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