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    Summary of Seattle Public Schools/Seattle Education Association Tentative Agreement
    Posted on 10/06/2015

    The Seattle School Board will vote whether to approve the 2015-18 Collective Bargaining Agreements between Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Education Association, at the regularly scheduled board meeting next Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.

    Board action is necessary because state law requires that the School Board fix salaries for all district employees and approve benefit and leave policies. (RCW 28A.400.200; RCW 28A.400.300). In addition, Board Policy No. 5020 Collective Bargaining, requires that collective bargaining agreements be approved by the School Board.

    The 2013-2015 collective bargaining agreement(s) between the district and the SEA certificated, paraprofessional, and Seattle Association of Education Office Personnel (SAEOP) bargaining units expired on August 31, 2015.

    The parties have been in negotiations for all three contracts since May 20, 2015. On September 15, 2015, the district and the SEA reached a tentative agreement on each of the three contracts. The term of each agreement is three years, all expiring August 31, 2018. The agreements were voted on and ratified by the union’s membership on Sunday, September 20, 2015.

    These agreements are being brought to the Board for approval as required by statute and Board policy. A summary of the tentative agreement is below.


    1. Compensation
    Certificated non-supervisory employees, Paraprofessionals, and SAEOP bargaining unit members will receive a 9.5% base salary increase (3% in first year, 2% in second year, 4.5% in third year) + a 4.8% increase [3%(1.8% State-funded COLA + 1.2% State-funded one-biennium salary increase) 2015; 1.8% (1.2% State-funded COLA + 0.6% one-biennium salary increase) 2016].

    2. Equity
    Partnership Committee to include SEA, SPS and Community members oversee equity teams focused on disproportionate discipline.

    3. Instructional Day
    Student instructional day (K-12) will increase by 20 minutes in 2017-2018; teacher day remains 7.5 hours. Interest-based bargaining over implementation and impact of change to take place in 2016. There will be a 24 credit reopener in 2016, after the district’s 24 credit taskforce issues its recommendations—to bargain over the impact of the change.

    4. Recess
    All students in K-5 will receive 30 minutes of recess during the school day. Contract clarifies that certificated non-supervisory employees may be required to provide some recess supervision. Schools with underprivileged populations, who have not been able to pay for additional staff to supervise recess, now may have the same amount of recess as schools with more affluent student bodies.

    5. District Determined Student Growth Ratings
    Eliminated for the term of this agreement, but will be applicable in 2018-2019 and beyond if the parties fail to reach agreement on the Peer Assistance and Review Program.

    6. K-8 Schedule Alignment
    K- 8 and Elementary schedules will all be aligned by 2017, another first for the district.

    7. Peer Assistance and Review
    SEA and SPS will collaboratively develop (vis a vis interest-based bargaining) and implement a Peer Assistance and Review Program aimed at elevating and supporting teacher practice for certificated non-supervisory employees.

    8. Calendar
    Predictable school year calendar for the first time, based on a formula written into the agreement; School starts first Wednesday of September each year, regardless of when Labor Day falls.

    9. Assessment
    Joint SEA and SPS Assessment Committee to review and make recommendations to the Superintendent regarding impact of testing and solutions to creating a balanced assessment calendar.

    10. Special Education
    a. Special Education Ratios

    1. Preschool ratios lowered to 10:1:2 (student: teacher: Instructional Assistant);
    2. Distinct ratios are at 7:1:2—but with overage pay at 1 over;
    3. Secondary Access ratios are now 13:1:3

    b. Instruction Assistant (“IA”) Assignment—Special Education instructional assistants will, for the first time, be assigned to a principle classroom, with the ability of the building to utilize them in other classrooms where a given IA lacks work in the primary assignment.

    11. ESA
    Caseload limits have been established in the certificated non-supervisory agreement. Physical Therapists at 35:1 (staff: student) for the life of the Agreement; Occupational Therapists at 40:1 (2015-2016) and 36 by 2016-2017; Speech Language Pathologists at 1:49 (2015-2016) school year, and 1:47 in 2016-2017; Psychologists are 1:1050; Audiologists are at 1:15,000.

    No ratio change for 2017-18 in any occupation listed above Union had sought 1:31 rations for OT, PT and SLP.

    12. CTE Advisors
    New stipends for CTE Advisors who lead OSPI and SPS Leadership Programs (3 per building).

    13. Career Ladder
    New Career Ladder position: Content Demonstration Teacher (Mathematics, Science, P.E. Arts etc.).

    14. Peer Mentor Program for Paraprofessionals and SAEOP
    Peer mentoring support for those paraprofessionals or office staff who are struggling.

    15. Contract Term
    The three agreements each have a term of 3 years; each expires August 31, 2018.