Bargaining Updates

Bargaining Update 9-3-2018

A copy of the Washougal Association of Educators and Washougal School District salary proposals from this morning is provided here, to help patrons understand the offers on the table.  A summary table, which includes the amount offered or approved for our regional neighbors is provided below.

Salary comparison between the different offers that are on the table today.

Bargaining Update 9-1-2018 

WSD worked fifteen hours on Saturday, exchanging proposals with WAE.  The District modified their offer in both salary and class size. In order to reach an agreement the District offered to improve salaries to a range of $51,522 to $95,783.  The District is eager to continue the bargaining process on Sunday to reach an agreement. Unfortunately, WAE notified us late this evening that they will not be available to bargain at all on Sunday:  not in the morning, not in the afternoon, and not in the evening. At around 1 in the morning, WAE said they had not finished preparing a response to the district’s last proposal, and that they would drop off a counter proposal at the district office on Sunday morning at 9.  

Given the impact the strike is having on our district families, WSD will be available at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday to continue to the bargaining process with a goal of being able to start school on Tuesday.  The mediators from PERC will also be available. We hope that Association might change their mind and agree to bargain on Sunday. If no progress is made toward a mutually agreeable contract, the district will notify families on Sunday afternoon about closing school for Tuesday, to provide time for families to arrange childcare.  We apologize for the continued delay, and look forward to welcoming our students and teachers back to start the school year.

Additional information on the current state of offers will be posted on Sunday 9-2-2018.


Bargaining Update 8-31-2018
The district and association met with mediators from 9 to 5 today to work on an agreement.

The mediators have scheduled both groups to return tomorrow to continue this work.

The district will make a decision on Sunday evening around whether school can start on Tuesday, and notify parents so they have time to make alternate child care arrangements.

Linked here you can find the salary grid for the district’s 16% offer to teachers, which provides a base salary range of $48,080 to $90,236, with additional paid compensation for professional professional development and in-service. 


Bargaining Update 8-30-2018

The district and association have traded additional proposals on a couple language items, and arrived at a tentative agreement on one additional item. There is still a financial gap between both sides.

The PERC mediators will continue working with both groups tomorrow morning. Remaining issues that remain are compensation, class size, and supplemental stipends.

Linked here you can find the salary grid for the district’s 16% offer to teachers, which provides a base salary range of $48,080 to $90,236, with additional paid compensation for professional professional development and in-service. 


Bargaining update (8-28-2018)

The district and the association met again in bargaining with mediators from PERC, who are working with the two groups to resolve remaining issues, which are centered on compensation, class size, and supplemental stipends.

The two groups will meet again in bargaining tomorrow, continuing to work with the mediators to try to come to an agreement on a new contract.


Bargaining update (8-27-2018) What’s happened in bargaining?

The district put forward a new salary proposal that increases the offer to a 16% increase in salary + TRI. WAE has countered requesting a 25.6% increase. Mediators from PERC are working with the two groups to resolve remaining issues, which are centered on compensation, class size, and supplemental stipends.

There’s still an approximately $1.5 million dollar gap between the two sides.  The teams bargained for more than 12  hours throughout the day.

The district received $14.2 million in money for teachers, and we are spending all of that, plus additional funds to get to the offer we have proposed.

We want to get teachers back into the classroom and open schools.

Tentative agreements have been reached on 12 items, resolving concerns the teachers raised around salary schedule advancement rules, retirement stipends, personal leave buy back and cash out rules, and just cause language.

Bargaining has been going on since May, and will resume tomorrow.


Bargaining Update 8-25-2018

The district and the association continued to work with mediators from the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) on Saturday.  Despite progress, the association told the district they will not bargain tomorrow (Sunday, August 26, 2018). We are hopeful that WAE will change their minds, and show up to continue to work on a contract that would avoid a strike.  

We are willing to work 24/7 to find a sustainable agreement so that our students can start school on Tuesday.  We hope that WAE is also willing to work toward an agreement the community can afford.

If WAE does not show up on Sunday, WAE and WSD will continue work on the agreement on Monday, August 27.  As more information is available, the district will inform families about the possibility that a WAE strike will disrupt the first day of school.


Bargaining Update 8-24-2018

The district and the association met with mediators from the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) on Friday.  We spent 13 hours engaged in intense bargaining.  Some progress was made on language items.  The association is asking for $1.5 million dollars more than what WSD will get from the state this year for teachers.  Any agreement must be one Washougal can afford now and over time.

OSPI Superintendent Chris Reykdal told school districts just this week that, “You are limited by what you can afford and what you can sustain.”

Bar graph showing mis-match between state funding, district proposal, and WAE proposal


Bargaining update – Washougal Association of Educators 8-20-2018

The Washougal School District ha submitted an official request for contract mediation with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERC) on August 20, 2018.  PERC is an independent state agency that provides an impartial mediator to help define issues, explore solutions and reach mutual agreement.  While the Association declined to sign a joint request for mediation, the District hopes that an unbiased third-party can help move the bargaining process along to an agreement.  The district and the association have successfully used mediation in past bargaining to resolve issues and get to a contract both sides can work with. 

Bargaining update – Washougal Association of Educators 8-19-2018

The Washougal School District is offering teachers a 15.56% total compensation increase, which would result in a professional salary package from $50,000 to $94,000, providing a fair, equitable, and regionally competitive compensation to our certified staff. This move demonstrates the value the district has for teachers, who are doing excellent work every day in classrooms, helping our students reach their potential and thrive.

This offer uses all of the state provided increase for teacher salaries, plus levy dollars, plus funds from the district’s ending fund balance. The 15.56% increase exceeds the number that the state teacher’s organization, Washington Education Association (WEA), has been quoted in the Columbian as pushing for in settlement agreements. It will also put Washougal’s teacher compensation ahead of other regional districts that have already settled.

While Evergreen and Vancouver School Districts have not yet settled their contracts, the district’s offer is in line with the compensation level those two much larger districts are offering, helping us retain and recruit excellent teachers!

The district has provided the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) with the most current budgeting documents, which demonstrate that the district is using all available funds provided by the state for teacher salaries. The association has continued to present financial information rebuttals based on outdated fiscal estimates from late Spring. These documents, which were intended to be used only as an estimate, are no longer correct and do not provide an accurate picture of the funds available for the 2018-19 school year.

The district’s offer will utilize $2.4 million in reserves over the next four years to push our teacher compensation up, and offer a great package that provides a professional salary, compensated professional learning opportunities, and a stipend for teachers to continue their education. We believe this is the right investment to ensure the most capable, qualified, and trained staff are in every district classroom every day.

Chart showing decline in the Undesignated reserve fund from 2018-2020 from $3.3 million to $1.3 million

There are a variety of ways to calculate the percentage increase that teachers would receive from a compensation package, and different districts (and the statewide teacher union WEA) are doing different math to get the percentage. The increased funding provided by the state must provide both for the salary increase as well as for the previously separate responsibility contract (TRI). The district’s percentage increase can be correctly represented as a 15.56% increase, or as a 31.2% increase, depending on the calculation used. The method used to calculate the 22.8% increase in Woodland would result in the 31.2% increase for Washougal teachers. However, the district has consistently presented their offer in terms of a comparison of the old “Base (from the SAM schedule) added to TRI time” to the new Base, which includes TRI, which results in a true increase that teachers would actually see in their paycheck (Method 2 below).  See the two images below to compare the two methods of doing this calculation.

Table showing two ways of comparing a teacher salary - this one compares the 2017 base plus TRI to the 2018 total compensation, resulting in smaller percentage increase

Method 2 – compares the 2017-18 Base added with TRI to the 2018-19 Base (which includes the compensation & responsibilities of TRI), resulting in lower percentage increases.  This is the method WSD has used to describe the percentage increase.

 

Table showing two ways of comparing a teacher salary - this one compares the 2017 base w/o TRI to the 2018 total compensation, resulting in larger percentage increase

 

Method 2 – compares the 2017-18 Base (without TRI) to the 2018-19 Base (which includes the compensation & responsibilities of TRI), resulting in higher percentage increases.  This is the method the Columbian used when describing Woodland as having a 22.8% increase.

Washougal School District and the Association will meet again to continue bargaining on Friday, August 24.


Bargaining update – Washougal Association of Educators 8-18-2018

The Washougal School District and Washougal Association of Educators finished another round of bargaining toward a new teacher contract on Friday, August 17, 2018. This concluded the 12th day of negotiations over four months working on the new contract.

As of Friday, the the district has offered the association an enhanced package for compensation that utilizes all of the resources provided by the state, plus levy dollars and additional funds from the ending fund balance (reserve). If accepted by the association leadership, it would provide a fair, equitable, and regionally competitive compensation package for our teachers, with opportunities for teachers to earn from $50,000 to $94,000 depending on education and experience.

The district offer would use $2.4 million from the reserve fund (over 4 years) to sustain higher teacher compensation. The package offered would provide Washougal teachers higher compensation than the contract that was recently settled in Woodland School District, and is near the compensation levels that the much larger Evergreen Public Schools has proposed for their certified staff.

While leaders on both sides have remained committed toward working together, and have worked to build a common understanding of new parameters for teacher salaries that came along with the enhanced funding provided by the McCleary decision, the two sides remain far apart. After making a very large step toward WAE’s salary request in mid July, the WSD bargaining team has been stymied by a lack of movement on the part of the association. Association leaders have only made one significant adjustment to their salary request in the last month, in spite of multiple subsequent salary proposal increases on the part of the district.

While Friday morning was productive, and led to agreement on some small language items, we still do not have agreement on a contract. The district and association bargaining teams will meet in bargaining again on Friday, August 24, 2018. The district hopes to resolve the fundamental issues, and to honor the excellent work done by our teaching staff, who would receive compensation from $50,000 to $94,000 under the district proposal.


Bargaining update – Washougal Association of Educators 8-10-2018

The Washougal School District and Washougal Association of Educators continued to bargain for a new contract very late on Wednesday, August 8 and all day on August 9. We have not yet reached a Tentative Agreement (TA), but the district remains optimistic and committed to working with the association, through the bargaining process, to reach an agreement that will offer our teachers a fair, equitable, and regionally competitive contract.

On Thursday, WAE requested updated financial information from the district. The district communicated that the most current information about the budget would be available after the board meeting on Tuesday, August 14, and also provided additional budget documents on Friday, August 10. The district has offered to review this information with association leadership.

The association requested to cancel the planned August 10 and August 11 sessions. Both groups will meet again in bargaining on August 17.

Answers to Questions From Social MediaClass Size, Reserves, and Overall Salary

The district has offered an enhanced compensation package from the one offered in early July. This package offers additional compensated professional development opportunities.

  • In the new offer, beginning teachers will have a total compensation, including professional development incentives, of over $50,000
  • Teachers at the top of the pay scale will have a total compensation, including professional development incentives, of more than $94,000

To help community members understand the offer, here is the proposed salary grid, as well as supporting powerpoint explaining the offer and associated model for compensation.

For more information about the collective bargaining process, including other updates posted previously by the school district, please visit our Bargaining Updates page.

 

2017-18 to 2018-19 overall compensation opportunity comparison for teaching staff in the WSD proposal, for teachers at the top of the pay scale:

Graphic showing Salary comparison from 2017-18 to 2018-19, with increase from $81,080 to $94,036 after adding in Base, TRI, PD Stipend, and PD hours

 

2017-18 to 2018-19 overall compensation opportunity comparison for teaching staff in the WSD proposal, for teachers at the top of the pay scale:

Graphic showing Salary comparison from 2017-18 to 2018-19, with increase from $43,815 to $50,478 after adding in Base, TRI, PD Stipend, and PD hours


Bargaining update – Washougal Association of Educators 7-24-2018

The Washougal School District has been engaged in active negotiations with the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) over the last several days and feel that our time together has provided opportunity to continue the dialogue around finding common ground and understanding. Both parties have exchanged proposals which include additional compensation components.

At the end of the July 24, 2018 session, the association requested a recess from bargaining for the remaining scheduled sessions in July. We look forward to returning to the bargaining table on August 8, and in the interim have offered to provide any information to the Association they might need in their preparations. The District will continue to work hard to find common ground and move closer to the association’s position, while still trying to find a settlement that provides fair, equitable, and regionally competitive compensation.

 


Bargaining update – Washougal Association of Educators 7-21-2018

The district and the Washougal Association of Educators met in bargaining on Saturday, July 21, 2018.  Both sides are working toward understanding the issues, and are working to come to agreement.  The two sides will meet in bargaining again on Monday, July 23, 2018 to resume bargaining.

Eric Engebretson, WAE President  & Mary Templeton, Superintendent

 


Bargaining update – Washougal Association of Educators 7-20-2018

The district and the Washougal Association of Educators met in bargaining on July 20.  Both sides are working toward a common understanding of the issues, and are working toward agreement.  The two sides will meet in bargaining again on Saturday, July 21, 2018 to resume bargaining.

Eric Engebretson, WAE President  & Mary Templeton, Superintendent

 


Bargaining update – Washougal Association of Educators 7-12-2018

The Washougal School District and the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) met for bargaining sessions on July 11 and July 12, 2018.  The District was excited to put forward a fair, equitable, and regionally competitive settlement package for WAE to consider.  This proposal included a salary schedule, which offered a 15% pay increase in base teacher compensation, inclusive of the deemed done TRI hours.  The offer that has been made would utilize state allocated revenue as well as reserve funds in order to sustain the increase over three years.  This proposal would give teachers at the top of the pay scale an increase of $11,718, and the average teacher a $9,134 pay raise compared to 2017-18.

The association worked throughout the day on July 11 to prepare a counter proposal and provided it late in the day Wednesday.  The two groups met together again on Thursday, July 12, and are working toward progress on language, compensation, and other issues. The district is prepared to continue bargaining and has been clear that the WAE counter-proposal must stay within the bounds of state law.  State laws have changed recently and do require negotiated contracts for school year 2018-19 and beyond to be compliant with these new requirements. WAE requested to cancel the scheduled bargaining meeting on July 13.  Both groups will meet again in bargaining on Friday, July 20 for the next session and the district remains committed to working toward an agreement that will support Washougal’s teachers and students.

Please click here to see a comparison of the 2017-18 base plus TRI schedule compared with the district proposal, and an overview of the WSD proposed schedule with additional compensation opportunities.

 

 

Archive of previously published information:

Patrons looking for previously published information about the district’s negotiations with bargaining units can find those documents archived here.

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