4 PM: We’re at the IAM Local 751 Hall in South Park, where Seattle Education Association leaders and building (individual schools) reps are meeting to decide whether to suspend the strike pending a membership vote on the tentative contract agreement reached early this morning. A few minutes ago, SEA spokesperson Rich Wood emerged to tell us and other media that it’s likely to be at least half an hour – 4:30 or so – before they have something to announce. The results of this meeting will determine whether school does or does not start on Thursday (Wednesday’s already been ruled out by the district). Updates to come.
4:39 PM UPDATE: We’re still waiting. While what’s happening in the meeting isn’t audible outside, aside from bursts of applause now and then, we did hear that lots of questions were being asked. (4:44 pm – Right after we wrote that, Wood came out to tell us exactly that – it’s still going to be a while longer as 15 or so people are still in line to ask questions, plus there are people standing by to offer pros and cons. “They’re very thorough – they’re educators,” he noted.)
(Added: WSB photo inside meeting room, once media was allowed in as participants departed)
5:57 PM UPDATE: It’s a little chaotic in here but word is they voted to END THE STRIKE.
6:16 PM UPDATE: Bargainers just finished their media briefing (updated – hi-res video replacing low-res version).
Technically, this vote was to SUSPEND the strike. It’s not formally over until membership vote, which we’re told will be Sunday. But school WILL start Thursday, both the union AND district now say. Adding contract details that we have heard here (and from printed copy we’ve procured):
*30 “equity teams” – 10 schools the first year, 10 more the second year, 10 more the third year.
*Also re: equity: “Partnership Committee between SPS, SEA, and community reps to eliminate disproportionate discipline”
*SEA and SPS will determine how the lost days are made up
*Compensation – same raises for certificated, SAEOPs, paraprofessionals
-3.0% raise now, with 3% added state COLA
-2.0% raise in 2016, with 1.8% added state COLA
-4.5% raise in 2017
*Recess, as previously reported, at least 30 minutes per day “during the student instructional day”
*Calendar: Full midwinter break every year, school starts first Wednesday in September, “rules to develop calendar in any year so staff and families can plan ahead”
*Re: testing, “no more Seattle student growth rating … evaluation language updated … SEA and SPS agree to jointly petition (state) regarding use of focused scores”
ADDED 7:15 PM: Other key points:
Student day increase beginning in 2017-18: “Student day is extended 20 minutes each day, within the 7.5 hour teacher workday; students are released one hour early (or arrive one hour late) once per week. Net increase in student instructional time, 22-25 minutes per week. Building Leadership Teams still set the school schedule just as they do now.
Pay for longer student day: 100 minutes – 60 paid as collaboration, 15-18 paid as prep, 13.3 paid as tech, 10 paid as .5% of 3rd year raise.
Special Education: Special Ed preschool ratio lowered to 10:1:2, Distinct (social/emotional) classrooms lowered to 7:1:2, Special Ed Task Force will review special ed coasts; savings will be redirected to reduce employee workloads. Special Ed Team to decide on Instructional Assistant deployment when students are grouped across classrooms in a building.
ESA Caseloads: Enforceable caseload ratios for the first time.
The list continues – we’re still looking for an electronic version of the toplines so we can just link.
9:03 PM: See comments for a few other quotes from the printed summary. Also a note: Teachers will be back on campus tomorrow, to get ready for the start of classes Thursday.