Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Be There: Contract or Strike Vote Meeting

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

This meeting is open to all certificated and ESP members.

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: northshoreea.blogspot.com 
  • Like us on facebook: facebook.com/northshoreea
  • Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/NSEABargaining
  • 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 (lking@washingtonea.org) 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Bargaining Update: May 3, 2016

Northshore Administration Tries to Divide Educators and Schools

Last week, in two negotiation sessions for our Certificated contract, the administration replied "No" to our request to bargain both NSEA contracts (Certificated and ESP-Educational Support Professionals) together in joint negotiations. This is disappointing and appalling, but their efforts to divide us will not succeed.

WE WILL NOT BE DIVIDED

We work together as an educational team in our schools every day. We asked for joint negotiations to best address many common educational issues together with a "big picture" view (e.g. paraeducator hours and staffing levels). Both contracts are being negotiated right now, with the ESP contract still unresolved after one year of negotiations (bargaining began in April, 2015). The Administration presses to continue the low pay/few hours/temp job system for ESPs that saves the District money, but is at the expense of our students, our teachers, and schools who must heavily rely on under paid, part time, and temporary staff who too often must leave for better jobs.

Jeff Sherwood, the Executive Director of Human Resources is the key District decision-maker on labor-relations and bargaining for all NSD employees. We hope he reconsiders and recognizes that dividing educators is not a way to improve our schools, and it's not going to work. We will not be divided.

"DIVIDE AND CONQUER" IS BAD FOR NORTHSHORE

Bargaining together for the two contracts would be far more likely to result in a better outcome for staff, students, and the administration. It would respect the desire and vote of Certs and ESPs to be a team, as evidenced by a 93% Cert vote and 98% ESP vote to merge as NSEA. Equally important, bargaining jointly would be much more efficient in getting an agreement by our June 8th meeting, and is the best way to avoid a delay in the opening of school. We will not be divided.

This is the norm where a union local includes more than one bargaining group. Even Boeing (generally not considered a pro-union/pro-employee company) negotiates together with its engineers and its technical employees for their separate contracts. They are both part of one local: SPEEA Local 2001, the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace. It is the norm in hospitals, hotels, and most of the economy where one union local includes multiple groups.

It is also the norm in every WEA local that includes teachers and support professionals: Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Tukwila, Mercer Island, and Federal Way. Unity is one of our core values-unity with each other and with our students and schools. We build unity in our classes. Administrators who ignore this don't understand education or educators. We will not be divided.

BARGAINING CONTINUES

On Tuesday and Thursday last week, we heard the administration's responses to our Certificated proposals. Mostly we heard them explain why their current answer is "no", but we expect that to change with your support. NSEA's librarians and members from Kokanee buoyed our spirits by bringing us food, flowers, and supportive posters on each day of bargaining. Yesterday, the ESP and Certificated Bargaining Teams and Exec Board leaders met together to discuss how we will coordinate our efforts. We have requested meetings to continue ESP negotiations.

How to Help Achieve The Improvements We Need


  1. Be at the Contract or Action Vote meeting on Wednesday, June 8th at 4:15 pm at Inglemoor High School, unless you are sick.
  2. Be at your school's short NSEA meetings.
  3. Read your home emails from us and wear RED on designated days to show your support (you'll be getting your t-shirts soon!)
  4. Text the word NSEA to 41411 to get bargaining updates.
  5. Like us on facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  6. Read our last newsletter for our bargaining goals. 




Thursday, April 21, 2016

What Are We Seeking for in Negotiations?

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 the following:

  • 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.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

We Educate Northshore! One Union and One Family!

Northshore’s 1,300 Certificated staff and 500 Educational Support Professionals (ESPs) are now part of NSEA!  On Monday, April 18th, NSEA’s Building Reps voted unanimously to formalize the merger by approving the new NSEA Bylaws. On Tuesday, NESPA’s Board did the same. Certificated staff had voted earlier on the merger framework by a vote of 90%, and ESPs with 98%. 

We are all now members of one union, to serve our students and shape our schools and work together.

We Educate Northshore!