Submit your questions using the form at the top of this page.
Q. As a tax payer, we deserve the right to know where our funds are being allocated. EPS has been very transparent about this. The EEA has not. Would it be possible to post proposals and counter proposals in sequential order after this is all said and done? I've heard reports that some teachers are more than happy to have accepted offers last week, but their hands are tied because of their affiliation with the union.It seems like the EEA is on their own island and not all teachers are with them.
A. Any proposal or response to an EEA proposal that the district makes will be public record after the negotiations process is completed. The EEA, since it is not a public entity, is not under the same requirement of the Open Public Records law.
Q. Why is the pay scale structured with "base" salary and "supplemental" contracts, and do all teachers have supplemental contracts? It appears the supplemental contracts are 15%-20% of total compensation. Why is there not just a single contract for salary?
A. This article does a good job of explaining the origins and uses of these "supplemental" contracts, known as TRI. Here is a quotation from the article that defines and summarizes some of it:
TRI — which stands for additional time, responsibility and incentive — is a big chunk of local money originally intended to pay teachers for extras such as serving as a high school department chair or staying after school to tutor struggling students. Over the years, TRI has grown into a way to boost pay for teachers. It’s fueled by districts wanting to offer more attractive salaries and by the state, which gave districts that power and avoided having to fund teacher raises out of its own coffers.
The McCleary decision, and subsequent funding formula change, forces districts to greatly reduce, eventually document and in some cases eliminate TRI supplemental contracts. (There are other supplemental contracts for certain defined curricular and extracurricular duties as well, but those are a separate negotiated agreement). The contract agreed to two years ago would have provided an approximately 28% TRI supplement; the EEA proposed reducing this to 10.8% to help comply with the new laws - while of course increasing base salaries. The District has based subsequent proposals on that EEA proposed percentage.
Q. Why are you using averages? Are you telling me you get over 69,000 for all 1800 educators. That’s also means you are making lots of McCleary because young teacher get way less then 69,000$. Even with the district new proposal you would be making more off young teachers. I don’t think you get a 69,000$ average for each teacher. So why are you using averages here? It does not work or make sense.
A. With the new funding formula, we no longer receive funding for each teacher based on their experience and education. Rather, we receive a set amount per FTE (Full Time Equivalent) teacher: $69,131.
Averages are used to show actual projected costs for a district. It is correct that any teacher who would make less than our allocation teacher is "making money" for the district. However, we have a very experienced staff, so we have more teachers who will cost us more than our the allocation because they will make more than the allocated amount.
In addition, as has been stated, in order to make the (most recent) offer, the district will use ALL allocated "McCleary" funds for teachers, and add an average of $11,566 per teacher - some more, and some less.
Q. I heard that the proposed teacher salaries include cutting dozens of teachers and adding additional required work days for teachers to earn that salary? Is this true? The cute graphic on the EPS website says 185 work days, but how many was it last year?
A. The proposal from the district changes the middle school schedule beginning in 2019-20 to a six period day from the current "flex" schedule. According to the proposal, any change in staffing at that time would be handled through attrition; no current employees would lose their jobs with EPS. In the previous contract year, there were 4 paid professional development days, so an increase of 1 is proposed (based on an additional day provided by the state) for 2018-19.
Q. Explain "•A change, starting in the 2019-20 school year, in the middle school schedule back to a more traditional model of a 6 period day. This will match our neighboring districts, but will still have lower student numbers for our teachers."How will this effect middle school students? Will this result in less middle school teachers or increased class sizes?
A. Based on the proposal by the district, starting in 2019-20 school year, EPS middle school students will have a 6-period day. This will shift the Core teachers (math, science, and humanities) to the same schedule and class sizes that the elective teachers presently teach. Students will still receive the same curriculum content, though the school day and courses will be structured differently than the current "flex" schedule. Class sizes will not be affected.
Q. I have seen in several news sources that if district use levy dollars to fund these increases then they will have to return half of the state money that was given to the district from the judgement. Any truth to that statement?
A. This question understandably confuses two issues. Yes, the district has to use local levy funds in order to offer anything above the state allocation. Yes, our local levy capacity is being cut in half. However, we will not need to "return" any money (state or local); the offers from the district have been carefully considered for their sustainability.
Q. The September 3rd post only has the salary schedule. What other changes are being proposed? Any changes that would affect class sizes?
A. In addition to the proposed salary schedule that was published, there are two other proposed changes:
- One additional professional development (PD) day to bring a total of 5. This is reduced from the last proposal of 7 total days.
- A change, starting in the 2019-20 school year, in the middle school schedule back to a more traditional model of a 6 period day. This will match our neighboring districts, but will still have lower student numbers for our teachers.
Q. How does responsibility pay differ from TRI pay?
A. In this FAQ, "TRI" (Time Responsibility Incentive) and "responsibility stipend" are essentially interchangeable; we were attempting to help people not familiar with "TRI" to understand its meaning. However, starting in 2019-20, all Washington school districts will need to report to the state, proving that what is provided in any TRI or responsibility stipend time/responsibility beyond basic education duties as (yet) defined by the state.
Q. To clarify the many rumors flying around, I'd like to know which meetings was Superintendent Steach personally at during negotiations? Who has bargaining power for the District? Is it just Superintendent Steach? Is the decrease in the Levy, as proposed, imposed by state law? Or is that just what the District plans to do?
A. Dr. Steach is not part of the district's bargaining team "at the table." This is common practice in medium to large districts across the state and the nation. That does not mean that he is not involved. The superintendent plays a key role in communicating and problem-solving with both the district negotiations team and with the school board, which the negotiations team ultimately represents. It is up to the administration and board to determine what the district can ultimately offer. The decrease in the local levy is indeed mandated by the new state law, a result of the McCleary lawsuit.
Q. I’ve read that teacher contracts are for 187 “work days.” Are those “work days” before or after they take their “personal” days and sick days? How many “personal” days and sick days do they receive? If they want to be paid equal to those who work for corporations, maybe they should work a full year, have limited vacations and lose their “personal” days.
A. The number of work days are the number of contracted days that teachers are either with students or doing other district / school related work, such as professional development. During those work days, they earn 12 days per year for sick leave, and four days of personal leave. Details of teacher leave can be found starting on page 57 of the EEA Collective Bargaining Agreement also found in the "Salary & Bargaining" section of this page.
Q. Now that a school district has settled at 22.80 % we all know that teacher in evergreen and vsncouver etc. is not going to settle for less so why not just give them what they we so we can all go back to work because no one is winning in this and classified has nothing to win we have everything to loose and the kids are loosing also so why cant the district just give them what the teachers deserves.
A. The example given may be comparing apples to oranges. A 22.8% increase to base salaries from a district may include a lot of things that are not visible on the surface such as:
- Eliminating or reducing TRI (responsibility) stipends, as required by the new law (EPS has had one of the highest TRI stipends in the state)
- Increasing the number of days in the contract
That district could also be using more funding received from:
- A different/higher regionalization factor and/or (EPS has only 6% above the baseline, while some receive 12%, 18% or 24% above the baseline)
- Now being funded for more than they used to be for each teacher (EPS was already paying above state allocations/above the state average)
These are just a few reasons why comparing one district's settlement to another's is difficult. The negotiations teams continue to bargain given the resources available to EPS.
Q. Will teachers continue to receive full TRI Pay benefits, on top of posted salaries?
A. The most recent offer from the district still includes TRI pay and can be seen in the proposed salary schedules which have been published. New state law has mandated decreasing TRI pay, so the percentage has gone down to 10.8%, in alignment with the initial EEA proposal. However, base salaries have gone up significantly, so the total compensation offered (base plus TRI) is now around 10% more on average than total compensation last year.
Q. If you a trying hard to get a resolution why aren't you showing up to the bargaining table? Why is there a dramatic increase in principals? instead of teachers? Why are you replacing perfectly good school signs? All questions about where the money is going.
A. The district's negotiating team has been present and available at the same times as EEA's throughout this process. The district's team has never missed a scheduled meeting, left one early, or not made themselves available. Yes, some assistant principal positions were added at the elementary level due greatly to the size of some of our schools, and also based on the needs of the populations. EEA leadership was aware of this decision. In addition, we have added many teachers, most prevelant at K-3 where as we have decreased class size. School signs were part of a capital project effort to create uniformity and equity started months ago; this is funded through a different budget.
Q. How long before this strike alters graduation dates?
A. The district recognizes the great challenges that would be posed by changing graduation dates and will do everything possible to provide the required days and hours for our seniors without changing the dates that are currently published. That said, until we know the total length of the strike, we cannot make any final determinations of these dates.
Q. Do teachers have a contract at the moment? If so, does it allow them to strike?
A. Though there is an agreement that was signed two years ago, many things have happened since. Please refer to the beginning of the "Updates" timeline. According to the district agreement with the Evergreen Education Association (EEA), either side may submit a "request to bargain" with the other side. On May 15, the EEA submitted a letter requesting this. The district's response from May 24 shows that the district's legal counsel advised that there were two issues that had to be bargained: when to schedule the one additional professional development day provided by the state and if/how to implement the inflationary increase that the state provided. Since then, the lack of clarity from the state / legislature has brought to question whether salaries needed to be renegotiated due to the change in law and funding formulas.The question of whether teachers have a right to strike is complex. This recent article from The Columbian outlines the issue well: https://www.columbian.com/news/2018/aug/23/are-teacher-strikes-illegal-depends-on-who-you-ask. Evergreen will continue to consider all of its options to get our school year up and running.
Q. So I have a question, if my child who is a senior can't go to school then why are kids allowed to play sports? Plus coaches are teachers so wouldn't that mean they crossed the picket line?
A. The coaching (extracurricular) contract is a separate contract from the teaching contract. It is true that some coaches are teachers, too (again, they have two different contracts). Yes, those coach-teachers do have to choose to "cross the picket line."
Q. Two questions: 1. What is the School District's total available Reserve and how does that impact the potential flexibility of teacher funding? 2. With the increases proposed by the School District, can you publish the impact per lane on the compensation schedules?
A. 1. Evergreen's fund balance is approximately 7.5%, which is near the minimum amount allowable by Board Policy. Those reserves are there for cash flow purposes (for example, allowing us to make payroll monthly, be prepared for an emergency and/or temporary government shut down for a month). This "reserve" is not a renewable, so therefore using it to supplement teacher salaries would create salary schedules that are not sustainable.
2. The current salary schedule is published under "Salary & Bargaining" in the Updates section of the Labor Relations page. The latest published salary proposals are also under "Updates" under the August 14, 2018 date.
Q. I have been a teacher for many years. In fact, I used to be a teacher in the Evergreen district for a long time, and my father before me. I remember every single year that we as teachers were told during our bargaining years that there would be no raises, not even what should be the standard cost of living raise. I can only recall once in 16 years receiving a cost of living increase. Whenever this happened, we never went on strike, we didn't complain, we just kept teaching because we understood that the money just wasn't there. During those years however, were were asked by district admin for our endless and diehard support getting levies and bonds passed, and we always helped without complaining. Now, the time has finally come to make it right by the teachers, and we all know the money is there, and why it is there, but yet you have decided that the group of people who has most had your back for all these years is not worth bargaining in good faith and spreading misinformation about funding and our demands. I guess my question is why? If the money is there, which we all know it is, why would you bite the hand that feeds you? This has caused harm that may not be repaired for a long time.
A. Over the last two years, teaches have received both Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) and an increase in Time Responsibility Incentive (TRI - note: without adding any time or responsibilities), amounting to an average of more than 6% each year. This year's offer, now at approximately 8%, also addresses inflation (like COLA) and additional TRI pay. That approximate 20% increase in pay/offer over three years is in good faith and indeed gives teachers "the money [that is] there." All new state funds that have been allocated for teacher salaries are going to teacher salaries - and are being supplemented as much as we can by local levy funds, as depicted in the graphic on this Labor Relations page and referred to in other Q&A on this FAQ.
Q. In this document the total additional McCleary funds are stated to be $17,394,058: http://www.evergreenps.org/Portals/0/Docs/NetDistrictFundingChange.pdf. Information I have found from other sources has that number closer to $22.1 million dollars and others at $35 million. How did you calculate the $17,394,058 when all other numbers seem to be much higher?
A. The approximately $17.4M amount refers to the increase from the state specifically for Basic Education and Special Education teacher salaries. Also note that the district will be losing funds used to supplement teacher salaries by approximately $12.4M because of the reduced local levy (a net increase of approximately $5M per year). The other amounts include "categorical" funds, which are allocated to be spent specifically on items outside of teacher salaries.
Q. I saw the letter posted to the website showing the proposed funding and impact to budgets. What I don't understand is why Vancouver and Evergreen are being forced to reduce local levy by $1.52 & $1.71, respectively, while Lake WA only is reducing $0.21 cents? If voters agreed to pay that local levy amount the state should back off and let the levy rate stand.
A. The McCleary lawsuit forced the state legislature to fund public education fully, and therefore more equitably. While the new law provided more money from the state to all districts, it also forced all districts to reduce local levies to $1.50 per $1000 of assessed value or $2500 per student, whichever is less. This affected different districts' levies (and income) differently, hence the differences between Vancouver, Evergreen and Lake Washington (and all other districts).
Q. While I fully support teachers, my understanding is that they have a signed agreement through the 2018-2019 school year. Why are they allowed to go back on that agreement and renegotiate?
A. Though there is an agreement that was signed two years ago, many things have happened since. Please refer to the beginning of the "Updates" timeline. According to the district agreement with the Evergreen Education Association (EEA), either side may submit a "request to bargain" with the other side. On May 15, the EEA submitted a letter requesting this. The district's response from May 24 shows that the district's legal counsel advised that there were two issues that had to be bargained: when to schedule the one additional professional development day provided by the state and if/how to implement the inflationary increase that the state provided. Since then, the lack of clarity from the state / legislature has brought to question whether salaries needed to be renegotiated due to the change in law and funding formulas.
Q. Is there a limit to how many days would be added at the end of the school year? Will this effect the graduation dates?
A. State law dictates that students need 180 school days (unless a waiver is granted, usually for natural disasters, for example). Once the strike has ended, the dates for make-up will be agreed to by the district and Evergreen Education Association. All options will be considered to make up the time; there is no limit to adding on at the end of the year, but that is not the only option.
Q. If there is a work stoppage would the teachers still receive the increased pay offered by the district?
A. Salary amounts for teachers will not be determined until after a contract is agreed to and ratified by both the Evergreen Education Association and the district.
Q. Have all of the McCleary funds been distributed to the teachers in the initial negotiations? If not, why? If yes, what are they asking for? Seems to me if they are asking for surplus monies, that they won’t be available in future years.
A. Yes, all "McCleary funds" - or newly allocated state funds for teacher salaries - are part of the current offer to teachers. The district will receive $69,129 for every teacher, no matter their experience. With the current offer, on average, the district is supplementing that with an extra $10,264. While we received more money for teacher salaries from the state for this year, our local levy, which provides us with the ability to pay more than the state average, is being cut by over $13 million this coming year, and over $24 million (an additional $11 million decrease) the following year.
Q. If salaries start at 50k but you’ll receive 69k from the state per reach, what happens to the difference? Also, of that 8% raise you offered them, what percentage of that is from their raise already negotiated in the previous bargaining agreement. That is a more accurate percentage of what is actually being offered with this money.
A. As the graphic at the top of this Labor Relations page shows, the average salary is over $79K. That means that on average the district is supplementing teacher salaries by over $10K. What happens to the "difference" for teachers making less than $69K is that people who are making more than the average are earning that money. The state is funding us a set amount ($69,129) no matter the teacher's experience. The third year of the contract (which is supposed to be in effect for this upcoming school year) that was agreed to and ratified two years ago called for a 5% increase on TRI. Though the money wasn't there yet, the district agreed to that increase at the time assuming the legislature would settle the McCleary lawsuit, so the agreement essentially "fronted" that 5% with the calculated risk that it would be there.
Q. If all the State money has been allocated to teacher salaries, plus additional funds from a prior levy, then what is that teacher's want? I get the feeling that everyone is seeing the State money as an "extra" windfall, when that should be the primary source of funding, and all other sources should fall away, since you are basically double-taxing the taxpayers.
A. The EEA negotiations team is asking for more than the approximately 8% increase currently on the table from the district negotiations team. The new State funding indeed is the primary source of funding teacher salaries ($69,129 per teacher). The additional funding from the district ($10,264 on average) is from the reduced local levy. To avoid the "double taxing" that is mentioned, the new law reduces the amount our district can collect on the local levy. That was the purpose of the McCleary lawsuit and subsequent legislation/funding: To reduce the burden on local taxpayers, putting more responsibility on the state to fund education.
Q. When is school going to start? You people had all summer to deal with this! Why not just hire substitute teachers? I just want to start school and not be in school for an extra month in the summer because of this.
A. This is a frustrating process for everyone - we all want school to start as soon as possible and are working daily to come to an agreement. Negotiations have been ongoing since June, after the Evergreen Education Association (teacher's union) requested to bargain. The challenges of translating the legislature's new funding formula to each district are not unique to Evergreen; most of Clark County's schools are either facing or experiencing teacher strikes, as are many districts across the state. There are not enough substitute teachers to replace our entire teaching corps with them, nor deliver the quality education that we promise for our kids.
Q. What are the legal options available to the district in order to end this strike? I stand with the school board and believe the teachers are asking for raises that are not sustainable in the long run.
A. A recent article in The Columbian did a good job of outlining districts' options: https://www.columbian.com/news/2018/aug/23/are-teacher-strikes-illegal-depends-on-who-you-ask. Evergreen will continue to consider all of its options to get our school year up and running.
Q. Why on God’s green earth does admins need to make 6 figures?
A. As with our teachers and classified staff, Evergreen is committed to attracting and retaining the best possible administrative staff. To do this, we must remain competitive with other districts in the state and the region. In addition, one must remember that teachers' salaries are based on 187-day work year. Administrators' contracts are for 260 days. Please see the Evergreen Administrators' Association contract on the Labor Relations Page under "Salary & Bargaining" to see comparator districts.
Q. In the current contract the agreement is for extra work days (1 work day plus 3 in-service days). The state has allocated additional funding for one more day, bringing the total to 5. Why is the district now asking for 7?
A. The district believes in providing professional development for its teachers in our collective effort toward continuous improvement. The state is indeed adding one day, and will be adding another day each of the two following years. The district has proposed "front loading" those extra days, starting them earlier than the state, and paying teachers for them. The new state law says that we have to account for teacher pay beyond what is allocated by the state for basic education. Extra days qualify for "beyond basic education.".
Q. I heard that the the District applied some of the State allocation to administrative salaries, where it all should have gone to teachers. Is there any truth to this?
A. No, we did not use any of the teacher allocation toward administrative salaries. While the administrative salary allocation from the state increased from $65,362 to $102,613, administrative salaries were increased by the state maximum limit, a 3.1% increase and not the percentage of state allocation increase. This was agreed to by the Evergreen Administrators' Association. The current offer to increase teachers' salaries is approximately 8%.
Q. I think it would be beneficial to have the administrators salary and the school board salary posted or made available on line. It would also be beneficial to know how much of the McCleary money is being used to compensate them.
A. The Evergreen Administrator's Association (EAA) Salary Schedule is posted in the same place where the other bargaining groups' schedules are on that page, under "Salary & Bargaining."
All public employees' salaries are public record. A convenient site to identify the salary of any school employee in the state can be found at http://data.kitsapsun.com/projects/wa-school/. To find Evergreen, go to Clark County, Evergreen. School Board members are not salaried, but per Policy 1733 are offered a small honorarium of $50 to attend meetings and other district-related functions, up to $4800 annually.
The new McCleary law states that admin could get a 3.1% increase from these funds; that is what Evergreen administrators agreed to.
Q. Why are we allowing the teachers to strike? We pay their salaries as tax payers. If they really cared about the kids they would realize that they are the highest paid in the area. 62-85k average for teachers. That is a lot. You don't go into teaching to expect to make millions. You got your raises. The money also goes for school funding. Parents cried and wanted free supplies, teachers wanted ipads and computers for kids. Where do they think that funding comes from? But again, why are we allowing this? It is illegal in Washington State? They are greedy.
A. The question of whether teachers have a right to strike is complex. This recent article from The Columbian outlines the issue well: https://www.columbian.com/news/2018/aug/23/are-teacher-strikes-illegal-depends-on-who-you-ask/. Evergreen will continue to consider all of its options to get our school year up and running.
Q. Hi I am a senior at Union High School. What you are doing to the teachers is terrible. They deserve everything they are asking for plus some these teachers are some of the most caring and hard working people I've ever met.Please meet if not exceed their demands. I fully support and stand with my teachers in their efforts to strike. They deserve the money way more than anyone at the district. Why would you not give it to them?
A. Evergreen Public Schools has offered its 1,800 member teachers group (Evergreen Education Association) an average 8.33% increase in compensation. The starting salary for a new teacher would be $50,687, while the most experienced teacher would receive $96,045. The average salary for Evergreen teachers would now be about $79,000, plus full benefits. The proposed salary schedule and amended contract ensures that all state-allocated funding designated for salaries ($69,129) is passed through to teachers, and as adds an additional 15% from local levy funds to further enhance the compensation package. Presently, Evergreen’s teacher compensation in the highest in southwest Washington, and with the proposal, will more than likely ensure it remains at the top.
Q. I am a teacher in Evergreen and a union member.I have decided that the district's proposal may be more reasonable than the union's proposal and I do not want to support the strike. Is reporting to work as normal an option for me? If I decide to do so, who am I supposed to inform and where / what am I supposed to do?
A. No, reporting to work is not an option for you. The EEA voted for a work stoppage and therefore school will not be held until an agreement can be reached. Once school resumes, you would return to work to fulfill your 180-day contract.
Q. Aren't you guys using money that is reserved for teachers pay? This strike deserves to be happening.
A. The proposed salary schedule and amended contract ensures that all state-allocated funding designated for salaries ($69,129) is passed through to teachers, and as adds an additional 15% from local levy funds to further enhance the compensation package. Evergreen Public Schools has offered its 1,800 member teachers group (Evergreen Education Association) an average 8.33% increase in compensation. The starting salary for a new teacher would be $50,687, while the most experienced teacher would receive $96,045. The average salary for Evergreen teachers would now be about $79,000, plus full benefits. Presently, Evergreen’s teacher compensation in the highest in southwest Washington, and with the proposal, will more than likely ensure it remains at the top.
Q. We saw in a recent article that the school board had voted to take away health benefits from striking employees. Why is that happpening?
A. The Board of Directors passed a resolution Thursday night that affirmed the Superintendent’s ability to implement policies, procedures and business practice in the event of a strike. This includes the control of emergency closure of school buildings and impacts to employees who are not in paid status. For instance, employees’ benefits will continue through September, however, in the event of a prolonged strike, per established procedures about what is due employees in paid status, if employees do not return to paid status by mid- September, they would have to pay COBRA to continue the benefits. For the District to pay these benefits for employees in unpaid status would be considered a gift of public funds. Likewise, if they are not in paid status, they do not have access to school facilities.
Q. All the negotiations on the table are for teacher salaries. I would like to know what the salaries are for the superintendent and how they compare to local superintendents and other administrators?
A. Public employees' salaries are public record. A convenient site to identify the salary of any school employee in the state can be found at http://data.kitsapsun.com/projects/wa-school/. To find Evergreen, go to Clark County, Evergreen. To find Dr. Steach's salary, scroll down to Superintendent's Office. Dr. Steach's salary in 2017-18 was $232,523 (note: this is significantly less than his predecessor and the lowest superintendent salary of the 10 largest districts in the state). This site can also be used to find salaries of other superintendents in the region, as well as in similarly-sized districts.
The Superintendent's salary may be adjusted upward on an annual basis in conjunction with a performance review, and shall include at least the average amount of COLA increase provided by the state to other Evergreen School District employee categories. Such salary shall be not less than Superintendent's salary for the immediately preceding year.
Q. The salary comparisons are using districts not located close to our area. What are the teacher salaries for Camas and Vancouver School Districts?
A. The districts included are those that have ratified a new contract under the new post-McCleary funding plan. These are used to provide accurate comparisons for 2018-19 school year salary proposals (not including benefits). However, the District’s current proposal exceeds all current local contracts and all local offers made as of the posting of this response.
Q. If teachers go on strike will you enforce the law and prohibit the strike or are you just going to let them do what they want? Teacher strikes are illegal in Wa state.
A. The District is doing everything fiscally possible to prevent a work stoppage/strike. In the event there is a work stoppage/strike, there are a variety of legal options available. The District is reviewing those options.
Q. Why is it so hard to honor the educators who work for the District? The state sent down a large sum of money for their salaries if you don't use it for salaries what are you going to do with the money. The educators aren't the problem the District is the problem.
A. All funds provided by the state for teacher salaries ($69,129 per full time teacher) are being allocated to teacher salaries. The District’s offer adds $10,264 per teacher beyond state funding from the local levy, for a total average of $79,393.
Starting this winter, the state is reducing Evergreen’s local levy by 45%. With the reduced levy, the total net district increase over three years is about 8%, or less than 3% per year. The District’s present offer is 8.4% for one year.
Q. I am trying to understand the EPS proposed schedule but am confused about the R stipend and T stipend. It shows "Base Salary including R stipend" What is the R stipend that is included? Then is shows "Responsibility Stipend 10.8%". Is this the TRI pay? Then "T stipend (7 days)". Are these the professional development days that are current and the proposed additional 3?Thank you for clarifying.
A. Answers to several parts of your questions:
- In the McCleary case, the court ordered that teacher pay formerly paid from local levy funds must be paid by the state. Therefore, part of the former "TRI" or responsibility pay (27.55% plus four optional days) was moved to the base salary.
- There are additional responsibilities beyond “Basic Education” that can be paid from the remaining local levy. The district matched the EEA proposal of 10.8% additional pay for those responsibilities. Per the new laws, these will have to be better defined prior to the 2019-20 school year.
- The current contract has four (4) additional optional days for teachers. The district proposal increases this by three (3) for a total of seven (7).
Q. Why is the district not including coaches in the work stoppage? That would be the most effective mechanism to engage the community. Why does a student who wants to learn algebra get penalized by the teacher strike, while a student tossing a football is rewarded by the teacher strike? Apply the work stoppage to coaches, Please.
A. The District has negotiated labor contracts with five different groups (Teachers, Coaches, Secretaries, PSE Classified Employees, and Building Administrators). If one group implements a work stoppage/strike, then employees in the other groups are not necessarily bound to that action. Just as payroll secretaries and clerks will continue to work under their contract, coaches will be allowed to continue working under their contract.
Q. Can you help me understand why the salary issue is even an issue? Teachers have so many in service days and teacher work days and half days to do this stuff. We don't need teacher work days if we are going to have half days. As well as why are we starting before Labor Days? we DO NOT NEED A WEEK for Thanksgiving. When I walk into my daughter’s classroom the teacher was always checking her phone and such. Why pay more when my daughter is getting less? Thank you for explaining this.
A. While the district and the Evergreen Education Association (EEA) are just completing year two of a three-year agreement, the EEA Leadership submitted a demand to bargain a new salary schedule for the final year of the agreement. This was due to changes in the state funding that potentially impacted the existing contract. Per labor laws, the District agreed to enter into negotiations to determine if contract changes are needed and if so, what changes should be made.
The state of Washington has laws specifying the number of days and instructional minutes required for students. The Evergreen calendar complies with these requirements and also offers our staff time for professional development and student support activities that all have a positive impact on student learning.
Q. I am wondering if an increased percentage for each step table could be generated from the most recent district proposal? I did the math to compare what a teacher made last year compared to what he or she will make this coming year with the addition of one more year of experience. I calculated the what the percentage increase would be from the 17- 18 salary schedule to the proposed 18-19 schedule for several different steps. The percentage varied from 10, 12 and 15 %. Teachers with more years had a higher percentage increase than less experienced. One would think the goal is to increase all salaries by the same percentage?
A. The WEA website and many districts are reporting increases to “total compensation”. To make the Evergreen contract easier to compare to these numbers, the salary schedule includes all similar compensation. If you compare this to the current year, the increases in year 0-16 range from 7.69%-7.75%. For the new 20+ year column, the increase ranges from 9.86% to 9.91%. Longevity and Education step increases would be in addition to this and are similar to the current salary schedule.
Q. I will be on maternity leave at the start of the school year, what will all of this potentially mean for my leave and insurance?
A. The August paycheck covers benefits for the month of September. If there is a work stoppage, Human Resources will be in contact with staff who are on leave and will work with individuals on their calendar adjustments.
Q. How does Evergreen's salary schedule compare to other districts throughout the state?
A. CLICK HERE to view a comparison (with figures from the WEA website) of Evergreen’s current salary schedule with other districts.
Q. The "Joint Agreement" (8.8.18) indicates that EPS and EEA agree to a review by PERC while the EEA Leadership response (8.8.18) states that they do not agree to PERC being involved. Why the apparent conflict in the two statements?
A. The “Joint Agreement” was proposed by the District and not accepted by EEA Leadership. The link to the document has been corrected to indicate that it was only a proposal by one side and not an agreement by both parties.
Q. As you know, the EEA is considering a strike vote over salary negotiations. A few questions that maybe you can answer:
- Legally can teachers strike since we are mid-contract?
- Would teachers be in breach of contract since we technically are under contract?
- What are the consequences of breaking contract?
A. Here are answers to the three parts of the question:
- Teacher strikes are not legal in the state of Washington under any condition. However, the law does not specify consequences. This is why districts often file for a court ordered injunction to direct teachers to return to work.
- Since we have an existing contract, a strike would not only be illegal but also probably constitute an unfair labor practice by the association. An unfair labor practice would fall under the Public Employee Relations Commission’s (PERC) jurisdiction. The district believes the current contract is valid and has already requested the association leadership agree to submit a clarification request to PERC in lieu of a strike vote.
- If there is a strike, technically teachers would be in violation of both the District-EEA contract and their personal contract with the district. The district could then choose to exercise a legal right to terminate employment of striking teachers. However, that has not happened before and is extremely unlikely as it would be near impossible to serve our students following the strike.
Q. Is education supported by voters equally throughout the state?
A. The League of Education Voters Foundation recently release an independent overview of voter support across the state. You can see the interactive map here.
Q. What do raises look like for classified staff?
A. Evergreen’s two classified employee contracts (Office Clerical and PSE Large Group) both are three-year contracts that don’t expire until 2019. The district will be implementing the previously negotiated amounts in addition to the state identified inflationary adjustment of 1.9%.
- Office Clerical will receive 3.0% plus the 1.9% inflationary adjustment for a total of 4.9%.
- PSE Large Group will receive 3.2% plus the 1.9% inflationary adjustment for a total of 5.1%.
- Non-Represented classified employees will receive the 3.1% maximum increase as limited by ESSB.
Q. I'm confused about why the link to 2018-2019 Teacher Salary Schedule is different than the first section of the next attachment, "Current Contract 2018-19 Total Compensation..." It looks like the first grid in the second link should match up with the 2018-2019 Teacher Salary Schedule, but it doesn't.
A. The table in the 2018-19 Teacher Salary Schedule shows only the inflation adjusted salary amount without any Time, Responsibility and Incentive (TRI) pay. The top number in each cell shows the total amount of salary paid for each person at that step/column (# of people times salary). It was presented to show the cost of the existing contract increase from the 2nd year (2017-18 @ $125.6) to the 3rd year (2018-19 @ $133.9). An increase of $8.3M
The document titled Current Contract 2018-19 Total Compensation Combined Salary Schedule provides a view of the current contract using the Association Leadership’s proposed new TRI percentage (10.8%), acknowledging the rest of the current TRI (16.75%) as part of basic education salary. The top table is the current contract’s “Basic Education” salary. The second table is the additional 10.8% remaining TRI. The third table combines the “Basic Education” salary, with TRI (10.8%) and also moves the current teachers professional fund ($1,500 per year) into salary per the Association Leadership’s proposal to create an accurate comparison of total compensation.
Q. Where is the regionalization money going?
A. Along with the increased salary allocation from the state for all employee categories, the 6% additional regionalization funding is being applied to existing salaries starting next year. It is helping cover the previously agreed to increases for the 2018-19 school year as well as replace the salary portions previously covered by the local levy as the local levy is reduced.