2018 Re-opener Discussions

  • This is the second year of the three-year SVEA contract that is effective through August 31, 2019.  Bargaining discussions in spring (2018) have been focused on a single re-opener in the contract that focuses on a review of compensation in comparison to neighboring districts in an effort to remain competitive.

    SVEA Bargaining Team:

    The 2018 SVEA Bargaining Team is comprised of (in alphabetical order):

    • Lynn Bradwell, CKMS Teacher
    • Jeff Hogan, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning
    • Chris Jackson, MSHS Teacher
    • Amy Jones, Instructional Coach
    • Tony Manjarrez, CKMS Teacher
    • Michael Ruiz, UniServ Representative
    • Dan Schlotfeldt, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning
    • Rhonda Schmidt, Two Rivers Principal
    • Ryan Stokes, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations
    • Amy Wright, TRES Principal
    • Nate Ziemkowski, SES Teacher and SVEA President

    Schedule of Meetings:

    • August 14 (1 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
    • June 29 (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
    • June 8 (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
    • June 1 (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
    • March 15, 2018 (4 – 6 p.m.)

    Bargaining Team Group Norms:

    Participants (typically 6 members on each team):

    • Each team leader decides if sufficient team members are present to meet and make decisions.
    • Experts invited as guests as agreed upon and on the agenda.
    • No alternates.


    • Begin and end meetings on time.
    • Nate and Jeff determine meeting location.
    • Coordinate food if meetings are during meal times and eat together.
    • A draft agenda for the next meeting will be determined at the end of each meeting and made available to each team ahead of time.

    Key Dates:

    • Establish meeting dates ahead of time.
    • Establish comparables and conduct joint compensation analysis prior to start of bargaining.
    • Non-monetary issues to be discussed at the first bargaining meeting.
    • Establish benchmark dates- attempt to bring all issues to the table by March 31st unless agreed upon through decision making process.

    Decision Making:

    • Decisions made by using the “thumbs” consensus model.
    • Thumbs sideways or down given the opportunity to explain their reservations.
    • 75% of thumbs up needed to approve a decision.


    • Any agreed upon joint communications will list all bargaining team members. Intent is to provide regular update.
    • A summary of each meeting is generated that includes: Attendees, length of meeting, decisions made, topics discussed, responsibilities for the next meeting and future dates.
    • Summary to be e-mailed to bargaining team prior to the next meeting and reviewed at the beginning of each meeting and corrections made as needed.
    • Responsibility for meeting summaries rotated between groups.
    • When communicating with external constituents, team refrains from inflammatory remarks/statements that might negatively impact future bargaining sessions.
    • Respect/protect identity of individual team member's opinions.
    • After a tentative agreement is made, draft language should be presented at the next bargaining meeting. Prior to ratification contract language should be finalized.


    • Commit to looking at issues with an open mind.
    • Parties will be open and honest with each other and if there is disagreement, share at that time.
    • Avoid caucuses at the beginning of meetings, come prepared.
    • Be present and engaged during meetings.
    • Avoid "Us" vs. "Them".
    • Avoid using mobile devices during discussions.
    • Demonstrate respect by listening when others are speaking, not interrupting and not engaging in side conversations.
    • Process checks and timeouts can be called by anyone.


    • Group Norms can be modified if necessary.
    • Pre-determined observers (example: a School Board member) may sit in on meetings.
    • When a decision has been made the actual contract language will be jointly drafted by bargaining team or a sub-committee.
    • Try to avoid gaps larger than two weeks between bargaining sessions.
    • Attempt to prioritize important issues so that there is adequate time to work on a solution.
    • Try to schedule meetings in blocks of time, i.e. an afternoon/evening meeting followed by a full-day meeting.
    • If the process breaks down, the parties may agree to return to the “traditional” bargaining model.