We have been getting great questions from members across the district. We will be adding answers here as more come in.
Q: If we have a field trip scheduled (6th grade camp, etc.) next week, are we still permitted to go?
A: No, the District will be closing schools and staff will not be permitted on grounds, nor participate in regularly scheduled events other than athletics. If you feel as though you can’t participate in the strike, please stay home. It is a liability issue for staff to be on school grounds during a closure. Please protect their interests.
Q: What should I do on Friday if we haven’t reached a tentative agreement?
A: You will need to remove all personal effects from your classroom and any items that you may need over the next few days. Please remove any living science experiments, plants, fish or pets as well. Office staff would appreciate a removal of any “old” food from the fridge.
Q: What can we tell students?
A: It’s important to have a conversation with all of your students to prepare them and their families for Monday. Conversations can vary for different grade levels, but keeping it simple and refraining from your political view is imperative. Use language that you believe they will understand and in your own words.
For younger students:
- All teachers have a contract (agreements/rules) to teach (compare to your PBIS)
- Right now we don’t have a contract/agreements or rules to work by
- The teachers and our bosses have to agree on the new rules. So far we don’t think the rules they want to use are fair.
- Starting Monday if we don’t have rules/agreements ready, we won’t be coming to class and you won’t be able to come to school
- As soon as we agree on rules, we will be back.
If you get questions from parents, please share this letter (Spanish version) or use the message and put it in your own words during conversations.
For older students, use best judgement, refrain from opinion and stick to the facts.
Q: If I am participating with other teachers in my own professional development is ok that we still meet?
A: Absolutely, meet in non-school venue.
Q: Is the team being inflexible, should we let go of the “duty bar” or class size?
A: The easiest way to answer this question is to compare the negotiations process to the classroom. Just like legislators try to be “armchair educators” on what’s best for classrooms, we shouldn’t second guess our bargaining team if we want them to be successful. We continually ask lawmakers to trust us. Our bargaining team is asking the same of you. Not all of you know the negotiators personally, however, these individuals were picked for this process because of their integrity, flexibility and ability to think of creative solutions. They are dedicated to finding a fair settlement that reflects your values and priorities and that would pass ratification. Remember, they have dedicated a tremendous amount of time to get a fair deal for you and they want to be back in the classrooms with their students just as much as you.
Q: Why haven’t you published proposals like the district?
Negotiations have had lots of back and forth and the district frequently adds one item, only to remove it in the next proposal. We’ve seen a lot of confusion about what proposals mean and often the questions are around items that have already been taken off the table. Once we have a tentative agreement that is fair and can win broad member support we will share it with you with time to review before ratification. The bottom line is the district has the money to pay for the contract we deserve and has moved very little since talks began in June.
Posted on Thu, September 24, 2015
by Wenatchee EA