Washougal School District Bargaining Update

Bargaining with PSE Update – December 12, 2017

On December 12, 2017, the Washougal School District Board of Directors approved a two-year agreement between the Washougal chapter of the Public School Employees (PSE) association and Washougal School District.  Members of PSE voted to ratify the contract on November 27, 2017.

This agreement is for 2017-19 with a re-opener on salary only in 2018. The agreement calls for a 2.7% across-the-board salary increase applied in addition to the 2.3% State Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), resulting in a total salary increase of 5.0%.

The new agreement allows spouses who are both in the employee group to pool insurance allocations and provides specific job-title pay increases for para-professionals, warehouse person, dispatchers and early learning staff over a two-year period.

The full contract will be posted on the district’s Human Resource page as soon as fully executed copies of the contract are printed and available for membership.


Bargaining with PSE Update – October 20, 2017

The Washougal School District and the Public School Employees (PSE) continue to work towards a contract. The two parties have jointly requested mediation through PERC, and a mediator has scheduled the first session for November 8, 2017.

The district has prepared a summary of the current status of bargaining and remaining issues that separate the two sides. This summary of bargaining issues can be found here.

The two parties are committed to working together to create a contract that meets the needs of everyone.
WSD - PSE - Bargaining Issues Summary


Bargaining with PSE Update – October 12, 2017

The Washougal School District and the Public School Employees (PSE) continue to work towards a contract.  The two parties have requested mediation support from the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC).  An update will be posted one a PERC mediator has scheduled time with the two parties.


 

Bargaining with WAE Update – September 27, 2017

The Washougal School District and the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) settled the bargaining with a one-year contract for the 2017-18 school year.  The contract was ratified by association membership, and approved by the Washougal School District Board of Directors on September 26, 2017 at their regularly scheduled board meeting.  The District appreciates the hard work and dedication of the bargaining teams for both WAE and the District.

The agreement can be found here: Collective Bargaining Agreement (Union contract) for Certified Staff 2017-2018


Bargaining with WAE Update – September 20, 2017

The Washougal School District and the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) have reached agreement on a one-year contract for the 2017-18 school year.  The contract will be brought before the Washougal School District Board of Directors on September 26, 2017 for Board approval.  The District appreciates the hard work of the bargaining teams for both WAE and the District.

Highlights of the agreement include an increase in the amount of time, responsibility, and incentive compensation (TRI).  This compensation combined with professional development stipends, is added to the base salary.  The 2017-18 TRI compensation rate is 18.4%, compared to 14.0% in the 2016-17 school year.   Teachers will be compensated for 193 hours of work beyond the regular school day, including 170 hours of teacher-directed work and 23 hours of district-directed work.  Each certificated employee will also receive an increase of $970 for professional development for the 2017-18 school year.   The District team’s charge was to balance fair compensation for their employees with long-term budget stability.   The compensation package provides Washougal School District teachers with competitive and comparable compensation with like-sized school districts.

Another feature of the agreement is a change to contract language to allow a revised schedule at the elementary level on Wednesday afternoons.

  • A study team will meet in the 2017-18 school year to plan for changes to take place in the 2018-19 school year
  • A reduction in the elementary early release time on Wednesday afternoons will add two hours of instructional time for students weekly, representing an approximate total increase of 70 hours of instructional time over the school year, equivalent to nearly three weeks of school
  • 270 minutes of preparation time will be maintained for elementary teachers each week
  • The 40-minute Professional Learning Community time for elementary teacher teams will be maintained

Among other details of the agreement, the new contract provides support for teachers in the event that a classroom with combined grade levels is necessary.  Teachers who teach a combination classroom will receive a choice of forms of support, including para-professional help and additional planning time.

The District is appreciative of the dedicated and caring teachers who serve the children of Washougal each day.  The District is pleased to reach this agreement and provide for stability of staffing and funding.


Bargaining Process Update – Public School Employees (PSE) and the Washougal School District – Update September 12, 2017

The parties continue to move forward in bargaining sessions.  The next bargaining session is scheduled for September 27, 2017.


Bargaining with WAE Update – September 7, 2017

The Washougal School District and the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) met in mediation sessions on August 23, August 27, August 31, and September 1, 2017. A mediator from the Public Employee Relations Commission worked with the parties through the total of thirty-eight hours of mediation, over the four sessions.

A tentative agreement on all bargained topics was reached at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 1, 2017. The tentative agreements included consensus on compensation, professional development, combination classes, and elementary planning time among other topics. In addition to the state-funded 2.3% salary increase, the Association and the District agreed to a base TRI increase of 35 hours (a 26.7% increase), and a professional development stipend increase of $620 (an 84.9% increase) as part of a one-year agreement.

The tentative agreements can be found here: Tentative Agreements 9-1-2017

The District learned through the media that the tentative agreement was not ratified in an Association vote. We are now exploring next steps.


Bargaining Process Update – Public School Employees (PSE) and the Washougal School District – Update August 30, 2017

The parties continue to move forward in bargaining sessions.  The next bargaining session is scheduled for Monday, September 11, 2017.


Bargaining Process Summary with WAE – Update August 27, 2017

The Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) and the District met in bargaining on August 23, and had a follow up, mediated session on Sunday, August 27, 2017.

A summary of the status of bargaining with WAE, including issues and positions as of 8-27-2017 is linked here.

Additional sessions with WSD and WAE and the Public Employment Relations Commision mediator are planned for Thursday, August 31st and Friday, September 1, 2017.

Bargaining Process Update – Public School Employees (PSE) and the Washougal School District

The parties continue to meet in bargaining sessions.  During the month of August, the bargaining teams met and exchanged proposals on the 8th, 17th, 21st and 24th.   Over the course of bargaining begun in May, the parties have reached a significant number of tentative agreements.  The remaining topics for bargaining are primarily financial in nature.  The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, August  30, 2017.

Bargaining and Reserve FAQ WSD - WAE - Bargaining Issues Summary

Bargaining Process Summary – Update August 20, 2017

The Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) and the District met in bargaining on Sunday, August 20, 2017.

The District presented a summary on the current status of bargaining on the current status of bargaining issues and information on compensation over the past 3 years. (linked here)  Neither the Association nor the District was prepared to modify their position on the issues.

Bargaining ended with the next session scheduled for Wednesday, August 23, 2017.  That session will be facilitated by a mediator from the Public Employment Relations Commission.

Bargaining and Reserve FAQ Bargaining Issues Summary 8-20-2017

Bargaining Update August 2, 2017 

The following framework for agreement was shared with the Association at the beginning of bargaining on July 31st.

“The Association and the District have two challenges in this year’s bargaining.  First and foremost, to plan and prepare for the most major revision to school funding and teacher compensation in over twenty years as part of 2018 bargaining.  Second, to reach an agreement for School Year 2017-18 that is both equitable, reasonable, and helps prepare for a significantly greater and complex bargaining process next year.

The District is fully behind the idea of concluding bargaining before the start of the school year.  It was in this context that the District chose to offer a comprehensive settlement agreement on July 27, 2017.  While the District understood that the Association may not find the proposal fully acceptable, it was believed that initial movement by the District would result in reciprocal movement by the Association; thereby beginning the process of compromise necessary to reach a bargained agreement.  It was surprising that the Association responded with renewed demand reflecting their initial proposal on all major items.  This could only be interpreted as an unwillingness to begin seeking common ground and a compromise solution regarding both parties’ position. 

It is not reasonable to expect the District to initiate the first offer and then effectively counter itself without any appreciable movement by the Association.   The District expects the Association to take the next step and reconsider its response.  Therefore, the District response to begin today’s negotiation is a reassertion of the comprehensive settlement proposal presented on July 27th.  As stated at the last bargaining session, individual proposals in the settlement agreement are contingent upon overall agreement.  

The volume of issues in a one-year proposal is naturally tempered by the length of the agreement.  Therefore the District is willing to defer most of its significant proposals to a 2018 negotiation.  The District therefore ask that the Association strike a similar position.  In this regard, it is important to reflect upon the impact of new legislation affecting 2018-19 and out years.

The current state funding for teacher compensation is based on an average teacher salary for 2016-17 of $54,602.    This average funding will increase to $64,000 in two equal steps for 2018-19 and 2019-20.  This is a $10,000 increase in average state funding over a two-year period.  Concurrently, the allowed minimum and maximum salary for teachers when bargaining a new salary schedule will increase from this year’s levels of $35,700 and $67,288 respectively to $40,000 and $90,000.  While the minimum is required by statute, the maximum will depend on negotiation of the complete schedule.  This increase is intended by the legislature to reflect a more appropriate market rate while also absorbing the supplemental salary that is currently funded through TRI.   Even postings to the Washington Education Association website characterize this as “large state-funded pay raises over the next four years.”  For the voters, this shift will translate into lower school district levies and an offsetting, higher state property tax.

Apart from bringing teacher compensation to a fair, equitable, and competitive level, the new legislation also lays the foundation to address other compensation concerns through negotiation of new salary schedules.  This includes the opportunity to address the challenges of special education, math and science, longevity and retention among other things. 

While the above compensation increase is in the state budget for 2018-19 and 2019-20, the budget also includes a 2.3% increase for 2017-18.  The District comprehensive settlement offer provides for setting aside the already agreed upon reduction of six (6) TRI hours plus an additional 1.25% increase for an aggregate increase of approximately 1.7% and an overall increase for 2017-18 of 4%.  This is a more than reasonable offer for a one-year contract to be followed by two years of very substantial state allocation increases.  Additionally, the State allocation will be enhanced by the enrichment activities and enrichment compensation which will be negotiated in 2018.   For these reasons, the district firmly believes the current compensation issues, beyond the 4% increase, are best addressed in 2018 negotiations.

The District notes that the TRI increase will place the District TRI at approximately 15.25% of base pay.  This compares favorably to the current mean TRI rate for SW Washington (15.44%), the current TRI mean rate excluding the non-comparable Districts of Vancouver and Evergreen (13.56%), and the current Clark Country District mean rate excluding Vancouver and Evergreen (14.69%).

It is the District’s desire to conclude negotiation of one-year contract extension today, Monday, July 31st.  This can be accomplished if the Association and the District are realistic about the inherent limitations of a one-year contract and the outlook for 2018 and beyond based on new legislation and 2018 bargaining.

The District has made opening offers and concessions and is prepared to entertain and respond to reasonable counter offers.”

In subsequent bargaining on July 31, August 1, and August 2 the Association and the District exchanged several proposal modifications.  Initially, the proposals moved the District and the Association closer.  However, the movement towards agreement stalled in the August 2 session.  The Association and the District have both presented a proposed settlement with substantial agreement but also substantial differences.

Negotiations are scheduled to resume Sunday, August 20.  Additionally, the Association and the District are jointly requesting the services of a mediator for August 23 to help facilitate efforts at reaching agreement.


Bargaining Update 7-29-2017

Washougal School District is currently bargaining with both certificated and classified employee groups.

The Washougal Association of Educators and the Washougal School District resumed bargaining on Thursday, July 27th. The Legislature and the Governor passed and approved a bill to fully fund public education subsequent to the last bargaining session in June. The new bill will affect major portions of the collective bargaining agreement beginning with the 2018-19 School Year. In light of these changes the Association and the District spent the first part of the July 27th session reviewing and discussing the changes and their impact on future bargaining. This includes, among other things:

  • Replacing TRI (Time, Responsibility, and Incentive) as a salary supplement through offsetting increases in basic compensation and application of regionalization adjustments (to include negotiation of a new salary model).
  • Restructuring the amount and authorized use of local levies through increased state property taxes.
  • Allowing enrichment levies and payment for enrichment activities (formerly “TRI” activities), as defined by the State.
  • Requiring OSPI pre-ballot approval of local levy expenditures for enrichment.
  • Limiting supplemental contracts to enrichment activities (as defined by the State) subject to basic pay hourly rate limitations.
  • Moving school district health benefits to the Heath Care Authority under a new State-level board.
  • Elevating bargaining of health benefits to the State level.
  • Improving the prototypical school staffing model relative to K-3 class sizes, special education, vocational education, highly capable, and transitional bilingual programs.

Based on the magnitude of these changes and the need to await more information and action from the state before bargaining of the changes can actually begin, the District proposed limiting current bargaining to a one-year contract. The Association was generally in agreement with moving to a one-year contract.

The District moved to an extended caucus during which it developed a proposed settlement around a one-year contract. The proposed settlement increased TRI compensation, deferred major bargaining items impacted by the legislation to a 2018 negotiation, and proposed withdrawal of some District and Association proposals in light of the limited duration of the proposed contract.

On Friday, July 28th, the Association responded to the District’s proposed settlement. Disappointingly, the Association’s response, while offering limited accommodation on minor issues, essentially restated the Association’s original proposals from two months ago. In light of the lack of movement or indication of willingness to find compromise and common ground, the District adjourned for the day to assess the exchange.

Bargaining with the Washougal Association of Educators resumes Monday, July 29th.


Previous Bargaining Update – July 6, 2017

Bargaining is taking place against the backdrop of major uncertainties regarding the legislative budget process. The Legislature is in its third special session as it strives to develop a new budget. This biennium budget is of special significance given the State Supreme Court mandate that it include a solution to the constitutional requirement to fully fund basic education. Among other things, the solution must address major changes to: the school funding model; increased teacher salaries; and health benefits. Funding the solution requires new State revenue sources and substantial change to the amounts districts can collect through local levies, as well as limits on how they can spend those funds.

Washougal School District and the Washougal Association of Educators (WAE) have begun bargaining of a new contract. The current two-year contract expires on August 31, 2017. Bargaining proposals were exchanged on June 21, 2017 and initial bargaining dates set for June 26 and June 27. The District and WAE used the day-long negotiating session on June 26 to provide initial responses to the proposals exchanged on June 21st. In its responses, the District expressed the need to limit its response on major monetary issues pending a State budget and changes to school funding. WAE proposed deferral of the second session scheduled for June 27 to a time when the District can be expected to better respond to monetary issues. Subsequent WAE/WSD bargaining dates now include July 27, 28, 31, and August 1.

Washougal School District and the Public School Employees (PSE) association began bargaining a new contract on May 18, 2017 and have met for a total of four bargaining sessions. Proposals have been exchanged. The District has also limited its responses to non-financial issues due to the uncertainties with the legislative budget process. The next PSE/WSD bargaining session is scheduled for August 8, 2017.

The status of bargaining will be updated as negotiations proceed.

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