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