Citing concerns about workload, special education, equity, and the erosion of pay and benefits, the SEA executive board has officially requested to open bargaining with the school district in advance of the expiration of all three of our contracts on August 31st.
In an April 6th letter to SPS superintendent Larry Nyland, the SEA board cited the important role that collective bargaining plays for students:
“Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions. Mutual understanding of our interestsprovides a basis to ensure that our students’ learning conditions are the best that they can be, and that the dignity and contributions of all educators – paraprofessional, office professionals and certificated staff – are recognized and valued.”
While we are still analyzing our record-breaking number of bargaining surveys returned, several top issues clearly have emerged, and the Board previewed those for the superintendent:
“We look forward to working with you to address our workload concerns; the erosion of our pay and benefits; the ongoing struggle to provide quality special education, including acceptable ESA caseloads; the substitute shortage; and an evaluation system that still falls short of fostering a growth mindset.
We also look forward to finding constructive approaches to eliminating disproportionate disciplining of students of color and narrowing the opportunity gap overall, which includes increasing social supports for students and engagement of families; as well finding ways to reduce the impact of standardized testing on instructional time and school culture while supporting best practices in assessment.”
The state legislature has yet to settle on a final budget. That budget as well as pending legislation covering everything from evaluations to health benefits will all have to be factored into our bargaining. The first day of bargaining is set for May 20. The full text of the SEA Board’s letter to Nyland can be found here.
On Tuesday January 27, 2015 SEA member Rachelle Moore testified in front of the U.S. Senate Education Committee about ESEA reauthorization. Rachelle teaches 1st grade at Madrona K-8, is a mentor teacher in the Seattle Teacher Residency, and is National Board certified. She was the only witness to testify who is a public school teacher.
Thank You to Senator Patty Murray for working with us to get a teacher voice in front of the committee.
Check out Rachelle’s testimony here.
"McCleary" lawyer Tom Ahearne (above, left) gave a great presentation Tues. evening on the meaning of the "McCleary" decision and on the implications for the upcoming legislative session. Also presenting was Andy Nicholas (second from right) of the Washington Budget and Policy Center about the inadequacy of Washington's revenue system. The event was co-sponsored by SEA, the Seattle Council PTSA (Eden Mack, right), and the League of Women Voters of Seattle. Great turnout!
GREAT Job, Educators!
We DID it!
Signatures collected and turned in. Thanks to everyone who put in the time & effort!
Click here to read the news story....
April 17, 2015
Click here to see the letter that was sent to Superintendent Nyland from SEA regarding his communication to all staff about Smarter Balance testing.