Time is running out

Students from SKHS and Sedgwick dropped by with posters this morning to show support (see photos below). They say they appreciate what teachers are doing and shared anecdotes about friends who are distraught about the lack of choices of classes this year. Also, a special special thank you to Marcus Whitman’s Karen Little and her crew who delivered lunch to our team yesterday. They are still talking about it.

It is the close of another week of bargaining. We are sad to report that though our team has spent hours and hours working to find a reasonable and workable solution to class size issues, the district hasn’t met us where we need to meet to make sure our students have appropriate class sizes. We feel the issue is at the school board level. It feels like since the money has been mismanaged in the past, they are doing a 180-degree turnabout and knotting the purse strings so tightly that the district team is unable to come up with any proposals that are workable.

We have had mediators with us since Wednesday. As we said the other day, mediators initially slow the process down while trying to gain a full understanding of the scope of the issues. Once they do, however, the goal is to help both teams move forward. So far, we have not been successful.

We bargained last night through to 11 p.m. We went home tired, frustrated and resolute that we will work to help them understand there is enough money to keep the district financially healthy and to deal with overcrowded classrooms. What are our next steps?

  • We bargain all day today. We are open to bargaining all day tomorrow and all night if that is what it takes. We are open to bargaining on Sunday until high noon.
  • We have a noon cut-off on Sunday so we can prepare what we have to get to you, our members, so you can have time to review the offer until our meeting on Monday. We will send you that sometime Sunday afternoon and you will get it at your home e-mails. If you know members who have not given us their e-mails OR members who do not have access to a computer, they need to contact us at the SKEA office and we will make sure they can pick up materials here.
  • We meet MONDAY, AUG. 26 at 4:30 p.m. at SKHS. Plan to arrive early to sign in as this is a “members only” meeting. Members’ children can attend if necessary. At that meeting, we will hear recommendations from our SKEA Bargaining Team. We will hear recommendations from our SKEA Executive Board. We will hear recommendations from our SKEA Bargaining Support Team. We will have time to discuss and debate. We will take a vote based on the vote we took last spring. We will have many people on hand to answer questions and we will not rush anyone through anything.
  • If we vote to strike, it will not begin next week since our contract does not end until Aug. 31. If we vote to strike, it begins in September when we no longer have a contract.
  • It is abundantly important that we attend the meeting and listen to one another on Monday.

See photos below …


When Tom Schmuck asked T. Michael Burch what kind of coffee the team might want this morning, T. Michael said his frustration level was so high that he might just chew on the beans. Sure enough, when Schmuck delivered the liquid coffee to the bargaining team, he dropped off some beans for T. Michael.


John Richardson took time to thank students and to explain the delicate art of bargaining. Richardson assured students that their teachers are dedicated to making sure students receive the high quality education they deserve and in a safe learning environment.


RIchardson thanks SKHS senior Jasmine Anderson for supporting teachers by tweeting at #wearenotsardines

Sedgwick student  Kellsie Delgado (below) came by early today to show her support for teachers. Her brother, Brandon Delgado (two photos below), a SKHS junior, says he came by to thank teachers for fighting for decent class sizes.



5 thoughts on “Time is running out

  1. Here’s a suggestion, and I do not know if it is a good one. What if SKEA members were to stage a “sickout” this week? It could be a way of showing the community that we are serious, but in a way that is more “family friendly”, which our district has made many efforts to become. A sickout also means sacrifices for many of us–proportionately more so for newer teachers or people who are close to exhausting their leave. However, I worry about the effect of a failed strike vote on our leverage. What other options will be be considering tomorrow?

  2. Lisa, Please come to the membership meeting tomorrow. There will be time for everyone to express opinions, get questions answered, and to consider the information from the bargaining team.
    Feel free to express your idea. The ultimate decision is up to the membership.

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