Update: Tentative agreement reported between Seattle Public Schools and its teachers union

7:10 AM: Per a statement sent to news media by Seattle Public Schools superintendent José Banda, negotiators for the district and its teachers union reached a tentative deal very early this morning:

I want to express my thanks to the Seattle Education Association and Seattle Public Schools bargaining teams for their efforts to craft a tentative contract agreement for the 2013-14 school year.

All of us at Seattle Public Schools value the contributions, skills and dedication that our educators bring to Seattle Public Schools every day, and their commitment to our students’ success.

SEA has informed us that the membership will vote on the tentative agreement on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 4:30 pm.

We look forward to having an approved agreement and a successful start to the 2013 school year.

The Seattle Education Association‘s Facebook page says the agreement was reached at 12:18 am.

8:32 AM: For those who are asking – we are continuing to comb the Web, including Facebook/Twitter, and still haven’t found details of the deal – BUT SPS has just answered the question posed by a sharp-eyed commenter who wondered about the superintendent’s mention of only this school year: It’s a TWO-YEAR contract proposal, according to spokesperson Teresa Wippel. Also a point of discussion – the Tuesday afternoon union meeting is a date/time already set days ago, as we had previously noted here.

9:36 AM: West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren has sent e-mail to her public list making note of the agreement:

… The details will first be presented to the teachers, who are set to vote on it Tuesday. With the recommendation of union leaders to accept the agreement, I am optimistic that it will be ratified, and that YOUR CHILDREN CAN GO BACK TO SCHOOL ON WEDNESDAY AND OUR TEACHERS WILL BE EAGERLY AWAITING THEM!!!!! I’m incredibly grateful to, and proud of, all the people who participated in leading us to this agreement. More details will be coming, after the information is shared with our teachers. …

16 Replies to "Update: Tentative agreement reported between Seattle Public Schools and its teachers union"

  • Moe September 1, 2013 (7:30 am)

    Great news, but does “tentative contract agreement for the 2013-14 school year.” mean that it’s only a one year contract and we’ll have to go through this again next year?

    • WSB September 1, 2013 (7:41 am)

      Good question. I’m looking everywhere for details – none yet – will be adding whatever we find – TR

  • smokeycretin9 September 1, 2013 (7:52 am)

    Great news.

    Also, good work WSB! you guys have it posted before the all the local “news” websites! (as of 7:50 am)

    • WSB September 1, 2013 (8:04 am)

      Thanks, Smokey; while there used to be a rumor that we never slept, really, we do, but we have a variety of systems set up to reduce the chances we’ll miss anything (and that’s also why we reiterate that we really do appreciate texts around the clock – or voice calls – about breaking news, 206-293-6302). In this case, the alarm went off just before 7, I looked at e-mail on the iPhone before hitting “snooze,” and saw this, which was actually sent by the district before 5:30 am, and clearly needed to be published immediately … TR

  • Mom 2.0 September 1, 2013 (7:53 am)

    Fantastic news! Although I’m curious as to why they’re waiting until the end of day. Several schools have planned “meet and greet” events for Tuesday afternoon and evening. Any idea why the last minute vote?

  • mehud September 1, 2013 (7:54 am)

    Moe, Thanks for catching that. I was so happy to see the words “tentative agreement” I missed the “2013-2014 school year.” That is what it looks like though, a one year contract. Thanks WSB for reporting so early and following up on the length of the contract.

  • Mike September 1, 2013 (7:56 am)

    Tentative usually means that both negotiating teams have agreed on the terms of the contract, but that a vote by SEA membership is required to finalize.

  • A September 1, 2013 (8:07 am)

    I agree – why vote at 4:30? They can’t do it earlier in the day? Crazy.

  • Mike September 1, 2013 (8:10 am)

    WSB, you are more real-time than the Seattle Times site. Many times you’re within a minute of the story breaking. I Love WSB.

  • HEW September 1, 2013 (8:10 am)

    Good news. If it. Is only a one year contract I hope that they can figure out those sensitive topics quickly.
    Mom 2.0, they’re probably voting so late because any union meetings have to be outside of the teachers WAC time, or work day. Since no strike vote had been taken I’m guessing that those Tuesday things will proceed as normal.

  • Shannon September 1, 2013 (8:27 am)

    Tentative agreement does mean the bargaining teams have reached an agreement. It needs to be both approved of by the SEA membership AND the School Board (though the Board generally is kept apprised of negotiations and gives direction to the bargaining team for the district so they are a much more sure “yes” vote). Why 4:30? They have to schedule the vote for outside the work ours of the staff who are voting.

    So, potentially a one year only CBA for certificates staff. What about the SAEOP (office staff) and paraeducators SEA also represents? Any agreement reached with respect to them? What about the custodial/nutrition/security staff represented by Local 609? That was also in negotiations. As was were the Trades unions. Curious to see if any of those agreements have been worked out.

  • Anna Rabel September 1, 2013 (8:31 am)

    3 year contract. Why vote at 4:30? Because it is a work day for the teachers. You are correct HEW

    • WSB September 1, 2013 (8:35 am)

      Anna – I just got a reply from an SPS spokesperson who said two years.

  • Parent of kids September 1, 2013 (8:33 am)

    You are right HEW. Tuesday is a normal work day for teachers so they need to be in their schools. Also, it would take some planning to reserve a space that can hold 3,000 people.

  • ted September 1, 2013 (8:52 am)

    The time of the vote on Tuesday was set some time ago. The reason it is so late is that the SEA members have a full day of work to do that day. They’re still setting up classrooms, handing out schedules at some schools, etc. The meeting was intended to be after the work day.

  • EduFirst September 1, 2013 (10:06 am)

    It would be for a two year contract. And it’s for all people who were at the table. Certificated, SEAOP, Para’s, etc. The custodial is a completely seperate and they have to wait until the school year starts to wait for the budgets to be set before they have figures to come to the table.
    As mentioned – 4:30 time because people work.

Sorry, comment time is over.