The KEA Bargaining Team was joined by hundreds of
red-clad, sign-waving, chanting teachers this morning for a vocal rally in front of four different television news crews at the KEA office prior to the latest bargaining meeting with the District today. Led by President Christie Padilla and lead negotiator Cindy Prescott, the team presented KEA's latest proposal which seeks a fair and competitive salary schedule that will enable KSD to attract and retain the kind of top teaching talent our district has had for decades. The session lasted 40 minutes, and the District's response was that they would provide a counterproposal on August 9.
"Our proposal is a good faith effort to present the District with a plan that complies with the McCleary decision, while investing the money in our district's most valuable asset: our students and teachers," explained Padilla. "We have constructed a schedule that is fair, competitive, and compensates teachers as the professionals we are."
On the other hand, the District has only replied with delays and repeats of their opening position - a completely unacceptable 3.1% COLA increase. Why so stubborn? Why so intransigent regarding 3.1%? This was answered at the KSD Board of Directors' work session, which is available
. The District is planning to use the McCleary money, appropriated by the Washington legislature with the express purpose of raising teacher salaries across the state, to increase the annual Fund Balance to $37 million - in one year.
KEA has presented three different proposals, all aimed at movement toward an agreement. We are not going to keep bargaining against our own proposals without significant good faith bargaining from the District. We are done compromising unless the KSD team is willing to negotiate beyond 3.1%.
With that in mind, PLEASE Save the Date for August 14 which we have set aside for a General Membership Meeting to determine our course of action. We will put out more information once we have a time and location.
In the meantime, the KEA Bargaining Team will be available to you at the KEA office on Tuesday, July 31 from 12:00- 2:00 in the afternoon. Please drop by and ask questions, give input, or receive information.
The last thing we want to do is put our Kent families and children out when school is scheduled to start in the Fall. Be assured we are working to avoid that scenario and need everyone to show up for that critical Membership Meeting.