Bargaining Update
A tentative agreement reached
Posted on 09/07/2018
September 8, 2018

Members of the Puyallup Education Association and Puyallup School District bargaining teams have reached a tentative agreement.

PEA membership will be meeting this weekend to consider the agreement.

We are hopeful school will begin on Monday, September 10, 2018.

Parents can expect another message no later than 4 p.m. on Sunday to confirm the start of school.

September 7, 2018


Watch for a special communication on Sunday afternoon with an update regarding school on Monday, September 10.


September 6, 2018

Members of the Puyallup Education Association have agreed to a work stoppage beginning September 5, 2018.

For tomorrow, Friday, September 7, all school buildings in Puyallup School District will be closed.

Although negotiations continue, the school district is unable to open schools until teachers agree to return to work.

Bargaining teams for PEA and PSD met all day today with the mutual goal of reaching a tentative agreement.


September 6, 2018


While certificated bargain is still underway, we are now receiving questions from our community about our classified bargained agreements for 2018-19. The district is currently negotiating with PECAAA/coaches. Other classified groups are not in an open bargain and they have already bargained a percentage increase to be applied to their salary schedules for 2018-19. The district is honoring those bargained increases, and has clearly communicated this to each employee group.

The entire state funding method was changed significantly for school districts per ESSB 6362, in the 2018 regular legislative session. Under the new funding method, there was no COLA increase provided by the State for 2018-19.
 
The Puyallup School District respects the bargaining process and has no intention of breaking collective bargaining agreements for any of the employee groups with whom we negotiate.

September 5, 2018

For tomorrow, Thursday September 6, 2018, all school buildings in Puyallup School District will be closed. Although negotiations continue, the school district is unable to open schools until teachers agree to return to work.  Bargaining teams for PEA and PSD met all day with the mutual goal of reaching a tentative agreement.

September 4, 2018

Members of the Puyallup Education Association have agreed to a work stoppage beginning tomorrow, September 5. For this reason, there will be no school Wednesday, September 5, 2018.

All school buildings will be closed.

Bargaining took place with the assistance of a mediator today. Although negotiations continue, the school district is unable to open schools until teachers agree to return to work.

September 3, 2018

There are many details about the Puyallup School District’s bargaining proposals and conversations that have not been shared. However, we feel compelled to respond to the misinformation and rumors that are circling. The limited details we are sharing are solely in an effort to ensure our community is fully informed and to prevent our conversations and proposals with the Puyallup Education Association from being misinterpreted.


The district highly respects all of its employees, and will continue to do all we can to provide fair compensation, while ensuring financial sustainability.
 
The district has and will continue to engage in good faith bargaining. Despite allegations as such, the district has not engaged in regressive bargaining.

The district’s salary proposal on Monday, August 27 provided a salary schedule increase to each teacher and a one-time $1,500 stipend to each teacher (for 2018-19 only) in support of a new learning management system. PEA has continued to fail to understand that the $1,500 cannot be applied to the salary schedule as an ongoing salary commitment. That’s why it was offered as a one time payment.

In an effort to provide a greater increase to the salary schedule, the district repackaged its August 27 offer to provide a greater increase to the salary schedule in ongoing salary commitments. We have been clear that the value of the one-time stipend could not be equal to the additional percentage applied to the salary schedule because it would be more than the district could sustain financially. 
 
Puyallup School District has tried, in a good faith effort, to respond to as many of the Puyallup Education Association's monetary requests as possible.

In early proposals, the district applied the same percentage increase to all cells on the salary schedule. On Thursday, August 30, PEA confirmed it did not expect each cell on the salary schedule to be increased equally, if a higher starting and ending salary amount could be reached. As such, the district created a new schedule, with a range from $53,035 to $105,024.
 
The 2018-19 proposed average annual teacher salary would be $79,866.
The proposed average daily rate for each teacher’s 187 day work year would be $427.08.
The proposed average hourly rate would be $56.94/hour.

September 2, 2018

The district has offered $8.9 million in new ongoing financial commitments for teacher compensation for 2018-19, but that offer has been rejected.


As proposed, the district's 2018-19 average increase to teacher compensation package provides a 6.6 percent raise. With this raise, in four years, the district's ongoing total compensation increase commitment to the Puyallup teacher salary schedule would be 22.7 percent.

Over the past three years, Puyallup teachers have received a 16.1 percent pay raise.
2015-16    4.5 percent raise
2016-17    4.3 percent raise
2017-18    7.3 percent raise

In part, it is the history of providing such competitive salaries which makes it impossible for the district to offer a larger raise similar to other area school districts. The Puyallup School District has been providing competitive salaries, and will continue.

On the current salary schedule, Puyallup teachers begin at $47,062. The schedule tops out at $92,677.

In the district's current proposal, Puyallup teachers would begin at $53,035 and top out at $105,024.

 Additionally, most teachers receive an annual step increase on top of any percentage increase applied to the whole salary schedule.

The average Puyallup teacher salary, without benefits has been as follows:
2015-16: $68,037
2016-17: $70,081
2017-18: $74,770
2018-19 Proposed: $79,866

September 1, 2018

"We believe the proposed salary schedule is very attractive and allows Puyallup to maintain a competitive edge when recruiting teachers," says Superintendent Tim Yeomans. "In addition to the compensation package, teachers work 187 days, have medical benefits, state retirement, and excellent professional development opportunities."

Puyallup continues to grow. Four elementary school building construction projects are evidence of that growth.

"We are grateful to Puyallup residents for their support of new construction. Without it, teachers and students would continue to work in crowded and inadequate learning environments," says Yeomans. "New and remodeled buildings, advanced technology - tools for both teachers and students - all demonstrate a level of respect for the teachers and learners."

The district has invested $2.7M in ongoing staffing related to projected growth and to help lower class size in grades K-3.

Bargaining has resulted in several agreements which include new contract language surrounding the following:
Evaluation of teachers
Staff and student safety
Special Education concerns and compensation
Compensation for athletic certifications
Student intervention supports
Secondary planning time concerns
Student mental health concerns

August 31, 2018

Questions remain. For parents needing answers, we recommend the PSD website. Here are a few frequently asked questions:

Q: How can I find out when school will start?

A: The PSD Communications Department will continue to provide information for staff, parents, and community members to help people understand the issues, the facts, and the timeline for students to return to the classroom. The PSD website is updated regularly with this kind of information. In particular, visitors should look for the posting, "When does school start?"

If their phone number is on record, parents will also receive a phone call from the school district on Tuesday, September 4 with an update regarding the first day of school.

Q: If there is a work stoppage will schools be open?

A: No. If teachers implement a work stoppage they will not be in the school buildings. Other employees will continue their work, but the schools will be closed to the public.

Q: Will teachers get paid if they don't go to work? What about their health benefits?

A: Teachers work a 187-day contract. Their paychecks are spread out over 12 months. The number of school days missed will need to be added back into the school calendar. Teachers received a paycheck on August 31. If a work stoppage continues well into September, the district may choose to adjust payment prior to their September 30 paycheck.

Likewise, the length of the work stoppage will determine when teachers may need to begin covering their own healthcare. Many decisions will be made based on the union's response to any court order.

Q: Court order? Is striking illegal?

A: It is not legal for teachers, or any public employee, to strike. However, state law does not impose any penalty for any work stoppage. According to Rob McKenna, former two-term attorney general for the state of Washington, "No judge has had any penalties to apply directly to the strikers. At the same time, disobeying a court order to go back to work could be contempt of court, and that can have a fine."


photo credit: Alpha Stock Images CC-BY-SA 3.0

Members of the PEA and PSD bargaining teams have met all day today. Unfortunately, there is still no agreement.

Although negotiations continue, the school district is unable to open schools until teachers agree to return to work.

For this reason, the work stoppage will continue tomorrow, Thursday, September 6. All school buildings will be closed.

Members of the PEA and PSD bargaining teams have met all day today. Unfortunately, there is still no agreement.

Although negotiations continue, the school district is unable to open schools until teachers agree to return to work.

For this reason, the work stoppage will continue tomorrow, Thursday, September 6. All school buildings will be closed.

Members of the PEA and PSD bargaining teams have met all day today. Unfortunately, there is still no agreement.

Although negotiations continue, the school district is unable to open schools until teachers agree to return to work.

For this reason, the work stoppage will continue tomorrow, Thursday, September 6. All school buildings will be closed.