Thursday, October 28, 2010


I would like to thank everyone who came tonight to hear about and ratify our new 2 year contract. I want you all to know that your bargaining team worked very hard to get this new contract. Here is what was handed out tonight :
1) Duration: Two year agreement (2010-2011, 2011-2012)
2) Work Year/Calendar:
a) Any changes to the work year take effect in Year Two (2011-2012)
b) Language will define work year as follows:
· Security: Student Days + 4
· Elementary Nurses: Student Days + 10
· Middle School Nurses: Student Days + 10.5
· High School Nurses: Student Days + 11.5
· Behavior Techs: Student Days + 4
· Elementary Library Techs: Student Days + 4
c) In order to participate department and building-wide activities, agreed to a Letter of Agreement that provides:
· Up to two optional days for those employees listed above (as long as there are 175 student days or less).
· To work the two days, the employee will meet with a building administrator to develop a plan for the days.
3) Compensation:
a) Salary:
· Year One:
Ø .5% increase
Ø retroactive to 9/1/10
Ø paid through remainder of the year, beginning in November
· Year Two: additional 1.5% increase
· Any COLA or increase provided by the State will additionally be added to the salary schedule as has been done previously.
b) PSP and Degree Stipends – Increase by same % as salary:
· Year One:
Ø .5% increase
Ø retroactive to 9/1/10
Ø paid through remainder of the year, beginning in November
· Year Two: additional 1.5% increase
c) Market Study of Hourly Rates of Pay:
· Agreed to include the school districts in King and Snohomish Counties, excluding Index and Skykomish.
· Crossing Guard/Student Supervisor (SESPA 1)
· Security (SESPA 5)
d) Temporary 1:1 Paraeducators
· placed on the salary schedule
· granted salary schedule credit based on their actual original hire date
e) Agree to Strike Section 14.1
4) Benefits:
a) State Provided Health Benefits Allocation:
· Increase from $745 per FTE per month to $768 per FTE per month for 2010-2011.
· Subsequent years dependent on legislatures
b) Eligibility for Benefits:
· Reduced the number of hours required to be eligible for benefits from 20 to 17.5 hours/week
c) Insurance pooling will take place annually in November.
5) Professional Development:
a) Reduced the number of stipend days available:
· Year One:
> Pay rate for stipends:
* $27.50 per hour
* Overtime applies
> Eliminate one professional development day (stipend)
· Year Two:
> Pay rate for stipend:
* $27.50 per hour
* Overtime applies
> Eliminate the self-directed professional development day (stipend)
> One professional development day will remain
b) No change to eligibility for stipend:
· Employees who work greater than 3 hours are eligible for six hour stipend(s)
· Employees who work 3 hours or less are eligible for three hour stipend(s)
6) Leaves:
a) Sick Leave: Aligned language with SEA contract, expanding allowable uses
b) Personal Leave:
· Employees can cash out the difference between the number of days used and the allocation of three days:
> $11.00/hr in 2010-2011
> $12.00/hr beginning in 2011-2012
· Must request cashout by June 30
Section 20.4.3
An employee who uses less than the equivalent of three (3) days personal leave in a given school year may cash out the difference between the number of days used and the allocation of three (3) days at the rate of $11.00 dollars per hour, and beginning in 2011-2012 at the rate of $12.00 per hour. All personal leave cash out requests must be submitted to Payroll by June 30. Compensation for personal leave cash out will be included in the employee’s August paycheck. Personal leave cash out will be prorated for an employee who separates from employment before the end of the employee’s work year.
7) Updates & Cleanups:
a) Mobility Assistants: Clarified assignment of temporary hours to those whose schedules allow
b) Evaluation Timeline: Increased the timeline for an employee to respond to the evaluation (from 14 to 30 days)
c) Clarified vacation carry-over: May not exceed fifteen days
d) Clarified timelines for reclassifications
e) Incorporated attachment regarding catheterization into the CBA
f) Updated VEBA attachments

Sunday, October 24, 2010

General Membership Meeting 10/28/10

Dear SESPA members,
We will have our general membership meeting on Thursday 10/28 @ 4:30pm @ Parkwood Elementary in the Gym, Parkwood is on the corner of 155th and Wallingford.
Please come, we will be letting you know about the Tenetative Agreement with the District and to vote whether or not to ratify it.
Thanks and see you there...
Rose Ann and Chris

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Dear SESPA members,

We have a tentative agreement!!!!!! We will have a General membership to explain and vote on ratifying a new contract on 10/28/10 Metting place TBD @ 4:30 pm

Your bargaining team has worked very hard!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bargaining Update 10/18/10

Your bargaining team met with the district today. No settlement was reached. We will be back tomorrow ready to bargain.
Thank you
Your Bargaining team

Friday, October 15, 2010

Please help spread the word

Simple Action of Support:
Will you please wear black on Monday, October 18th, to show solidarity with your SESPA colleagues while your bargaining team is at the table?

Two weeks have passed since our last negotiations session, and we know members are wondering what happened at the table and what the next steps in the bargain may bring. Honestly, your SESPA bargaining team was so stunned after the September 30th bargaining session, it took us some time to consider how to best share our deep disappointment in the District.

After a month away from the bargaining table, while our members worked with no contract, the District bargaining team came to us on September 30th with a counter proposal that reflected no changes from their prior proposal of August 31st! No Changes!

Why would we say “yes” to a proposal we’d already rejected? Did the District think that by waiting they’d worn us down, and you down?

That didn’t happen. We prepared a counter proposal and presented it to the District. Then we waited….for two hours!

And the District sent us home. They didn’t have the courtesy to let us know they wouldn’t be ready to make a counter offer that evening. They let us sit, though they didn’t have anything to share with us. Your SESPA bargaining team was stunned!

Upcoming Negotiations:
After telling the SESPA team they wouldn’t be ready to make a counter-proposal that evening, the District suggested we calendar ONE date to meet. They suggested October 19th. October 19th! Almost three weeks later!

We offered to empty our calendars, bargain on Saturdays and Sundays, bargain night or day. We offered TEN dates our team would be willing to meet!

The District decided they would be willing to move our joint session one day earlier and schedule two dates. Unbelieveable!

We will be negotiating during the day on October 18th. If we don’t reach a settlement, we will bargain again the next day on October 19th.

On September 30th we did reach agreement on one thing: this upcoming year’s work day calendar. The District has published a work year calendar for SESPA employees on the District website. They also delivered the agreed upon calendars to SESPA members’ boxes. The calendar reflects NO CUTS in the work year for 2010-2011! The calendar also reflects the specific days SESPA members are expected to work.

Again - Simple Action of Support:
Will you please wear black on Monday, October 18th, to show solidarity with your SESPA colleagues while your bargaining team is at the table?

Thank you,
Your SESPA Bargaining Team

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thoughts from your bargaining team

After we recieved to proposal on 9/30 from the district we decided to write down what was going through our minds hers are some of those thoughts;
“I feel that the offer was a slap in the face because the district proposed the same thing they proposed in August.”
“Same broken record getting to be the same broken school district.”
“The last district proposal is very disappointing. This bargain has been disappointing from the first proposal the district provided.”
“It feels like administrators don’t care about our students and they certainly don’t respect or value our support staff”
“We have never seen any administrators in any building shadowing any SESPA member that are up for cuts in days, to see the workloads we all have.”
“ I am sad and very disappointed that the district team refuses to look our team in the face and bargain together as bargaining is intended. Is it that you are ashamed of your words?”

“We expect our students to face their problems and deal directly with the people they have a problem with..We teach them to ‘use their words’ Why can’t the district bargain face to face?”
“To say the cuts are not about the money is absolutely unthinkable, irresponsible and disrespectful. It is like a parent telling a kid when the child asks why a parent has done something and the parent says “because I can” That is what this feels like to me”
“I felt empty! Disrespected. Why are we all here? FOR THE CHILDREN. Why does the school board only respect the administration? What happened to the community and the needs of the children of this community?”
“It seems that the district should spend a little of the time they have used in exploiting our contract to find ways to share in the success of the budget and fiscal responsibility. The staff and students continue to show decline in moral and in testing. As class loads rise and help declines. We as SESPA members know we are not teachers but we are educators. The mission is to prepare students for success not to just to create a ‘for profit’ business model”
“After the last offer I have never felt so disrespected in my professional life!”
“The work I do with students is not valued by the district. I do make a difference in the student’s lives”
“The district is not willing to sit face to face and have difficult conversations. Are they afraid or ashamed of themselves?”
“The last offer from the district made me feel that the district does not respect this bargaining team or the members of this union!”
“The district team has not been willing to meet with us face to face since June 30th. The sessions since then have unproductive. I feel less valued with each session.”

“I feel that the SESPA bargaining team has been bargaining in good faith, making changes with each proposal. I am having a very hard time understanding why the district continues to stay firm with their proposals of cuts and no consideration for any kind of money item compensation. This feels like a tactic to wear down our team. And break us, to give into everything district wants. It also feels like we are bargaining with one person rather than a team. I truly believe we could have bargained together and come up with solutions and a fair agreement.”
“These are difficult discussions , but unless you have them, you can’t get to a good end result”
“I am too depressed to write down my feelings. But I’m going to keep fighting the good fight because our members are human beings….we can’t present a contract proposal that degrades us.”
SESPA members feel like they deserve a RESPECTFUL contract. Why doesn’t the District think the same?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

THANK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so proud of SESPA last Thursday on Sept 30th! I want to thank all of you who came out to support your bargaining team. It was AWESOME!!
Unfortunately the District brought back basiccally the same offer they had given us in August.
We were very disapointed in the District, that they hadn't made any movement in their proposal. SESPA gave the district our new proposal and they have not responded yet. Our next bargaining meeting will be on 10/18 and 10/19.
There is a board meeting on Monday 10/4 @ 7pm. Please come and voice your disapointment in the District bargaining team once again not being able to meet until 10/18. SESPA was willing to meet much earlier than that but the district was unavailable.
Thank you all again for your support, we need to 'STAND STRONG'

There will be more posted later.
Rose Ann and Chris

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Rally

I want to thank everyone who came to the rally! We had 2 new stations there, channel 4 and 5.
Mary Lindquist (President of WEA) came by to support us and say some encouraging words.
We have a video on go to the site and watch it. You may see yoursel on it!
The school board speakers were great and right on topic! Thank you!!
I will repeat again that SESPA has no job action planned at this time, but our members are getting upset that our contract is not settled and we do not know what they will do in the future.

Thanks for all of your support and make sure your building rep has your home e-mail and home phone numbers.

Stand Strong!!!

Rose Ann and Chris

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Dear SESPA Members,
Please take a moment and check your home email. In addition to this email, we have sent a bargaining update to your home email address, and from now on, we will communicate via home email regarding bargaining.

As of now, nothing is planned during the school day for the 29th, but we have heard from many SESPA members who are rightfully indignant about how the District has treated them. Anything is possible at this point. Please check your home email for more information.

If we don’t have your home email address, please get it to Chris Hofmeister as soon as possible, so we can add you to our home email list. We promise not to SPAM you, and you can ask to be removed at any time, but we will not be able to communicate regarding sensitive matters to your school email.

Thank you for your support,
Rose Ann and Chris

Letter sent from nurse

Sue Walker, Marsha Harris and apparently the School Board state the Shoreline nursing model is:

There is a nurse in every building when students are present.

That is NOT the Shoreline model for nursing – it is a PART of the Shoreline model for nursing.

The current Shoreline nursing model is:
· A nurse in each building at least as long as student’s are present.
· Provide direct nursing care to students, staff and are available to speak with parents every day
· Nurses attend SST’s
· IEP meetings for at least the students with medical concerns
· Review, enter and file the confidential Sport Physical’s students must provide every 2 years in order to participate in sports. Many families provide these every year.
· Give needed information to coaches and trainer
· Review new student records for possible medical concerns that may include Life Threatening Conditions, determine if new students are properly immunized – I usually have 75+ to review in August and then many throughout the school year.
· Create and update as needed the care plans for students with life threatening conditions and other students with unusual medical concerns. Provide those plans to each student’s teacher each year, semester or trimester.
· Training staff re diabetics, seizures, allergic reactions, - the district provides online trainings for these and other subjects but staff often have questions and need the 1:1 training in addition to the online trainings.
· Are available to building staff as well as students – I gather information about all staff at the beginning of the school year – medical history, medications and contact numbers so I can provide the best possible care quickly if there is an emergency and provide EMS with that valuable information.
· Work very closely with the psychologist and special education teachers and staff for the needs of those students
· Ongoing trainings and information emails for staff re current illnesses in the building, how to prevent illness, child abuse indicators, bullying – what to look for and how to help prevent, emergency plans for specific students and staff
· Provide the board mandated Suicide prevention training every year to staff. I provide staff with information at least 3 times a year.
· Nurses are a part of building Emergency Planning Teams as well as the district Safety Committee
· Give daily student medications - manage and administer all of the as needed medications – last year I had 64
· Secondary nurses do drug and alcohol assessments
· Work with families for Home Hospital services when their students are out sick for extended periods of time
· And more important services our "extra" days allow us to provide to our students for them to be successful in school
Nurses break our “extra” non student days down into hours. Those hours allow us to provide all of the services currently in the Shoreline nursing model.
Your bargaining team told us they were thinking about no longer having nurses process sport physicals. I believe you heard from many Dr.’s about how those are confidential medical documents and need to be treated as such.
Your bargaining team told us nurses are not “required” to attend SST’s or IEP meetings so cutting our days would not be a problem. You have a nurse in every building but are not willing to have them attend these critical meetings where students often have medical concerns that affect their learning abilities. Do you think not having us there will help the student be more successful towards graduation? Is it a prudent use of services to now exclude nurses from these important meetings?
You saw at the last school board meeting how cutting student services greatly impacts student learning. You allowed Marcia to change the Shoreline model for overload for teachers a few years ago. In order to save money, you took para educators – who make very much less than teachers – out of the overload process and put an extra teacher in the classroom for maybe 1.5 hours a WEEK. The para educators pulled out those students who needed extra help and were able to work directly with small groups to meet their individual needs. It is clear that changing that model hurt students.
Are you now going to change the nursing model and hurt students further?
Are you going to change the library tech model and hurt students further?
Are you going to change the behavior tech model and hurt students further?
We have had many cuts that have caused drastic increases in workload for every person working in Shoreline in order to become fiscally sound. We have reached critical mass where no one is able to take on anything else. We ALL have too many duties and tasks on our plates. I am talking about administrators and every other person working in Shoreline.
For me personally, it is about maintaining the current Shoreline model for nurses, library techs and behavior techs. The loss in money is very devastating but for me, the loss of services to our students is just unbelievably sad, appalling, unnecessary and just plain wrong.
Marcia has told us in bargaining that the cuts are not about saving money – she just wants the cuts.
If it is not about the money, then isn’t it your duty to preserve services to our students that make them successful towards graduation? What are we here for if it is not to serve our students?
Why did you run for school board? Wasn’t it to preserve our excellence in education in Shoreline? It is time to act on that, tell your bargaining team NO CUTS. We all want to get back to having our total focus on our students, not bargaining. Please bring this to an end on the 30th. We want to just work at the jobs we love, we want bargaining to be over. Let us take a proposal to our membership that does not have any cuts in days or hours guaranteed for the duration of the contract. We are the lowest paid group in Shoreline. We may be at midline, but the cost of living rises our compensation does not. Please do the right thing for your staff that works closest to our students and put more money in their pockets for each of the years of the new contract.
Thanks Nancy Dalan, Shorecrest Nurse

Letter from parent to School Board

It would seem to me that the district can clearly see the value of these dedicated hard workers. What does not seem clear is why the district cannot see the value in keeping it's word to give what has been promised to these folks. Their job is extremely difficult and often thankless. Then to be told year after year we just can't afford to give you what you deserve but next year we will, then again same message the year after that.

I have a son with special needs. Most of his good friends are medically fragile. I personally know the value of these hard workers and they have had to compromise so much for the purpose of helping the district fix their budget problems. Much of the problems were caused by mishandling. This is pretty hard to take as a tax payer, and as a citizen of Shoreline, and a single mother! I'm also a bookkeeper and I realize what it takes to balance a budget. I disagree it can always be a cost to the support staff of shoreline schools.

We are willing to pay the greatest property tax around because we want our schools to be successful. Shoreline has a huge percentage of special needs kids and without SESPA staff, we can't serve the community!

On a personal note. Most of the support staff that have worked with my son have gone above and beyond for our family. They aren't just doing time at a job. They are lovingly helping our children learn life skills to allow them to be a contributing part of society in the future.

I sure hope the district will find a way to make a more fair contract before it comes to closing schools!

Thank you

Friday, September 3, 2010

Did you lose a jacket?

Hi all, A jacket was left behind at the last General membersip meeting. It was found around the middle of the theatre. If you lost it call Rose Ann McLaughlin 206 546 8263

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SESPA Action postponed

It was decided that we would postpone our action for Thursday. We want everyone to concentrate on all of the students so they can have a smooth start to school. Stay tuned for more information.
Thanks for your cooperation.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The District asked for more time. It didn't matter!

The District asked the bargaining team last week to give them until today Tuesday, so they could go back to the school board to ask for more parameters for bargaining. After meeting with the District today, we did not see any new positive movement from the District. The SESPA and District Teams did not reach agreement on a new contract. The existing contract continues and must be followed. Both the district and SESPA must continue to bargain in good faith. Our next session is scheduled for September 30. In the meantime, please continue to support the SESPA bargain by refusing to engage in any volunteer work as a District employee. We ask that you work to contract and follow through on the activities voted upon by the SESPA membership.

Your Bargaining Team

Friday, August 27, 2010

....and bargaining continues....

As of August 27, 2010 we still do not have a Tentative Agreement. The District is continuing to insist on $66,433 in work year cuts to Behavior Techs, Securty Guards, Library Techs and Nurses. This figure is .07 percent of the District’s budget of $86 million in expenditures. The SESPA Team is incredulous that the District continues to delay settlement over $66, 433.

The District has asked for additional time to prepare a response to the Association’s latest proposal. The teams meet again on Tuesday August 31 at 3:00pm. There will be no ratification meeting on August 31.

The membership vote on August 26 remains in effect. Unless you hear of a Tentative Agreement on September 1, ALL bargaining support activities will continue. Check your home e-mails and the SESPA blog for the latest news.

Thanks for your continuing Support!
Your Bargaining Team

Thursday, August 26, 2010

General Meeting today 8/26/10

Thank you to all of you who attended the meeting today.
A special thanks to all of you who dug deep and brought school supplies to give to the Back to School Consortium. We know that some of our own members will benefit from your generosity as they have to get help with what they cannot afford.

As you are aware our membership PASSED with a 98.3% 'yes' vote to a motion to :"We support our SESPA Bargaining Team. If the District and SESPA bargaining teams do not reach a Tentative Agreement by August 31, 2010, we willl take whatever actions are needed to help our Team achieve a satisfactory resolution to contract negotiations."

The Bargaining Team really appreciates your support. We will do our very best to try to get a Tentative Agreement before August 31 so that we can have a smooth start to the school year. Please keep August 31 on your calendar. We have tentatively scheduled a membership meeting at the Shorecrest Theater for what we hope to be a ratification of a new Contract.

Informational picket signs will be available in front of the Shoreline Center, starting at 9 am on 8/27, for those who wish to hold a vigil outside in support of the bargain.
Please wear Black on 8/27, wear your SESPA "Respect" button, and place your car sign in the window for all to see.
Continue to email the Superintendent and School Board members to urge them to direct the District Team to bargain in good faith with SESPA.


We hear what our members are saying!

Thank you for all of your support,

Your Bargaining Team

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Reminder of General Membership Meeting

Thank you to all of the SESPA and SEA members who took the time to attend the SESPA Rally and School Board meeting on August 23. Your presence and your comments had an impact. The District has agreed to schedule a bargaining session for Friday, August 27 with a new mediator. Our Team is ready and willing to try again to resolve our contract issues and bring you a decent Contract before the start of the school year.

SESPA will still have a General Membership Meeting on Thursday, August 26, at 5:00 PM at the Shorecrest Theater. Be there to support your Team and to be part of the decision-making. We need everyone’s voice.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

SESPA Bargaining Update


Thank you to all of the SESPA and SEA members who took the time to attend the SESPA Rally and School Board meeting on August 23. Your presence and your comments had an impact. The District has agreed to schedule a bargaining session for Friday, August 27 with a new mediator. Our Team is ready and willing to try again to resolve our contract issues and bring you a decent Contract before the start of the school year.

In the meantime, all Bargaining Support Committee members and Bargaining Team members need to meet at the Parkwood Library at 5 PM on Wednesday, August 25. We will plan the details for the membership meeting.

SESPA will still have a General Membership Meeting on Thursday, August 26, at 5:00 PM at the Shorecrest Theater. Be there to support your Team and to be part of the decision-making. We need everyone’s voice.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Thanks for coming tonight

Thanks to everyone who showed up today for the Rally and School board meeting!!!
Now is the time to stand up and show the district you are willing to fight for your jobs and your future... Join us at the General Membership meeting on Thursday @ 5:00pm at the Shorecrest Theatre.
Don't forget to bring your donations for the Back to School Consortium.
YOUR Union Presidents.

General Membership Meeting on 8/26@ 5:00pm

Our General membership meeting will be held on 8/26 @ 5:00pm At the Shorecrest Theatre
It is imperative that you all be there. We dot not have a contract settlement
Your Co- Presidents
Rose Ann Mclaughlin
Barb Cruz
Chris Steele

Sunday, August 22, 2010

District Delays SESPA Bargain


The parties bargained on August 21-22 until 4:00 am and were not able to reach agreement on a new SESPA Contract. The SESPA Team remained strong in our advocacy for members' financial survival and our commitment to providing quality services to students and quality support for our certificated colleagues. We continue to insist on meaningful, paid professional development opportunities for our members.

SESPA Bargainers asked for another bargaining session as soon as possible. The District Team claims that they cannot bargain until September 10. If they really Respected and Valued SESPA employees, they would bargain with us right away and settle the Contract before school starts. Their delay is unacceptable!

Tell the District to stop stonewalling. Tell them we need a Fair Contract and we need one before school starts. Come to the Rally on Monday, August 23 at 4:30 PM at the Shoreline Center. Support the SESPA Team.

All SESPA members must attend the membership meeting on August 26 at 5 PM. We are moving the meeting away from the Shoreline Center and will announce the location shortly.

SESPA - It is time to stand up and demand that your roles be respected and valued by Shoreline.

Your SESPA Bargaining Team

Friday, August 20, 2010

meeting for the parade

Anyone going to the Shoreline Parade, meet at 10:45am in front of Ridgecrest,
160th and 10th NE.
Thanks for your support


Hi SESPA followers!
Little progress was made today at the bargaining table. Your SESPA team keeps pushing as hard as we can to address the issues made by our members. Please support our efforts on your behalf by attending the rally @ 4:30pm and the 5:30 school board meeting on Monday 8/23. We also need you to attend the General membership meeting on Thursday 8/26 @ 5:00pm in the Spartan room at the Shoreline Center. YOUR SUPPORT IS CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THIS BARGAINING. We REALLY need you to turn out for these events.
Your Bargaining Team

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Parent letter to the School District

Here is a letter from a parent to the School District

Dear Superintendent Walker: I am writing to express my concern over budget cuts the district is proposing that will have a direct impact on my children. I am well aware that the district is facing an unpleasant budgetary situation. However, I don't believe that at any time since the legislative session ended has the district asked for feedback or input from the community on what our priorities are for district spending. As the legislative representative for the Syre PTA, it would have been my duty to disseminate and publicize information from the district asking parents for input on this matter. I don't recall ever being provided with an opportunity for parents to provide input. If there was an opportunity for this to occur, the communication from the district was insufficient. Surrounding districts held meetings and gathered information from community members and parents on how to deal with a situation that can accurately be described as a funding crisis. Shoreline did not do that. Now I have learned that two-thirds of the non-student days that school nurses currently work are being referred to as "excess" by the district. The term "excess" implies unnecessary. As the parent of a student with a life-threatening medical condition, I assure you that those days are not "excess" or unnecessary. When my son transitioned to middle school last year, our connection to Joni Wishaar, Einstein's nurse, was crucial to his ability to have a successful start to middle school. We were in communication with her after school ended in the spring of 2009 and held meetings with her prior to the beginning of the 2009-10 school year. She ensured that all of my son's teachers were aware of his condition and knowledgeable about how to deal with any potential complications. She made sure that each teacher had necessary supplies on hand so that from the first day of school, I felt comfortable that he would be safe and supported in all of his classes. This was solely because of the work Joni was able to facilitate prior to the start of the school year. If the current budget cuts being proposed are implemented, it will mean that my son will not have the support systems in place at the start of the school year that he is entitled to. I find it hard to believe that Einstein will be able to provide the level of support my son received during the 2009-10 school year if these budget cuts are approved. Had the district been transparent with the community about how it was handling its budget decisions, and it had held community meetings and welcomed involvement from parents, students, and staff in the process, then I would be able to accept any budgetary decisions being proposed. It is unfortunate that those being impacted by budget cuts were not given the opportunity to provide input on alternative ways the district might consider making up its budgetary shortfall. I hope that in the future you will consider welcoming input from the community rather than dictating what you believe needs to happen. I urge you to search for alternative areas of the budget to make cuts that will not have a direct impact on students who rely on the crucial services that school nurses provide. Sincerely, Kristine McLane Syre and Einstein parent

This is another reason we are fighting!!! For our students!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bargaining Update

Thank you to all of those SESPA and SEA members who attended our Coffee Rally at the Shoreline Center on August 16. Your support means a lot to our Bargaining Team. We loved the goody bags with water, snacks, and beef jerky that said, “Don’t Let Them Jerk You Around”.
SESPA was able to resolve the controversy over August work days for the current Contract year (2009-10). All SESPA employees who normally work in August, or flexed their non-student days to work in August, will be receiving a memo explaining August, 2010 work days. The District finally agreed to stop holding these days hostage and to let people get the District’s work done. We have still not resolved the District’s proposal to cut work days in 2010-11.
The two bargaining teams made some progress on certain issues (mostly non-monetary) during our mediation session on August 16. Significant issues still remain on the bargaining table – Compensation, Restructuring the Salary Schedule, Professional Development, Insurance eligibility, and our members’ Work Years. We bargain again on August 20 and 21.
Please continue to support our SESPA Bargaining Team by helping pass out flyers at the Shoreline Parade on August 21 (meet at 11 am at Ridgecrest) and attend the August 23 School Board meeting (meet at 4:30 PM in front of the Shoreline Center for a Rally before the 5:30 PM meeting). Talk to your friends and neighbors. Encourage people to write or call Superintendent Sue Walker, and email School Board members at Sue Walker, and email School Board members

Your Bargaining Team

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We still need you to show up!!

We want to thank all of you who came to our sign making meeting! We had some fun and did some great work!! We hope to see you at other events we have planned this week.
8/16: coffee rally for Bargaining Team @ 7:30am at the Shoreline Center.
8/17 North City Jazz walk. We will meet at 7:00pm on the corner of 179th & 15 NE. (wear your black shirt; "shoreline is in the black".
8/19 Bargaining Support team 5:00pm in the Arden room at the Shoreline Center.
8/21 Shoreline Parade; meet at Ridgecrest @ 11:00 we will hand out candy and fliers a the parade.
8/23 @ 4:30pm to rally and go into the school board meeting.
Thank you.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Dear SESPA Members -
 SESPA support to students, staff, and families are at stake.
 Student health, safety, and academic assistance are under attack.
 SESPA jobs and SESPA financial survival is threatened.
Please attend the following special events to show your support:
 Monday, August 16 – SESPA and the District resume bargaining at 8:00 am
 Coffee Rally at 7:30 am – 8:30 am on August 16 in front of the Shoreline Center to support the SESPA Bargaining Team. Join us for free coffee and home-baked goods. Get a bargaining update from SESPA.
 Tuesday, August 17 – North City Jazz Walk – Meet at 7 PM at 15th Ave NE and NE 179th – Help hand out flyers to the community – Carry a sign (we have hundreds thanks to our volunteers). Wear a black T-shirt (since Shoreline is now in the black)
 Thursday, August 19 – Bargaining Support Work Team meeting at 5:00 PM in the Arden Room of the Shoreline Center. Building Reps and Officers need to attend, as well as anyone else wanting to help with Bargaining Support activities.
 Friday, August 20 – SESPA and the District resume bargaining at 8:00 am
 Saturday, August 21 – Shoreline Parade – Meet at 11 am at Ridgecrest School to walk the Parade route, hand out SESPA flyers, and carry signs. Make sure to wear a black T-shirt. Bring friends and family members along.
 Saturday, August 21 – SESPA and the District resume bargaining at 10:00 am
 Monday, August 23 – Rally at Shoreline Center at 4:30 PM – Wear a black T-shirt – Get a bargaining update on SESPA – Attend the School Board meeting at 5:30 PM (probably in the Auditorium again). Your co-workers have made signs for everyone.
 Wednesday, August 25 – Bargaining Support Work Team meets 5:00 PM in the Arden Room at the Shoreline Center.
 Thursday, August 26 – SESPA General Membership Meeting at 5:00 PM in the Spartan Room, Shoreline Center – Vote on a new Contract or Member Action Steps. Bring donations of school supplies (e.g. pencils, erasers, crayons, colored pencils, tissues, spiral notebooks, folders, hand sanitizers, rulers, etc.) to the membership meeting. SESPA will donate the supplies to Shoreline families at the Back to School Event on August 28.
For more information, contact Chris Hofmeister at, Rose Ann McLaughlin at; or Chris Steele at
Check out the latest information on SESPA at our Blog - or log onto the SESPA Facebook page at Shoreline Educational Support Professionals Association. Make sure that your Building Rep has your contact information.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


While SESPA employees are asked to make devastating cuts to their work year and cut back on professional development, administrative employees have been busy giving themselves raises.

District documents confirm the following compensation increases:

Superintendent $8,276 or a 4.42% increase
Deputy Superintendent $10,000 or a 7.2% bonus
Superintendent’s Assistant $2169 or a 3.5% increase
Deputy Superintend. Asst. $1517 or a 2.7% increase
HR Executive Asst. $1081 or a 2.07% increase
HR Confidential Specialist $1081 or a 2.07% increase

In addition, the Shoreline District quietly changed the classification system for Professional-Technical employees and upgraded several positions.
Transportation Dispatch Lead added to the salary schedule at $55,918
Student Information System $4,082 or a 7.3% increase
HR Certificated Specialist $4,474 or a 6.5% increase
Public Information Officer $4,474 or a 6.5% increase
Capital Projects Coordinator renamed and given $8504 or a 11.7% increase
Network Manager $12,803 or a 15.76% increase

District administration didn’t want to leave out building and central office administrators from the efforts to improve administrative compensation, so they rolled four (4) supplemental days into the base salary schedule; thereby, pumping up the base salary for future increases.
Meanwhile, Shoreline SESPA employees, an affiliate of the WEA, are being asked to accept cuts of 5-24 work days and professional development pay reduced from $25 per hour to as low as $11 per hour. Over 60 percent of SESPA members do not qualify for experience increments and will have their salaries frozen for five years if SESPA ever accepted the District’s wage offer.
WEA-CASCADE UNISERV OFFICE, 18704 Bothell Way NE, Suite 101
Bothell, WA 98011 (right behind Café Ladro in the Lovested-Worthington building

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010 Update on Bargaining

Shoreline School District's ending fund balance continues to grow. We learned on July 19 that the District is projecting the ending fund to reach $ 10 MILLION by the end of August.
They have plenty of money to address the needs of SESPA members.

Did you know that over 60 % of SESPA members do NOT qualify for an experience increment? Why, you ask? Over 40 % are assigned "temporary" hours and temporary work doesn't qualify for increments. Another 20 % of our dedicated veteran employees are stuck at the top of the SESPA salary schedule. Even those at the 20 year step do not earn a "Living Wage" to support themselves and their families.

The district unilaterally declared impasse at our last bargaining session and requested a State mediator. We have been assigned Robin Romeo as our mediator. Rose Ann McLaughlin and Donna Lurie will meet with the mediator on August 4th. Our next bargaining session is scheduled for August 16.

Thanks for your support,
Your Bargaining Team

Thursday, July 1, 2010

District says WE ARE NOT WORTHY

June 29 SESPA Bargaining Update – "WE ARE NOT WORTHY"
That’s the message that the SESPA Bargaining Team received from the District Team in the last few days of negotiations. Administrators argued that SESPA employees are paid enough and should accept a contract offer that includes five years of no pay increases from the District (2008-09 through 2012-13) and substantial cuts to nurses, security, behavior techs, and library techs. Some employees are being asked to accept a loss of 24 days of pay! Deputy Superintendent Marcia Harris will argue that SESPA and SEA employees should rely on the (mythical) State Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) that have been suspended for probably the next 4-6 years. Meanwhile, she just got a $10,000 bonus.
 Compare this offer with the fact that administrative groups (Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent, confidential assistants, principals, and central office administrators) all received substantial improvements in their compensation packages, in addition to the (mythical) State Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA).
 Shoreline School District’s ending fund balance is at an all-time high - over $15 million in the District’s May budget report). A fund balance = the money that is not spent.
 Services to kids will be diminished after promising voters that Shoreline will retain the full staffing model of support services for students and families. Will we be forced to close libraries or health rooms for blocks of time? What about time for special education teams to plan behavior interventions and appropriate services for special needs students?
 Never mind that SESPA employees were promised by Sue Walker that some restoration would be made to employees when the fund balance returned - in recognition of the sacrifices they have made for Shoreline Schools over the last decade (wage freeze for last two years, suspended professional development stipends, loss of over 100 positions, loss of hours, reductions in benefit programs, etc.)
When the SESPA Bargaining Team refused to freeze wages for five years and accept devastating cuts to our members’ work years, the District Team broke off negotiations and unilaterally declared impasse. The District will request that a State mediator be involved in negotiations. SESPA does not see how ending face-to-face discussions and placing the bargaining teams in separate rooms will improve the parties’ relationship or ability to communicate with each other.
Being RESPECTED, VALUED AND PAID would go a long ways with SESPA employees. If the Shoreline administration truly wants a productive working relationship, then they need to stop treating their hard-working and dedicated employees as "unnecessary expenses" and "non-essential" staff.
Please contact Superintendent Walker at and School Board members at to communicate your concern over how SESPA employees are being treated by the Shoreline administration. Talk to your friends and neighbors over the summer.
Thank You for Your Support, from your SESPA Bargaining Team

Friday, June 11, 2010

United We Stand!!

Thank you to all SESPA and SEA members for attending the School Board Meeting on 6/7/10. Please send your statements and stories to Donna Lurie @ We are starting to collect all of them, but need more. We would love to see you there again on 6/21/10 Monday @ 7:00pm, bring some friends! Here are some Frequently asked questions and sugggested talking points:
SESPA FAQ’s on Contract Negotiations in Shoreline:
1. What do the proposed staffing cuts REALLY look like?
 Reduced hours for Secondary Nurses and Security staff
 Reduced permanent hours and positions for Special Education, ELL, Title I, and Early Childhood
 Reduced hours for playground and lunchroom supervision
 9-12 work days cut from School Nurse work year
 30 work days cut from Secondary Library Tech work year
 9 work days cut from Security staff work year
 5 work days cut from Behavior Tech work year (on top of previous cuts to daily hours)
 5 work days cut from Elementary Library Tech work year.

2. What impact will these cuts have on student services?

 School nurses need the non-student days to review student immunizations, create life-threatening health plans, inform coaches and teachers of student health issues, complete State-required reports, and address student medical needs.
 Security staff need the non-student days to complete investigation reports, engage in training, compare notes with surrounding districts, and ensure safe school facilities.
 Library techs need the non-student days to repair books, process thousands of books, complete District reports, maintain the Library budget, and help carry out the District’s technology initiatives.
 Behavior Techs need the non-student days to create and revise behavior management plans, contact other agencies, meet with teachers on suggested interventions, and provide student data reports.

3. What impact will these cuts have on our students?

 If the workload is NOT handled on non-student days, it will have to be done while students are in school. Students will receive fewer health and safety services from nurses, security, and student supervisors.
 Students will receive less academic, research, and technology help from Library Techs.
 Our most vulnerable students will receive less instructional, behavioral, and social skill assistance and coordination from the cuts to Behavior Tech hours and positions.
 Cuts to staff and positions in Special Education, ELL, and Title I will result in fewer and less experienced adults helping our struggling students.

4. What impact do these cuts have on Shoreline employees?

These cuts will result in the loss of thousands of dollars in wages and benefits for Shoreline employees and their families. Our members are already struggling to survive on the wages and benefits currently provided. We are not paid a “Living Wage” – an hourly wage high enough to afford to live in this area without reliance on family, parent, or government assistance. Many of our members work at least 2 different jobs to make ends meet.

5. How much money does Shoreline REALLY have?

Shoreline’s last financial report in April shows a general fund balance of $16.7 million. It is highly unlikely that the District will spend all of this money down to $3.5 million dollars. Our financial analysts are projecting a total ending fund balance of $11 million in August. This figure includes all of the “reserve” accounts specially created this year for a State COLA (not happening), Curriculum adoptions, unspent school dollars, and other purposes.

6. What is the difference between a “reserve” fund and the “unreserved” fund balance in the School District Budget?

A “reserve” fund is an amount of money that the District sets aside for a designated purpose. Funds are sitting in these accounts and have not been spent. Shoreline has created a long list of “reserve” accounts in an effort to shrink the size of their “unreserved” surplus.

7. Is the Shoreline District administration making personal sacrifices in these tough economic times?

Not really. The School Board just gave a $8,276 pay raise to Superintendent Walker and a $10,000 bonus to Deputy Superintendent Harris. Board members stated that the pay raises were for hard work, dedication, and increased work load. SESPA members are dedicated, work hard and have increased workloads, but the District wants cuts in pay rather than raises.

8. What about the building administrators?

The two-year agreement with building administrators was mysteriously reopened and renegotiated this year to roll their four supplemental days into their base salaries. Future salary increases will be made to these higher base salaries. In addition, administrators are guaranteed to be paid at the midpoint of comparison school districts.

9. What can I do if I am unhappy about the impact of District budget decisions on the people who work directly with students?

Email the School Board at
Email the Superintendent at
Call the Superintendent at 206-361-4214.
Tell your friends, family and neighbors to speak up and insist that the safety, health, and instructional needs of kids come first.

We hope these FAQ'S and answers help you all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010



Despite losses of over 100 SESPA positions over the last few years, the District is proposing the following cuts and take-backs at a time of budget surplus:

 Nine to twelve fewer work days for all Nurses

 Nine fewer work days for Security Monitors

 Five fewer work days for Behavior Techs

 Five fewer work days for Elementary Library Techs

 Thirty fewer work days for Secondary Library Techs (not a typo)

 Different daily schedule for Secondary Nurses and Security that may result in a loss of thirty minutes per day (in addition to the loss of work days)

 Have nearby schools share Crossing Guards for the same hour, thereby reducing work opportunities and hours for this group

 Force injured employees to use personal sick leave to maintain their salary while recovering from injuries sustained in the line of duty

 Remove frontloading of sick and personal leave in September

 Require supervisor or principal approval to determine what professional development classes or training should be taken for a stipend.

The District used the SESPA staffing model in the schools to urge SESPA employees and community members to support the Maintenance and Operations Levy. Now, the District wants to change the model. Isn’t that playing “bait and switch” with our voters?? Shoreline doesn’t need to make cuts. Their ending fund balance is projected to be $11.7 million by August, 2010 – that’s 13.5 percent of their expenditures – three times what is needed by Board policy!

Your SESPA Bargaining Team

Saturday, May 8, 2010



Thank you to all of those SESPA members who responded to our Bargaining Survey. we appreciate you taking the time to let us know your priorities as Shoreline employees. Our Bargaining Team heard the following needs and interests expressed:

  • Recognize years of service and increased skill for all SESPA employees
  • Provide opportunities for career growth and professional development
  • Streamline the Salary Structure
  • Attract and retain Quality Employees
  • Provide Competitive Wages that ensure the financial survival of SESPA members
  • Recognize increasingly heavy workloads
  • Provide Technology and materials to SESPA members to be effective in their jobs
  • Provide added benefits based on seniority

Shoreline SESPA was selected by the Washington Education Association (WEA) to receive grant to conduct a Living Wage Campaign. We have put a plan together and will be contacting members to engage in Living Wage activities. Did you know that it costs a Shoreline employee $24.74 per hour to support herself/himself and one teenage child? Earning $24.27 per hour makes it possible for a Shoreline employee to live without government, parent or other subsidies. SESPA has been working with WEA Research to monitor Shoreline's budget and financial future.

Did you know that Shoreline School District is projected to have $11.7 million in their ending fund balance? That's a $14 million turnaround in the last tree years! The !!.7 million figure is the largest fund balance in Shoreline School District history.

NOTE: Bargaining Sessions are scheduled for May 27, June 1, June 22-23, June 28-29 and August 16 and 18. We will keep you posted on our progress.



Rose Ann McLaughlin, Andrea Bemis, Nancy Dalan, Barb Cruz, Barbara Havens, Lori Cunningham, Jocelyn Hudson, Chris Steele, Bob Anderson and Donna Lurie

Monday, April 19, 2010


As you recall the WEA's original forecast for the Shoreline's ending fund balance was around
11 million in the ending fund balance (12.5% of budgeted spending.) Because it was earlier in the the year they have moderated their expectations. Good news though: the latest fund balances support an even higher ending fund balance.
This year's fund balances exceed last year's by an average of 3.4 million, leading the WEA to expect that the District will end the year with closer to 11.7 million in the ending fund balance. This amounts to a substantial 13.5% of budgeted expenditures!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Welcome to the SESPA Blog!

This will be our communication blog.

Our living wage motto is Respected, Valued, Paid. We want to work to live not live to work!
This is where you will be updated on Bargaining and general union news .
Your Bargaining Team has been working hard gathering survey answers and other important information concerning your contract. We will start bargaining with the district in May. Stay tuned for more information as our bargaining begins. Please make sure your Building Rep has your home e-mail and phone numbers in case we need to contact you. This in very important!!