PORT ANGELS — The Port Angeles School District and the Port Angeles Education Association will take a day off Sunday after Saturday’s 12-hour negotiating session and plan to resume talks at 9 a.m. today
The goal is to reach a tentative agreement on a new contract to avert the threat of a strike by unions starting Tuesday.
Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) mediators began working with the district and the Port Angeles Education Association (PAEA) on Friday to help reach a resolution. Districts and unions continue to meet in the Lincoln Center Administration Building, but are now working in separate rooms and video conferencing with PERC mediators.
The district filed a request for arbitration with the PERC on Thursday after the two sides failed to agree on the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
According to the district’s website, the two have met 20 times (except Saturdays) since March without resolving their disputes.
On Sunday morning, the school district posted on its website three proposals from Saturday’s negotiation session.
“We believe the community needs to be aware of both sides of these proposals,” said District Public Affairs spokesperson Carmen Geyer.
PAEA President John Henry said he had a verbal agreement with Superintendent Marty Brewer not to release the proposal, but Brewer called him Saturday night to confirm that the information would be released the next day. I informed you.
The district outlined its proposals for salaries, class sizes and other issues on Saturday, along with suggestions from unions, all of which are subject to change as negotiations continue.
Henry said reading the proposal doesn’t always give you a complete understanding of the ongoing process.
“Some parts were agreed, some parts weren’t. So when you make a proposal, it’s hard to interpret because you don’t have the context of the conversation at the table,” Henry said.
Like most Washington school districts, Port Angeles negotiates collective bargaining agreements with teachers behind closed doors. To create a more transparent process, the Pullman School Board voted to make her contract negotiations public in 2017. This “ensures that all staff and communities are working towards a positive and collaborative negotiation process.”
The district also posted on its website the current average class size, based on a database of class and attendance records, which is below the CBA cap that expired on August 31. The reduction in class size is , is one of the issues the union is putting pressure on the district.
“Average can be very difficult,” Henry said. “In high school, I think they posted 18[students]of him. I would say that misrepresents the size of a normal classroom in high school.”
The Port Angeles School District, like many schools across the state, has supported unions such as the PAEA (and the Port Angeles Para-Educator Association) for the 5.5% cost-of-living increase that the Legislature has allocated funding for K-12 educators. have negotiated with
Each district’s quota is based on the average salary of teachers statewide. This calculation works against her PASD, which has experienced and long-serving teachers earning higher than state average salaries.
According to PAED, to achieve a flat 5.5% raise, you would need to calculate the difference between what the state allocated ($622,343) and how much it actually cost to provide the raise ($1,163,035). $540,962.
Henry said other districts face the same challenge of how to fund a 5.5% raise, but he could not be specific about how to close the $500,000 gap. refused.
“Every other district is coming up with the same solutions to the same problems, and I believe we can find solutions too,” Henry said.
The PAEA said it would go on strike on Tuesday if the two sides were unable to reach a tentative agreement ratified by member states today.
The school district said it will notify families by 5 p.m. today if schools will reopen on Tuesday.
Visit https://tinyurl.com/2s3e664s to see the full update.
Reporter Paula Hunt’s contact information is: [email protected]