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 The association has continued to present financial information rebuttals based on outdated fiscal estimates from late Spring.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 1 – 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.

UPDATE 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.