SPS-SEA Bargaining Update No. 3
Parents and Community,
The Seattle Public Schools (SPS) and Seattle Education Association (SEA) began negotiations May 20 to achieve a new collective bargaining contract. SEA represents educators, substitutes, paraprofessionals, instructional assistants and office professionals. The current contract with SEA expires August 31.
The educators and staff in our schools are crucial to student success. Due to the importance of our teachers and instructional staff and significance of this agreement to our students, I want to keep you updated on our progress. Previous updates were sent to parents and community on August 10 and 20, 2015.
The School Day-Student Learning Time
The most important aspect in a child’s education is an effective teacher in every classroom.
Our district has amazing educators, and many of our students simply need more time with their teachers. This is a critical element to addressing the opportunity and achievement gap, meeting state mandates and providing adequate college and career readiness.
The district has asked teachers to redistribute time during the day, giving them more flexibility in scheduling. This provides students with more instructional time and gives teacher collaboration time in their work-day, in addition to their individual planning time.
Research shows teacher collaboration time increases the teachers’ professional practice. Teacher effectiveness and instructional time have proved to reduce the achievement gap by as much as a year or more.
More time with great teachers will better the outcomes for all students, and especially those who need it the most. And, SPS has committed to pay for it with a salary increase. Our teachers are doing a great job.
SEA has proposed a salary increase of 21 percent over a three year contract period—in addition to the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) from the state (25.8 percent total over three years).
The district has listened to concerns and has increased the salary compensation proposal to 8.2 percent over the same three year period—in addition to the state COLA (13 percent total over three years).
Providing a 13 percent increase over three years would enable our teachers to be among the highest paid in the state, which they well deserve.
Both sides have met over the last week and teams are continuing to meet over the weekend. I’ll continue to update you on our progress together and post updates on the district website.