Last month, the District and the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association (SVEA) began negotiations on a successor agreement that would replace the current three-year contract between the District and the SVEA, which is set to sunset on August 31, 2016. In an effort to bolster communication, increase transparency, and keep staff and community informed throughout the bargaining process, a special webpage has been established by the District.
The site contains background information pertaining to the bargaining process. The page will also include regular updates in the coming months, so I urge you to revisit this resource from time to time to stay informed on the work of the bargaining team and its progress toward a contract settlement.
The bargaining team, comprised of individuals from the SVEA and the District, has been engaged in training and bargaining preparations since the spring of 2015. They are now moving into the bargaining process itself and will be working to achieve a contract settlement in the coming months. I would like to acknowledge the dedication and commitment of the team members: Lynn Bradwell, Jeff Hogan, Warren Hopkins, Chris Jackson, Freedom Johnson, Tony Manjarrez, Lisa Radmer, Rhonda Schmidt, Ryan Stokes, Ray Wilson, Amy Wright, and Nate Ziemkowski. We appreciate their efforts and thank them for stepping forward to engage in this important work.
For a number of years now, the State Legislature has chosen to ignore the law and its responsibility to amply fund basic education in our state. As a result, school districts are struggling to find solutions at the bargaining table. In our district, the state provides funding for approximately 70% of teacher compensation, and an even lower percentage in most other areas of the District’s operations. Our district, like others across the state, relies upon local levies to bridge this “funding gap”. The lack of adequate funding from the state makes finding substantive solutions when bargaining with employee groups all the more challenging.
The State Legislature is now in session, and once again there has been very little progress made to comply with the order of the State Supreme Court to fund basic education. I urge you to contact your elected officials and firmly compel them to take positive action this session.