from 8. Why? The district was doing so well for students with disabilities? The district is so inclusive? No way. Keep striking!!! They've gotta do better than that. Protect our most vulnerable students. (Please do us all a favor and fire Wyeth Jessee.)

Sped Reader
Anonymous said…
For me, as a parent with ten years of dealing with this district under my belt, it is perry simple. In one corner, you have the teachers. My kids have have a few duds, but, overall, their teachers have been good and they have been caring. They return emails. They work hard, and I see it.

In the other corner, we have the school district. They have managed to mess up the enrollment paperwork for three out of four kids. They don't return calls. They have closed and we now reopening one kid's original school because the district can't manage its way out of a paper bag. The district sold my neighborhood high school and we ended up with a Supreme Court case based on the ripples from that. Another one of my kids is in a program for which a new school is being built, and that new, unbuilt school is already too small to hold the program.

Seriously? Why would I trust the district? Why would I think the district could plan?

SEA Supporter
Patrick said…
SEA Supporter, exactly. District Administration treats students, families, teachers, counselors, the public, and the board as irritants rather than part of their job.

I haven't emailed every one of my child's teachers, but I've emailed a fair sample, and when I do I always get answers and often get answers in the evening or early morning. When I've emailed the Administration, whether I have general questions or specific questions about my child, no response at all.
Anonymous said…
So the March to Support Our Teachers is on. I'm sure Melissa will soon post details, if she hasn't already.

David Edelman
Anonymous said…
I posted this in the other thread, but it makes more sense. I am just another parent fed up with admin:

I don't think the school district admin really appreciates the animosity that they have created against them in the community over the last few years. They have spent years soiling their bed (to put it politely), and they don't have the goodwill needed to get the public on their side. People appreciate their teachers and believe the district admin is around in to screw things up and waste money.

I agree with other parents about how the district staff treats families. They are so patronizing that it's infuriating. I can't see myself going to another district meeting where they congratulate themselves on the great work they are doing and tell all the parents their ideas can't be done and are terrible.

I don't believe that the district admin is treating the teachers any better than they treat the parents. They need to get over themselves and completely change their behaviors. I hope that this strike will start that process.

"Gov. Inslee, Mayor Murray, Seattle turns its lonely public ed eyes to you #actnowinslee #whereismayormurray @GovInslee @MayorEdMurray"

My most recent Tweet.

If you don't like the district's work, wait till you see what Meg Diaz has figured out about salaries.
Tweets on Meg's work:

In Seattle Schls, btwn 2012-13 and 2014-15, total compensation for the top 100 compensated employees in SPS increased by about $1.4M (~12%).

The pay for the top 100 compensated Seattle Schools teachers contracted slightly, by about 1.3%.

For Seattle Schls, that's a 12% bump for senior staff (most at $100K) versus slight teacher downturn about 1.3%. Any questions? @SeattleEA
Anonymous said…
The news of Meg Diaz's analysis is spreading fast.

David Edelman
Anonymous said…
David Edelman wrote:

"Yet, unless something changes next week, I don’t think that will happen. The district will keep to its strategy, and I, for one, will not waiver in my determination. And you know why? It’s because I don’t like the taste of subservience. I want my good work to be held up with dignity, not held in contempt. And for that, I will persevere.

In my many many years in teaching I have observed a widening divide between teachers and administration. This divide is amplified by in some cases administrative arrogance.

In 2006-2007 my only year in the SPS, I began testifying at school board meetings after an invitation from Director Sally Soriano. She wanted the Board to hear from a teacher at a school what was really going on, which was greatly different than the lines she was being fed by senior staff as a Director.

I learned that many on the Board had little interest in facts, they preferred the baloney they were being fed.

School Board Action Reports were full of misinformation and incorrect data. I remember some directors visiting New Tech Sacramento and finding out it was not a STEM school after they arrived. The SBAR data on New Tech schools was straight out of an advertising brochure. Claimed graduation rate 98% actual numbers revealed 39% one year and 44% the next.

Goodloe Johnson presented a strategic plan, with impossible to meet fairy tale numbers masquerading as achievable goals. Carla Santoro (and the Board)adopted Everyday Math and mandated Fidelity of Implementation with much longer math class times. Santorno said the math achievement gaps would be eliminated in five years. [The gaps remained the same or larger].

The top-down mandates ignore relevant research and ignore even common sense. Teachers are hardly treated as professionals, their views are not wanted.

Professional learning communities are NOT. In many places they are only top down indoctrination sessions.

Teachers are inundated with nonsense work that has little to do with the improving the delivery of instruction to students. Instead the reading and discussing of the latest book selections handed down from admin consumes valuable time.

I am still trying to figure out how the investment of time into transitioning to "Standards Based Grading" produces any return on investment. Standards Based Grading appears to be the latest way to conceal "dumbing-down".

To find out that the Top Hundred admin received a 12% pay raise over two years causes me to wonder "how many of those folks would have left if there had been "no raises"?

I just find it hard to visualize other employers offering any of these hundred folks anything near what they make in the SPS. --- especially when considering any accomplishments if found.

"I want my good work to be held up with dignity, not held in contempt."

Don't we all.

Stop Seattle Public Subservience.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
I agree with above posters. Years of the district treating parents & teachers as the enemy has taken a toll. Years of manipulating the board, disingenuous reports & budgets & timing for votes have taken a toll. Central admin should be about serving the schools, assisting, collaborating, problem solving, but it is not. I look back at incidents like the firing of Ingraham's principal, the denials about the Nature Bridge incident, the special education student info leak and I have no inclination to trust district at all. Just recently the district has said they couldn't even consider changing school start times without years of community engagement, but now has proposed a new schedule they want with no community engagement. If SEA says the district has not bargained in good faith, I believe it. They haven't been transparent or collaborative or even trust-worthy in a long time. Administrators have built this relationship deliberately. I am surprised they weren't prepared for the backlash.

Sorry district, you wanted the parents to be enemies & now you have it.

-HS Parent
veteran sub said…
Melissa, where could we find the full document for Meg Diaz's analysis? Is this something she emailed you? I appear to be full of Google fail right now.
And we should elect School Board Directors - like Leslie Harris, Jill Geary, Rick Burke and Scott Pinkham - who WILL ask the hard questions and refuse to be baffled with BS.

No more long Work Sessions where staff does more talking than Board members do asking questions.

No more "rush, rush, gotta get it done" BAR items on the Board agenda.

No more believing every word of a BAR is gospel.

I know and like and yes, even respect many people at JSCEE. I do believe in their hearts (with a few exceptions) that they are there to better Seattle public education. But most of fail to realize the REAL work is in schools. The REAL change comes in schools. And every layer of bureaucracy fails that mission.
Anonymous said…
I too would like to see this analysis. How much of the variation between years is raises versus turnover or new hires? What's the median increase, rather than the mean?

monkeypuzzled said…
I'm seeing some discussion on social media about ACCESS (special ed / inclusion) caseloads actually increasing. Is this true, does anyone know?
Anonymous said…

I agree! We always hear about "accountability" for teachers.

We have a central administration that is out of touch and out of control--and some of them even got huge raises and promotions this summer.
More layers of administration also get created (I am old enough to remember when John Stanford cut central administration in half; if qualified, they had to either return to being principals or back to teaching ). Well, here we go again: we now have a new position, Chief of Schools, that exists to supervise the regional education directors to make sure that the principals are doing their jobs!

Unfortunately the culture at JSCEE encourages a particular attitude and behaviors.
I know there are wonderful people there who work hard, want to make the District better and do not think they are above the public and the law.

Why can't the School Board do their job(s): supervise/evaluate the Superintendent, providing oversight instead of rubber stamping everything certain highly paid administrators at JSCEE tell them? Why doesn't the School Board get their questions answered and insist on transparency at JSCEE?

Another recent example: When MCHS - High Point was illegally closed in June, only three board members (Patu, Peters, and to a degree, Peaslee) were interested in having the Superintendent obey Washington State law. Instead, Nyland and certain administrators were allowed to dance around language over whether it was a program or a school or whatever so as to avoid having to follow ANY policy or state law where they were required to engage with parents and community.

@HS Parent reminds us of some other major recent incidents.

I know it can be a thankless job. The point is this: Many on the current Board do not feel comfortable with being asked to do the job they were elected to do. That's a problem.

--Baile Funk
Tapestry said…
"fire Wyeth Jessee (special ed. director"

Agreed a thousand percent. But after he managed to keep OSPI from taking over special ed. I can promise you that Nyland and the board LOVE him and he's trading big time on that unquestioning love. He's recommending rolling back special ed. staffing ratios and still refuses to provide caseload caps to speech therapists and OT/PTs that are anywhere near those documented in surrounding school districts.

My guess is that Jessee will be selected as the Seattle's next superintendent. That's what he has his sights set on and he usually gets what he wants in Seattle.
I'll have to ask Meg for a document - she sent this in an e-mail. But her ability has proven impeccable so I take what she says as being correct.
Anonymous said…
I posted this back on the Odds & Ends thread - nowhere near the level of Meg's work but still slightly eye-opening.

Comparing 2014/2015 and 2013/2014 years:

14/15 - total employees = 6018
13/14 - total employees = 5916
Increase = 102 employees

14/15 total salary = $302,911,645.00
13/14 total salary = $287,302,971.00
Increase = 15,608,674 - which is about 150,000 per new employee (though I'm sure some of that increase was in various raises)

Maureen said…
Could Meg post it on her (mostly defunct) blog? I miss that blog! She once posted the most fabulous recipe for Midwestern Succutash! I skimmed the stuff about high end shoes and hockey.
Unknown said…
Succotash. There that's better! (I'm buying corn tomorrow!)

n said…
The above posts give me heart again and Bravo! to David Edelman for starting it out so well. This really is all about the district and admin.
Unknown said…
Succotash. There that's better! (I'm buying corn tomorrow!)

Johnny Calcagno said…
So many great comments in this thread.

Thank you...

Parent @4:15pm

Robert Cruickshank @4:16pm

SEA Supporter @4:36pm

sick @4:58pm

Dan Dempsey @5:25pm

HS Parent @5:28pm

Baile Funk @6:01pm
seayomama said…
I taught in Highline when Larry Nyland was in central admin there. Here is how the strike situation plays out there (which is to say it doesn't): Teachers and other WEA professionals get poor raises if any, and their jobs become increasingly unfair and restricted, and not in the best interest of students. Teachers deliver impassioned speeches both in union meetings and in individual school staff meetings, but when the strike issue is raised, someone archly states that this is against the law. "We will not be breaking the law," the HEA prez will say loftily, and many teachers shake their heads that such a thing might be suggested. Even a one day walk out is carefully coordinated with the district, with it being very clear that the quarrel is with the legislature rather than the district. And so this is the sort of climate to which Dr. Nyland became accustomed.

Welcome to Seattle, Larry.
Lynn said…

Exactly, welcome to Seattle. We were pissed off at the poor decision-making, the turmoil, the theft, the disrespect, the superior attitide, the platitudes, the lying and cluelessness before you arrived. Now you're here with your shrug, your bullying of teachers, your secrect contract signings, your focus on training board members not to direct your efforts or question your data and your community engagement meetings where parents are allowed to ask questions but no response is given.

We are having a march on Tuesday? We are ready for that.
Anonymous said…
Parents we truly appreciate and need your support through this! I listened to the KUOW report as well. Yes, this level of support that we are getting is not only unusual, but probably unprecedented! Which in many ways, I think, provides and demonstrates credence in wombat teachers (and parents) are asking for. I only hope that we can provide enough pressure and cohesion-- that we don't lose momentum-- this is difficult for us all.

Teacher AND parent
Kate said…
David Edelman reported about that the March to Support Our Teachers is on. Can anyone give details as to time and place?

Thank you!
Eric M said…
I'm sitting here looking at 2 monthly pay stubs I pulled from my file cabinet, one from June 2015, one from from May 2012. My takehome classroom pay 3 years later is 4.3 percent LESS than 3 years earlier. Same job, same insurance, same dependents: nothing changed. Except the amount of actual pay I received for doing it.

I have to say, it came as kind of a shock.

So, BS on this featured awesome editorial in yesterday's fact-challenged Seattle Times, written and posted on 9/11 while teachers were doing community service rather than picketing.
Anonymous said…
Who remembers how they reduced our salary? I just did! They stopped paying us for a full day! They took away the day after school gets out for students as a paid. That was after the furloughs. They have taken away pay and no one has directly called them on it that I can see.
Maureen said…
Shouldn't the union have someone tracking all the previous concessions teachers have accepted and posting them somewhere?
Unknown said…
If it were a serious union. Too much time hanging with bffs Marty McLaren, Tim Burgess, and Creative Approach schools leaves little time in the day for such complex analyses. Notice that Meg Diaz did analysis work that shoulda coulda been done in May, to open up the negotiating festivities.
Anonymous said…
It would be great if somebody could clarify where the caseload limits stand for OTs, SLPs. What is the status?

n said…
You shoulda been the one, Eric M. I tried at my school. In some ways, we did this to our school. Lots of union apathy at that time. Esp. at elementary. But we're finally paying attention. I wish you were at the table.
n said…
When I said "our school" I meant "ourselves."
Could someone please address the following issue:
Secretaries will be greatly impacted by students being in school an additional half hour.
The office calms down once the students have left for the day, and that time is used to work on the many projects we have that are time sensitive.
Has anyone thought about compensating secretaries not just teachers for this additional burden?????

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