Bargaining


Certificated Bargaining Team
From Left to Right
Back row:
Jon VandeMoortel (NJH), Kelly Grffin (MO), Val Morris-Lent (KJH), Kimberly Rodriguez (WO), Kraig Peck (WEA), and Patrick Holmes (BHS)
Front row: Anne Davidson (LJH), Gail Bauman (NJH), Celia Wilson (WH), and Jen Cassarino (CPJH)

ESP Bargaining Team
From Left to Right
Back row:
Kraig Peck (WEA)
Middle row: Karyn Sullivan (FW), Nancy Celms (SR), Donna Smith (KJH)
Front row: Judy Harkess (SOR/WH), Joanne Allen (CPJH), Janet Tamura (FW)

Bargaining Goals
We are seeking:

  • 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.

Joint Bargaining
Teachers and ESPs work together every day in the classroom to serve students. We have asked and urge the district administration to allow us to bargain both contracts together at the same time. So far, district administration have refused this request in an attempt to divide us.

By negotiating together for our two contracts, we can best address common issues such as para support for class overloads; training; time for communication between Certs and ESPs; ESP staffing levels and hours; and ESP job and school stability by reducing turnover. Our conversations during bargaining will be richer and more fruitful if we are negotiating together. We could resolve common issues more creatively and quickly.

Joint bargaining is the norm in school districts where the WEA local includes more than one bargaining group. We are not seeking something unusual here in Northshore. Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Federal Way, Mercer Island, and Tukwila Education Associations include certificated and classified members. These districts all bargain jointly. It’s the norm and best practice to reach good resolutions and to avoid strikes.

It’s even the norm and best practice in the private sector. Joint bargaining is the way it’s normally done where a union local includes more than one bargaining group. Local companies such as Boeing (Engineers and Tech groups) and Swedish Hospital (Nurses, Custodians, Food Service, Techs) bargain jointly with their union locals that include more than one group. Most companies understand that it is counterproductive to try to divide employees who work together and have made the commitment to be in the same union local. It doesn’t work.

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