Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Be There: Contracts or Strike Vote Meeting

NSEA Contracts or Strike Vote Meeting
Wednesday, August 31
5:00 pm

This meeting is open to all certificated and ESP members only.
Certs and ESPs will vote on separate contracts if we have reached tentative agreements.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Bargaining Update: Progress Made!

A sub-group of the Cert and ESP bargaining team were at the table today, working to resolve issues and make progress in our negotiations with the district administration. The sub-group is also negotiating on Thursday of this week. We are discussing calendar, paraeducator support for General Ed and Special Ed classes, Special Ed ratios, para training, and ways to attract and retain quality substitutes.

We are happy to report that we had a productive day today.

#1: We have joint bargaining!
Thanks to your commitment to each other, the administration agreed to joint bargaining for Certs and ESPs. We will not be divided, and our collective efforts are working! The Cert and ESP bargaining team members will now be able to negotiate with the administration at the same table. We will negotiate two separate agreements with simultaneous expiration dates.

This is a huge victory for our Certs and ESPs. We work together every day and our professional needs often overlap. Now we will be able to discuss our concerns at the same table, with the same administrators. Thank you to all of you for attending our June Contract or Action Vote meeting and voting to pass the two resolutions, wearing your red “We Educate Northshore” t-shirts, and supporting each other. We have worked together for years to achieve this. 

This is a big step forward for administration and we would like to thank Superintendent Michelle Reid and Deputy Superintendent Carolyn O’Keeffe for their leadership

#2: We have a 2016-2017 calendar!
We have tentatively agreed to the following: 
  • Early Release Days will be on Wednesdays for 2016-2017. The number of I, SDLT, and D Days has not yet been negotiated. 
  • Non-student days before the start of school: Tuesday, August 30, Wednesday, August 31, and Thursday, September 1
  • First student day: Tuesday, September 6
  • Veteran’s Day: Friday, November 11
  • Thanksgiving: November 24-25
  • Winter Break: December 19 through January 2 (back to school on Tuesday, January 3)
  • MLK Day: Monday, January 16
  • Grading Day: Monday, January 30
  • President’s Day: Monday, February 20
  • Mid-Winter Break: February 21-24
  • Spring Break: April 10-14
  • Memorial Day: Monday, May 29
  • Graduation Day: Monday, June 19
  • Last Student Day: Wednesday, June 21 (see note below)
  • Grading Day: Thursday, June 22
  • Elementary conference days: November 17-23 and March 3

Note: June 22 and June 23 will be held on the calendar as emergency makeup days in case of weather closures. If either or both days are used as makeup days, the following day will be the non-student grading day. 

Please like us on facebook and follow us on Twitter to get updates. Text "NSEA" to 41411 to get text message updates (messaging fees may apply; this will be used sparingly). Our sub-group is back at the table on Thursday, July 28, and our full team has 6 more bargaining sessions scheduled in August. 

We hope you are having a good summer and look forward to seeing you at our Contract or Strike Vote meeting on Wednesday, August 31st at 5:00 pm in the Bothell HS Gym.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

See a Membership Meeting in Action

Click here to see a video of our recent Contract or Action Vote Meeting (held on June 8, 2016 at Inglemoor HS). It shows a membership meeting in action.

All NSEA members, cert and ESP, should be at the Contracts Ratification or Strike Vote meeting on Wednesday, August 31 at 5:00 pm in the Bothell HS Gym. (This meeting is open to members only. We hope to be voting on two new contracts: one for certs and one for ESPs.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

ESPs in the News

NSEA ESP member Susan Fox, para at Canyon Park JH. Photo from the Woodinville Weekly.
The Woodinville Weekly ran an article in their June 27th edition detailing the impacts of Northshore's low pay/no benefits model of employing Education Support Professionals. Read it here.

Also, check out this video featuring our ESP colleagues. Though it was made in 2011, the issues are still relevant.

ESPs have been at the bargaining table for over a year. We are hoping that joint bargaining with NSEA's certs will expedite an agreement.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

June 8th NSEA Contract or Action Vote Meeting

This was only half of the IHS gym! Wow!
Thank you to all who came to last night's meeting! We had an amazing turn out at our Contract or Action Vote Meeting last night at Inglemoor High School! This was our first big meeting since NSEA and NESPA merged. It was great to see teachers and paras together, all in red. You were enthusiastic, passionate, and united!

In case you missed last night's meeting, we provided an overview of where we are in bargaining, how we got here, and took two very important votes. We do not yet have contracts for the certs or ESPs. Be at our Contract or Strike Vote Meeting on Wednesday, August 31st at 5:00 pm in the Bothell HS Gym. Your attendance at that meeting is crucial.

Motion 1: We Will Not Be Divided 
NSEA's certs and ESPs voted overwhelmingly for no confidence in NSD's Executive Director of Human Resources, Jeff Sherwood. We work together in the classroom every day and many of our needs overlap. We are seeking joint bargaining, which is the norm in WEA locals that represent certs and ESPs. Sherwood continues to refuse this request. His refusal is an attempt to divide us in order to weaken us. The intent of a "no confidence" vote is to communicate to NSD's decision makers (including an incoming Superintendent) that they, and Jeff Sherwood, should consider his role in negotiations going forward.

Here is the full motion and rationale:
MOTION: I move for a Vote of No Confidence in Northshore’s Exec. Dir. Of Human Resources, Jeff Sherwood, for his attempt to divide us by refusing to agree to joint bargaining (bargaining together at one table for two contracts) with NSEA’s Certificated and ESP groups. 
RECOMMENDATION: NSEA’s Bargaining Team and Exec Board recommend a YES vote.

RATIONALE: We work together every day, serving the same students in the same classrooms. We are co-workers and colleagues. We voted to merge into one local union, NSEA, to unify our efforts to improve our work and schools, and to create our futures together, like a family. Bargaining jointly is central to these efforts. We have repeatedly requested joint bargaining in order to best address our students’ and schools’ needs and to reach agreements sooner and without a delay in the opening of school. Jeff Sherwood has repeatedly rejected these requests.
In WEA locals that include more than one bargaining group, it is the norm for school districts to bargain jointly. These include Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Mercer Island, Tukwila, and Federal Way. This is also the norm in the private sector where one union local includes multiple groups. 
Jeff Sherwood’s refusal to agree to joint bargaining is an attempt to divide educators who value each other and whose unity at our schools serves our students well. It is deeply offensive to us and should not be acceptable to anyone who understands the work we do together every day at school. We have no confidence in his leadership in Northshore. We will not be divided.

Motion 2: Preparation for a Strike 

NSEA members voted overwhelmingly in favor of preparing for a strike later this year if we are unable to reach tentative agreements for new contracts for the certs and ESPs. To be clear, this was not a vote to strike. This is simply a vote to allow NSEA to prepare for a strike if necessary. If we do not have TAs by August 31st, we will vote to strike. It is imperative that you attend our next meeting on Wednesday, August 31st at 5:00 pm at the Bothell High School Gym.

Here is the full motion and rationale:

MOTION: I move that NSEA members prepare for a strike if necessary to improve our work, schools, and the quality of education for our students. 
RECOMMENDATION: NSEA’s Bargaining Team and Exec Board recommend a YES vote.

RATIONALE: We look forward to the start of school and seeing our students. We do not want a strike. We need contracts that improve our work, schools, and the quality of education for our students. This motion is to prepare for a strike. It is not a motion to go on strike. That decision, if we must make it, will be at the end of summer after we have returned to the bargaining table in August.

Thus far, we have made little progress in negotiations. The best way to avoid a strike and to make progress on our bargaining goals is to be prepared to strike if necessary. We will meet on Wednesday, August 31st to hear updates on negotiations, and hopefully to vote on tentative agreements. At that meeting, if we don’t have tentative agreements, a strike vote will be taken. 
 This strike preparation includes the following: We Will Not Be Divided Commitments (completed at this meeting); picket signs and picketing plans, scheduling of our Contract or Strike Vote meeting; contacting all members via phone to attend this meeting; plans for parent and community outreach and support; and unity actions at our schools on the three non-student days before school; and more.
Next Steps 
  • We will continue negotiations with district administration. We are hopeful that these negotiations will be held at the same table. 
  • Please continue to read our emails, stay in the loop through our facebook page and Twitter feed. 
  • Text NSEA to 41411 to get text updates (we will use this sparingly--we have no intention of spamming you cellphone!). 
  • If your home contact info changes over the summer, email Lydia King with your updates.

We educate Northshore and we will not be divided.

NSEA In The News

Our June 8th Contract or Action Vote Meeting was in the news:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

2016-2017 Calendar

As you know, the 2016-2017 calendar is currently being negotiated by the NSEA and NSD Administration bargaining team. We have not yet to come to agreement on the final calendar. NSEA surveyed certificated members and Education Support Professionals (ESPs) on their preferences for 2016-2017.

As we have told the district administration, our members, and the public, here is what NSEA's members prefer:

  • The first day for students should be after Labor Day
  • The breaks should be:
    • Winter Break: December 19-January 3 (January 2 is a federal holiday)
    • Mid-Winter Break: February 21-24
    • Spring Break: April 10-14
While we do not know what the final calendar will look like, past practice has been that these dates become the basis of a calendar. We are hopeful this will be the case for the 2016-2017 calendar.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bargaining Update: May 9, 2016

Here is what we are seeking in these negotiations. 
Help us make it possible.

With your active participation in our contract negotiation efforts, we intend to make progress on:

  • Safe schools, with students focused on learning.
  • Appropriate staffing levels, class sizes, and composition to meet our students’ needs.
  • Real District support to enable us to meet the needs of our students.
  • Adequate support from trained and appropriately compensated Educational Support Professionals so we can meet the needs of our students all day and every day.
  • Qualified substitutes for our schools when needed, so our students are not short-changed.
  • Compensation that reflects our education, responsibilities, and the complexity of our work, so that we can choose to live in our community, pay off our student loans, fairly contribute to our families’ budgets, and attract and retain the best educators for our students.
  • Minimize non-instructional requirements and use of our time (paperwork, unnecessary meetings, technological impediments, etc.) so we can focus on teaching our students.
  • Minimize District-required testing, so we can focus on student instruction.
  • A respected voice in shaping our instruction, schools, District, and profession.

Be There!
Contract or Action Vote Meeting 
Wednesday, June 8th
Inglemoor HS Gym
4:15 pm (doors open at 3:30)

Every Northshore educator—Certs and ESPs—must be at NSEA’s Contract or Action Vote meeting on Wednesday, June 8, unless they are sick. We will either vote on our new contracts OR we will vote on what action to take. If you are not there, it signifies to the administration and your bargaining team that you are fine with how things are. Vote to shape your future. No proxy votes. Please plan to carpool. This meeting is open to certificated and ESP members only.

Stay In The Loop
Be the first to know what is going on with contract negotiations.
  • On the web: 
  • Like us on facebook:
  • Follow us on Twitter:
  • Get updates on your phone: Text the word NSEA to 41411 to get text updates. Text messaging rates may apply.
  • Email: Bargaining updates are sent to your HOME email address. If you are not getting our messages at home account, check your spam/junk folders and your Promotions folder if you use gmail. Still nothing? Contact Lydia King (