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Contract Negotiations Update

(Updated 9/4/13, 9:45 pm)

Negotiations resumed this afternoon, Wednesday, September 4. Today’s mediated session started at 4:30 p.m. and concluded at approximately 8 p.m.

The next bargaining session has been set for Thursday, September 5 at 4 pm.

The District will continue to post updates on its website (www.svsd410.org) and use District E-News to help keep families in our community informed on negotiations.
 
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School Starts Wednesday as Negotiations Continue
(Update as of 9/3/13, 7:09 pm)
 
During their membership meeting tonight, Tuesday, the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association (SVEA) voted to start the school year under the terms of their 2012-13 contract to allow bargaining to continue toward a negotiated agreement.

School will start on time tomorrow, Wednesday, and will operate on a regular schedule while negotiations continue this week.

At this time, negotiations will continue under the direction of the state mediator. The next session is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon and additional sessions will be scheduled as needed.

The district will continue to use the district website (www.svsd410.org) and its District E-News notification system to keep families and our community updated on negotiations and aware of any possible impacts to the school schedule.
 
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Contract Negotiations Update
Teachers to vote Tuesday on next steps...
 
(update as of 9/2/13, 5:30 pm)
 
As bargaining discussions continue between the district and the SVEA teachers’ union, we will keep our community updated using the district website (www.svsd410.org) as well as messages sent via email using our District E-News notification system.
 
While several tentative agreements had been reached between the bargaining teams over the summer, two key issues related to class size and compensation remain. Both teams are working hard to resolve these issues.
 
At the negotiations session Friday, August 30, the district’s bargaining team presented a new proposal that addresses those two issues. This proposal increases the district’s compensation offer to include a 1% raise in 2013-14, another 1% increase in year two, and an additional 2% increase in year three. The district also proposed specific contract language that sets targets for elementary class sizes, and provides additional compensation for any teacher whose class size exceeds those numbers.
 
The district offered to meet during this holiday weekend and all day Tuesday, in order to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. The next SVEA/District bargaining session has been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, September 4.
 
The SVEA team has informed the district that it plans to meet with its membership on Tuesday, September 3, at 4:30 pm to determine their next steps.
 
The district will provide an update Tuesday evening, as soon as possible following the SVEA membership meeting, to inform families about the teachers’ decisions. In addition to the communication resources referenced above, we will also send out a recorded voice message Tuesday evening to parents who have provided the district with their phone numbers.
 
The members of both bargaining teams are passionate about doing what’s best for our students and schools. We remain hopeful that together, they will be able to resolve the outstanding issues and get the school year off to a great start.
 
At the same time, we recognize that this time of uncertainty may be unnerving for all who care about our schools --- families, students, staff, administrators, board members, and community members alike. Thank you for your support and patience as the teams continue this important work.
 
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Contract Negotiations Update
Mediation Continues...
 
(Update posted 8/30/13, 10:30 pm)
 
Bargaining teams representing the District and the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association (SVEA) met in extended sessions on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday this week. These sessions have been mediated with assistance from the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission. Both teams are working hard and share a common interest in achieving a contract settlement. While an agreement has not yet been achieved, we appreciate the commitment and experience of those serving on both bargaining teams and believe the group will be able to achieve a settlement soon.

Our District is fortunate to have excellent schools, outstanding teachers and staff, supportive parents, and most importantly, amazing students -- for whom we are all working to provide the best education we can possibly deliver. We respect our teachers and appreciate that they are key to the effectiveness of our schools and student learning.

Thanks for your patience as we work with the union toward an agreement that is financially sustainable, preserves quality programming and opportunities for students, and addresses priorities expressed by the teachers.

The District will continue to provide updates via the district website and E-News, as more information becomes available.
 
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Update on Contract Negotiations
 Teachers vote "no" on district proposal; Bargaining talks continue with mediation assistance...
 
(Updated 8/29/13, 11:09 am)
 
During a late night session on Monday, bargaining teams from the district and the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association (SVEA) reached a verbal agreement on a three year contract, which was presented to teachers on Tuesday morning. The agreement— which would provide an increase in compensation for teachers of $1.7 million over three years— was rejected by the teachers.
 
Bargaining teams for the District and the SVEA resumed negotiations on Wednesday afternoon with mediation assistance from the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission. The teams have scheduled a full day session for Thursday.
 
The District remains optimistic that a contract agreement will be achieved before the start of school next Wednesday, September 4.
 
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Contract Negotiations Update
Collective Bargaining work continues with three union proposals...
 
(Update as of 6/21/13)
 
 Since early May, collective bargaining teams from our District and the three union groups that represent our school employees have concluded 14 negotiation sessions (usually involving meetings of 4-6 hours). The purpose of the bargaining process with each of the groups is to renew contract agreements that are set to expire on August 31, 2013.

Here is a brief update, as of June 21, on the status of each of the three bargaining efforts:

SVEA: The Snoqualmie Valley Education Association (SVEA) represents certificated employees such as teachers, counselors, librarians, psychologists, occupational therapy specialists, speech language pathologists, and school nurses. The District/SVEA bargaining teams met on May 9, 14, 15, 22 and 30; and June 17 and 20. Collaboration between the two sides has been productive; already the teams have reached 14 tentative agreements with several more in the works.
  • Next steps: At the conclusion of yesterday’s meeting, the teams agreed to reconvene on August 7, and slated additional meeting dates for August 12, 16 and 23, if needed. While the SVEA team is not available to meet in July, the District will use this time to prepare a comprehensive response to the initial SVEA financial proposal that was presented this week. It is hoped, too, that the Washington State Legislature will finalize the state budget in July, the outcome of which is vital to understanding the financial options that may be available.
SVASA: The Snoqualmie Valley Administrative Secretaries Association (SVASA) represents school secretaries and receptionists. District/SVASA teams met on May 6 and 23, and June 12. These teams have also collaborated on, and agreed upon, a number of non-financial issues to date.
  • Next steps: The next District/SVASA bargaining session is planned for August 5. They too look forward to the State’s budget resolution to be able to address items with financial implications.
PSE: The Public School Employees (PSE) of Snoqualmie Valley represents classified employees including bus drivers and mechanics; food service employees; custodians; maintenance, grounds and warehouse employees; instructional assistants; computer technicians; registered nurses; certified therapy assistants; speech language pathologist assistants; and career specialists. District/PSE teams met on May 13 and 22, June 5 and 13. At this point, both teams have exchanged proposals and they’ve been focusing discussions on non-financial topics, pending the state budget outcome.
  • Next steps: Their next bargaining session is scheduled for June 27. Both teams are available to continue discussions in July and have sessions planned for July 18 and 30.
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Contract Negotiations Have Begun with 3 Employee Unions
District and 3 Union groups are talking this spring...
 
(Update as of 5/31/13)
 
Discussions with the three union groups that represent school employees in our district were initiated earlier this spring. The contracts with each of the groups are set to expire on August 31, 2013.

Among the union groups, the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association (SVEA) represents certificated employees such as teachers, counselors, librarians, psychologists, occupational therapy specialists, speech language pathologists, and school nurses. The Public School Employees (PSE) of Snoqualmie Valley represents classified employees including bus drivers and mechanics; food service employees; custodians; maintenance, grounds and warehouse employees; instructional assistants; computer technicians; registered nurses; certified therapy assistants; speech language pathologist assistants; and career specialists. The Snoqualmie Valley Administrative Secretaries Association (SVASA) represents school secretaries and receptionists.

This spring, negotiating teams from the District and each of the unions have met several times as the contract negotiation process gets underway. Here are the meetings that have already taken place with the negotiating teams:
• District/SVEA teams met on May 9, 14, 15, 22 and 30;
• District/PSE teams met on May 13 and 22;
• District/SVASA teams met on May 6 and 23.

Looking ahead, additional meetings are planned for the month of June as follows:
• District/SVEA teams are scheduled for June 17 and 20;
• District/PSE teams are scheduled for June 5, 13 and 27;
• District/ SVASA teams are scheduled for June 12.

In the weeks to come, the District is committed to working together with union leadership toward contract settlements that will address the interests of school employees, sustain the financial health of the District, and most importantly, serve the interests of our Snoqualmie Valley students.