Correction: SESPA and School District continue talks

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It has been brought to my attention that the previous article on the SESPA union and Shoreline School District contained errors. This story has updated information. -Ed.

After a brief, initial meeting with the state mediator on August 4 to establish the ground rules, SESPA and the Shoreline School District held mediated bargaining sessions on August 16, 20, and on the 21, which went into the early morning hours of the 22.

In a mediated session, the parties sit in different rooms and talk to the mediator, who carries the information back and forth.

The SESPA team asked for another bargaining session as soon as possible but the assigned state mediator indicated she was unavailable until September 10. This would be two weeks after school started, meaning that the union members would start the year without a contract.

SESPA requested of the Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) that the mediator who had been working with both bargaining teams be replaced.

Talks between the District and SESPA will begin again on Friday, August 27 with a new mediator assigned by PERC.

SESPA, under the leadership of Presidents Barb Cruz and Rose Ann McLaughlin, held a rally on Monday, August 23 at 4:30 pm at the Shoreline Center with over a hundred members attending.

At this point, both parties are still willing to sit down and negotiate, but neither has wavered in their position.

SESPA, the Shoreline Education Support Professionals Association, is a division of the WEA, Washington Education Association, the state teachers' union. SESPA members hold many support jobs in the schools, such as library techs, crossing guards, nurses, security monitors, and behavior techs.


Anonymous,  August 26, 2010 at 9:56 AM  

It seems the listing of SESPA jobs include many vital tasks-that if not filled would require teachers to be taken away from their job.
I have read that the administration in the district was able to 'find' monies for their raises. I would like to know which of these jobs they feel aren't an essential part of a well run school.
To continue to cut hours, not fill or fail to pay these employees properly does more harm to the education of the children than retaining any administrator. Its time to check priorities.

Anonymous,  August 26, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

It seems like every year now the school district does this, five years ago they did have a budget crisis, but now they are stuffing their reserves and for the past few years they have been giving the administrators raises.

Class size keeps going up, class room staff keeps going down, it isn't easy to believe the Superintendent's office anymore, especially after they closed schools and this is an annual torture now.

Julie Houff,  August 26, 2010 at 2:51 PM  

It is simply unconscionable for anyone who leads/administrates (bosses others around and makes decisions) at a much higher income rate to take ANY pay increase/benefits while taking away HUGE percentages of pay-or pay that was used to pay basic living expenses-of those they lead. 8K or 10K is a lot of money for lower paid folks who work very hard for their money. It is petty cash to those making near 100K. Come on!!!

I'm not a teacher-thank God I'm not with this lame kind of leadership going on-but I just got off of the phone with a retired Seattle teacher who agreed 100% with my comments.

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