Both the KSD and KEA Bargaining Teams have been meeting twice a week since the end of June. Bargaining online has its challenges, especially when it comes to taking more time. We have come to some small agreements, but compensation, class size/caseloads, and school safety are areas where KEA and KSD are significantly apart. KSD has been able to build a 50+ million-dollar surplus by under-staffing schools, and under compensating staff. It is time to take the money out of surplus and put it back into the classrooms.
Shout out to KSD for taking the lead and recognizing that this pandemic left no choice other than to start school online. Since then, many districts have followed suit. Please wear your masks and practice social distancing. We know that educators would prefer to be back in school with students this fall, but we are committed to ensuring that it is done safely.
At this point, we expect to see a draft of the school reopening plan that will go to the School Board and to employees on Monday. The working conditions under this plan have not been negotiated, but they will begin on Monday. Please send us your questions with the draft plan. We know that there are concerns with the learning platforms, especially Canvas, at the elementary level. We are also aware that many teachers want to teach from their classrooms during online learning. We will do our best to set our educators up for success, so that our students will be set up for success. We acknowledge that any plan will need to be more robust than last Spring.
The remote learning negotiation, and the expiring contract, has kept our bargaining team and reopening bargaining team quite busy. We appreciate your patience. You are always welcome to share your thoughts at KentEA@WashingtonEA.org and the message will get to the necessary leaders at KEA.
Bargaining Support Team
We want to recognize the members of the Bargaining Support Team who have been delivering snacks and even lunch one day to the bargaining team as we bargain from our home offices. Thank you to: Natalie Bachman, Reby Parsley, Becca Ritchie, Caroline Kelley, Nicole Harris, Stefani Hansen, Darryn Hewson, Jesse Merry, Theresa Turner, Barbara Little, Ruthie Smith, Shannon Hernandez, Erin Thompson, Mary Gronenthal, and Eric Andersen.
Thank you all for your patience and support!
The KEA Bargaining Team
Lisa Brackin - Chair