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Community » Contract Bargaining with Employee Unions

Contract Bargaining with Employee Unions

Wapato School District Employee Unions

There are four employee unions in the Wapato School District that represent the majority of the District staff.   They include:

 

1) The Wapato Education Association (WEA) represents teachers and other certificated staff who are contracted to work 7-hours per day for 180 days per year.  

 

2) The Wapato Association of Custodial, Maintenance, Transportation, Food Service and Paraeducator Employees, affiliated with the Public School Employees of Washington (PSE), represents District staff in the Custodial, Maintenance, Transportation, Food Service, and Paraeducator job classifications. 

 

3) The Wapato Pupil Personnel Association (WPPA) represents classified staff of the District in positions which require independent responsibility and/or specialized education or training in the Records Clerk & Testing Clerk, Pupil Personnel Specialist, Home Visitor, Migrant/Parent Liaison Advisor and Attendance Clerk job classifications.

 

4) The Wapato Association of Educational Office Personnel (WAEOP) represents the District’s secretarial staff except the Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent’s secretaries, certificated personnel officers, and classified personnel officers.

 

At any given time the District may be engaged in negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements (contracts) with one or more of the four associations and the negotiations may include limited reopening of parts of the agreement or the entire agreement.  Please refer to each of the Association sections below for the latest information regarding bargaining.

Bargaining Updates

WEA:

8-5-18
The documents seen below are those associated with the contract agreement reached between the Wapato School District and the Wapato Education Association. A tentative agreement was reached between the WSD and WEA the evening of Monday, September 3, 2018.  The WEA membership voted the afternoon of September 4, 2018 in favor of ratifying the agreement and the Wapato School Board of Directors approved the agreement at its regular business meeting on September 5, 2018.
 
 

9-3-18

The Wapato School District and Wapato Education Association have reached a signed tentative contract agreement, including a new salary schedule, for its teachers and other certificated staff.  The agreement was reached during a scheduled mediation session on Monday, September 3, 2018.  As a result of the agreement the 2018-2019 school year will start on schedule tomorrow, Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

 The District credits the agreement to the focused work and professionalism of both bargaining teams.  It wants to thank the members of both teams for completing the complex job of navigating new State school funding law and developing the fair, equitable and sustainable agreement the District has been confident would be reached through the negotiations process.

 The District is looking forward to welcoming students and families tomorrow morning for the start of the new school year.  It also wants to thank our families, staff and community for its patience, support and understanding during the complex bargaining process.

The District will not be sharing specifics of the agreement until ratified by the Wapato Education Association membership and adopted by the Wapato School Board of Directors.

 

 

8-31-18

The Wapato School District and Wapato Education Association met this afternoon for the first of two scheduled mediation sessions to continue the good faith bargaining process.  The teams convened in the early afternoon and worked late into the night.  The session did not result in an agreement but progress was made as the two teams worked towards a fair, equitable and sustainable agreement.  The District and the Wapato Education Association bargaining teams will reconvene on Monday morning, September 3rd, to continue mediating.

 

8-31-18

 

By a majority vote today, August 31, 2018, the Wapato School Board of Directors passed a resolution authorizing the District to take action, if it deems necessary, to preserve and protect the District, its students and staff in the event of a work stoppage/strike by the Wapato Education Association.

Today’s action by the School Board is a procedural step by the District following the Wapato Education Association’s vote earlier this week in favor of a work stoppage/strike in the event ongoing negotiations do not result in an agreement prior to the scheduled first day of school, which is Tuesday, September 4th.  The resolution does nothing more than provide the District the authority to take the steps included in the resolution. The District will only consider using the steps if there is a Wapato Education Association work stoppage/strike.

The District remains committed to reaching a fair, equitable and sustainable agreement with the Wapato Education Association. The District has faith in the ongoing negotiations process.  The Wapato School District and Wapato Education Association bargaining teams are meeting in mediation this afternoon as part of the ongoing good faith negotiations.  Another mediation session is scheduled for Monday, September 3rd if needed.

The District understands there may be anxiety on the part of our families, students and community when they hear terms like “teacher strike” this close to the start of school.   We want to reassure you that the District is working diligently to reach an agreement, but new state law (commonly referred to as the McCleary case) has complicated the process of negotiating teacher contracts.  Our district, like other districts around the state are having to piece together a difficult puzzle and the puzzles are different from school district to school district. However, our families can be assured that we are confident an agreement will be reached and there will be a school year full of quality instruction for our students.  We are looking forward to school starting September 4th.

We encourage our families and the community to monitor the District's website and Twitter account throughout the weekend for updates about the ongoing negotiations and the possible need to cancel school if there is a work stoppage/strike on the part of the Wapato Education Association on Tuesday, September 4th.

 

8-30-18 

 

On Wednesday afternoon, August 29, 2018, the Wapato Education Association (WEA) leadership informed Wapato School District (WSD) leadership that the WEA membership took a vote authorizing a work stoppage/strike starting the scheduled first day of school (Tuesday, September 4th) if a contract agreement is not reached prior to then.  

The WSD wants our students in school for the scheduled first day of school and remains committed to reaching an agreement with it teachers’ union that is fair, equitable and sustainable.  The WSD and WEA are scheduled to begin jointly requested mediation on Friday, August 31st as the next step in the process of reaching an agreement.  As of now there are two mediation sessions scheduled.  They are Friday, August 31st and if needed, Monday, September 3rd.  

However, if an agreement is not reached and the teachers’ union starts a work stoppage/strike September 4th the District will be forced cancel school for as long as the work stoppage/strike continues.   We encourage our families to begin planning now for that possibility.

If a work stoppage/strike appears imminent WSD will inform families as soon as possible using the same information systems it uses to inform families if the District were to be experiencing a snow-day.  A robo-call will go out to all families. The local media will be alerted.  The information will be posted to the WSD website at www.wapatosd.org and it will be posted to the District’s Twitter account @WapatoSD.

We appreciate the ongoing understanding and support of our families/community as the difficult work of reaching and agreement with our valued teachers continues.

Please continue to monitor our website for regular bargaining updates. 

 

 

8-28-18

 

Today the Wapato Education Association (WEA) and Wapato School District (WSD) received word from the Washington State Public Employees Relations Commission regarding the joint mediation request the two parties submitted following their August 20th bargaining session.

   The WEA and WSD are scheduled to engage in the mediation process at the end of this week.  As of now two mediation sessions have been scheduled. 

 

Friday, August 31, 2018 starting at 2:00 p.m.

 

Monday, September 3, 2018 starting at 8:30 a.m.  

 

The District looks forward to continuing the work towards reaching a fair, equitable and sustainable agreement with the WEA. 

 

8-24-18

 

What both the Wapato Education Association (WEA) and the Wapato School District (WSD) bargaining teams thought was a tentative agreement regarding a salary schedule (seen below) on the afternoon of August 23rd, turned out not to be the case this morning.  The day started with WEA representatives informing WSD representatives about a concern they had regarding part of the salary schedule that the WEA had agreed to the afternoon of August 23rd.  The WEA’s concern had to do with the lack of increases in salary in the BA+90 column of the agreed  to schedule.  The WEA also brought to the WSD’s attention that WEA representatives found a miscalculation in their own model that was used to build the agreed to salary schedule.  The WSD team worked diligently throughout the day and developed solutions.  WSD representatives presented those solutions to the WEA representatives.  The WEA representatives declined the solutions and then followed up by asking for more money overall than what was in the salary schedule the WEA tentatively agreed to the afternoon of August 23rd.  The day ended appearing as though the negotiation process is once again headed to mediation to resolve the differences.

Base Salary Schedule Tentatively Agreed to by WEA & WSD August 23, 2018

Base Salary Schedule Tentatively Agreed to by WEA & WSD on August 23

 

Option A Additional Salary Compensation Schedule Tentatively Agreed to by WEA & WSD on August 23, 2018

Option A Additional Salary Compensation Schedule Agreed to by the WEA & WSD August 23rd.

Option B Additional Salary Compensation Schedule Tentatively Agreed to by WEA & WSD August 23, 2018

Option B Additional Salary Compensation Scheduled Agreed to August 23, 2018

 

 

8-23-18

The Wapato Education Association (WEA) and Wapato School District (WSD) bargaining teams resumed negotiations today.  The teams are focusing their efforts on developing a salary schedule which is fair, equitable and sustainable for both the WEA and the WSD.  The WEA led off today’s session with presenting a salary schedule proposal.  The District followed up with a counter salary schedule proposal around midday.  The WEA came back later in the afternoon with a counter of its own to which the District then countered.  The proposals submitted by both parties during the day’s session reflected compromise by both parties. The WEA team indicated it would accept the WSD’s final proposal and present to its membership for ratification.  The District would like to thank the WEA team for the work and progress made during today’s session.  

 

8-21-18

 

A Wapato Education Association (WEA) representative contacted the Wapato School District (WSD) today asking the District to continue bargaining only the salary schedule component of the collective bargaining agreement.  The WEA request comes a day after the WEA bargaining team ended scheduled contract negotiations and invited the Wapato School District team to move to the process of mediation in an attempt to resolve their differences. As noted above the WEA request is to continue the bargaining process to address just the salary schedule. The District agreed and is delighted for the opportunity to resume good faith bargaining with the WEA in an effort to reach a fair, equitable and sustainable agreement for its teachers and the District.  If the WEA and the WSD are able to reach an agreement it will most likely avoid the need for mediation.  The two bargaining teams have agreed to meet Thursday morning, August 23rd, to continue the bargaining process.

 

8-20-18

The good faith bargaining between the Wapato School District (WSD) and the Wapato Education Association (WEA) took place on August 20, 2018 for the fourth and final scheduled bargaining session since mid-June.  The session started with the WEA presenting a counter proposal to the District’s latest proposal which it presented in its August 17, 2018 session.  The WEA’s proposal is what is considered a package proposal which included a revised salary schedule from the schedule offer it presented at the August 17 bargaining session. The WEA salary proposal presented today reflected a reduction of approximately .001% in overall compensation costs from the proposal it presented on August 17. It also included a salary schedule proposal that reflects a 16 step schedule, which is a change from its August 17 salary schedule proposal that was a 14 step schedule.  The package also included revised contract language speaking to student discipline and employee workload.  The Wapato School District Team then countered with a package proposal of its own which reflected an increase in average overall salary compensation of 2.9% over its August 17 proposal.  When the 2.9% is added to the base salary proposal already offered by the District a beginning teacher would receive an approximate increase of 8.1% over the current salary schedule and teachers at the high end of the salary schedule would receive an approximate increase of 20%.  The District package proposal also included revised contract language speaking to student discipline, employee workload and additional 2-days compensation for school psychologists, occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists.  The District’s latest salary proposal reflects a 17% increase for a beginning teacher over the current salary schedule and a 28% increase over the current salary schedule for teachers at the high end of the salary schedule. Please note that 8.9% of the 17% and 28% seen below came from moving part of the TRI money teachers currently receive into the proposed 2018-2019 salary schedule.  (see graphs below)

 

  BA+ 0

 

     2017-2018      2018-2019 

beginning teacher salary comparison

 

   MA 90/Phd

 

     2017-2018      2018-2019 

Experienced teacher salary comparison

              

To review the District’s latest, proposed, complete base salary schedule and additional salary compensation options, of which teachers must choose one, presented during the August 20 bargaining session see the graphs below.

 

 

WSD Proposed Base Salary Schedule

 

WSD proposed salary schedule

 

WSD Option A (Additional Salary Compensation)

 

Option A Additional Salary compensation

 

 WSD Option B (Additional Salary Compensation)

Option B Additional Salary Schedule

 

To review the latest WEA proposed salary schedule that the WEA team, presented during the August 20 session, see graph below.  The WEA schedule includes additional salary compensation in the schedule.

 

Wapato Education Association Proposed Base Salary Schedule (includes compensation for 103.5 Additional Hours)

 

WEA Proposed Salary Schedule

 

 

The proposed WEA salary schedule seen above does not include an additional 46.5 hours of salary compensation for teachers with 0 to 9 years experience, nor the 53.5 additional hours of salary compensation for teachers from 10 to 15 years experience nor the 60.5 additional hours of salary compensation for teachers that have 16 years experience or more.  The compensation for those additional hours is $1627.00 for the less experienced teachers and as much as $4765.00 for the most experienced teachers.

 

The WEA team declined the District’s latest proposal and provided no counter proposal.   The day’s bargaining session ended earlier than expected when the WEA team asked the WSD team to join it in moving into a mediation process to resolve the differences that remain regarding the latest round of negotiations.  Both teams agreed to go ahead with mediation and at that point the WEA withdrew its latest proposal.  The District is looking forward to expedient and fair resolution for all during this next step in the process.

 

8-17-18

The bargaining teams for the Wapato School District (WSD) and the Wapato Education Association met on August 17, 2018 for the third of four scheduled bargaining sessions since mid-June.  The negotiations focused mainly on salary schedules.   The WEA team led off by presenting a salary schedule proposal which was a counter proposal to the offer the District team presented during the July 11, 2018 bargaining session.  This was the first time the WEA team offered a revised salary schedule proposal since submitting its initial proposal in June.  The WEA proposal presented today reflected a reduction of approximately 1.2% in overall compensation costs from its initial proposal it presented during the first bargaining session in June.  It also included a 14 step salary schedule which is a change from the 10 step schedule that was reflected in their initial proposal made in June.  All of the District's proposals reflect a 16 step schedule which is the same number of steps in the existing schedule.  The District then countered with a proposal that more than doubled the increase that the District had offered the WEA as they ended the bargaining session on July 11.  The WEA declined that offer and then countered with a proposal that included a salary schedule that was no different than the one it had submitted earlier in the day.  The session ended with the District team submitting a proposal which included the same salary schedule as it had proposed earlier in the day.  The District’s latest salary schedule proposal has a starting base salary of $44,740 which includes $1,592 and a top wage of $85,265 which includes $3,035 in supplemental pay.  The WEA’s latest proposal has a starting base salary of $45,672 which includes $608 in supplemental pay and a top wage of $103,931 which includes $2,496 in supplemental pay.   

 7-11-18:

The bargaining teams for the Wapato School District (WSD) and Wapato Education Association (WEA) met on July 11, 2018 and made progress regarding some sections of the collective bargaining agreement being negotiated.  The teams reached tentative agreements (TA) in Article II, Section 9B that speaks to Assignment, Vacancies, Promotion & Transfer of WEA employees; Article VIII, Sections 6 & 7 which deals with Credits/Clock Hours; and Article III, Section 6 which deals with Letters of Direction. The bargaining session also included the District team providing the WEA team with a revised salary schedule proposal which reflected an increase from the WSD’s initial proposal.  The WSD also gave the WEA team a presentation regarding general revenue/expenditure budget information for the WSD.  The WEA did not submit a revised salary schedule proposal during this session.  The WSD and WEA will resume negotiations in August.

6-19-18: 

The District and WEA met at 9:00 AM in the boardroom to begin the negotiation process.  Each side brought forward three openers and a new Salary Schedule.  WSD is proposing language changes in one section of Article II, and two sections of Article VI.  WEA is proposing new language in one of the sections in Article III, and two sections in Article VI.  Both sides proposed a new salary schedule commencing 2018–19 school year.  There was significant dialogue between the District and WEA regarding the states salary allocation model.  Although there are some differences of opinions and understandings of the state’s new salary allocation model, we are confident that we will make progress as the bargaining continues.  WSD and WEA will resume negotiations in July.
 

6-15-18:

The District and WEA are currently in year two of a three collective bargaining agreement.  Language in ARTICLE X, Section B of the agreement states the District and the Association will be limited to three (3) openers each and items impacted by legislative action in the first and second year of the three-year contract. On a three (3) year basis, both parties will review entire document and share in the cost of reprinting this document in its entirety if necessary.  The District and WEA bargaining teams are scheduled to meet on June 19, 2018 for their first negotiating session.  Because the state legislature took action regarding teacher salaries during the 2018 legislative session, salaries will be a part of the negotiations along with the three openers each referred to in ARTICLE X of the current agreement.

PSE:

8-8-18

The July 20, 2018 report ended with a reference to some discussion that took place during that meeting regarding recent changes to State and Federal legislation that may potentially impact union membership.  When the Wapato School District (WSD) and Public School Employees of Washington (PSE) bargaining teams met on August 8, 2018 that discussion resulted in a Tentative Agreement (TA) which amends some of the language in Section 6.4 of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement which deals with “New Employee Reporting”.   The bargaining session on August 8, 2018 also included the District presenting the PSE with a salary schedule counter proposal to the salary schedule proposal the PSE presented at the July 20, 2018 session.  The District’s counter did reflect an increase over its previous proposal.  The PSE then submitted its counter proposal which reflected a decrease in the salary schedule from the proposal it presented at the July 20, 2018 session, however it also included the addition of some benefits outside of the salary schedule.  The two teams also engaged in a discussion about the District’s Federal Program Revenue available to supplement salaries of certain PSE members considered “categorical employees”.   Below is a chart showing the actual 2017-2018 federal revenue compared to the estimated 2018-2019 totals.  You can see the difference is estimated to be just a little more than $17,000.

FEDERAL REVENUE for PSE SALARIES

 Program Name

17-18

18-19 (estimated)

Difference

Federal / State Food Service

$1,900,096

$1,931,969

$31,873

Federal Migrant

$555,958

$518,665

-$37,293

Federal Sped 2400

$686,654

$708,571

$21,917

Federal Sped 2461

$35,620

$36,494

$874

Federal Sped 2900

$99,750

$99,750

$0

Total

$3,278,078

$3,295,449

$17,371

 

Before the session ended the District team presented another counter salary schedule proposal which reflected an additional increase from the increase reflected in the proposal the District submitted earlier in this day’s bargaining session.  Plans for the next bargaining session are pending. 

 

7-20-18:

The bargaining teams for the Wapato School District (WSD) and Public School Employees of Washington (PSE) met for a second time as they work towards reaching an agreement on a salary schedule for the 2018-2019 school year.  During the July 20, 2018 session the WSD team provided the PSE with a presentation regarding general revenue/expenditure budget information for the WSD.  The WSD team also provided the PSE team with a salary schedule proposal which was counter to the salary proposal the PSE submitted during the initial bargaining session on July 16, 2018.  The PSE had a counter proposal ready which they submitted during the July 20, 2018 meeting after receiving the WSD’s proposal.  The two teams also engaged in some discussion regarding recent changes to State and Federal legislation that may potentially impact union membership.

 

7-16-18:

 

The Wapato School District (WSD) and Public School Employees of Washington (PSE) bargaining teams conducted their initial session on July 16, 2018.  During that session the PSE team provided the WSD team with its initial salary schedule proposal.

 

6-15-18:

 

There is currently a two year collective bargaining agreement in place with the PSE (September 1, 2017–August 31, 2019).  WSD and PSE have agreed to open and re-bargain the salary schedule for the 2018–2019 school year.  WSD and PSE are in the process of identifying dates and times to begin bargaining.

WPPA:

7-19-18:

The bargaining session that took place between the Wapato School District (WSD) team and the Wapato Pupil Personnel Association (WPPA) team on July 19, 2018 resulted in more progress as the District and Association continue to bargain in good faith.  The teams were able to reach tentative agreements (TA) regarding Article III, Section 8A which deals with Seniority and Probation Procedures; Article V, Section 8A which speaks to Annual Leave and Article VI, Section 1C dealing with Hours of Work.  The two teams also reached a TA in Appendix B which has to do with Grievance Review Request Forms.  The WSD also provided the WPPA team with a presentation regarding general revenue/expenditure budget information for the WSD.   The WSD and WPPA teams will resume negotiations in August.

7-10-18:

The bargaining teams for the Wapato School District (WSD) and Wapato Pupil Personnel Association (WPPA) met July 10, 2018 and reached tentative agreements (TA) regarding a couple of sections of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) being negotiated.  The teams reached TA’s regarding Article III, Section 6B-1 which speaks to Voluntary Transfers and Article V, Section 8D which deals with Annual Leave.  The WSD team also provided the WPPA team with a salary schedule proposal which was a counter proposal to the salary schedule proposal the WPPA team provided the WSD team during their initial meeting on June 6, 2018. 

6-6-18:

The District and WPPA are currently negotiating a full contract. During an initial meeting on June 6, 2018 the District brought forward eight (8) collective bargaining agreement language proposal changes.  These proposed changes are regarding the following Articles contained in the agreement:  Article III, V, and VIII.

The WPPA brought forward twenty-two (22) collective bargaining agreement language proposal changes.  These proposed changes are regarding the following Articles contained in the agreement: Article I, II, III, V, VI, VIII, and Appendix B.

Two days have been set aside in July and one day in August to continue the bargaining process.

WAEOP:

7-19-18:

The Wapato School District (WSD) and the Wapato Association of Educational Office Personnel (WAEOP) continued their work of negotiating a full open contract on July 19, 2018.  This session resulted in more progress as the two teams reached a tentative agreement (TA) which adds a section to Article III of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).  The new section is 11A and it speaks to New Training.  During this bargaining session the WSD also provided the WAEOP team with a presentation regarding general revenue/expenditure budget information for the WSD.  The WSD and WAEOP teams will resume negotiations in September. 

7-10-18:

The July 10, 2018 bargaining session between the Wapato School District (WSD) and Wapato Association of Educational Office Personnel teams resulted in continued progress as the teams negotiate the full open contract.  The teams reached a tentative agreement (TA) in Article II, Section 5A&B of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which deals with Association Leave. They also reached a TA in Article V, Section 3B which speaks to Leave Sharing.  This session also included the WSD team providing the WAEOP team with a salary schedule proposal which is a counter proposal to the WAEOP team’s initial salary schedule proposal the WSD team received during the June 29, 2018 bargaining session. 

6-29-18:

The Wapato School District (WSD) and Wapato Association of Educational Office Personnel (WAEOP) negotiating teams conducted their initial bargaining session on June 29, 2018.  This session resulted in the two teams reaching a tentative agreement (TA) regarding Article II, Section 2J which deals with Association Rights.  The WAEOP team also provided the WSD team with its initial salary schedule proposal.

6-15-18:
 
The District and WAEOP will be bargaining a full open contract.  That process is expected to start in late June 2018.

Bargaining Basics

There are four different unions which represent the majority of the employees who work in the Wapato School District.  Each of those unions and the employees they represent are outlined in the “Wapato School District Employee Unions” section seen below.  The conditions and terms of employment, including wages and hours of employees represented by a union are outlined in what is called a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), commonly referred to as a contract.  In the Wapato School District Collective Bargaining Agreements have been negotiated and are in place for each of the four unions.  They can be found on the District’s website by following this link:  https://bit.ly/2OmqOZ5   The District has an obligation to routinely bargain, separately and in good faith, with each of the four unions to update or renew each of the existing Collective Bargaining Agreements. 

 

The Bargaining Process

The typical bargaining process involves a team of representatives from the District engaging in negotiations with a team of representatives from a union.  It routinely involves the bargaining teams scheduling multiple sessions to exchange and discuss proposals. The bargaining sessions often happen over a period of months.  The negotiation process is meant to be a rich, comprehensive discussion about those parts of the collective bargaining agreement being bargained.  Through the negotiation process the teams will come to terms on those parts of the collective bargaining agreement being discussed and that is what is termed a Tentative Agreement (TA).  The ultimate goal is to come to terms on a collective bargaining agreement that is fair, equitable and sustainable for all involved.  When the negotiations process is complete the new, proposed collective bargaining agreement is presented to the employees of the union that was involved in the bargaining for a ratification vote.  It takes a majority vote of those union employees who vote in order to ratify the contract.  Once the union membership ratify it, the proposal is then presented to the School Board of Directors for adoption.  It takes a majority vote of those School Board members voting to approve the adoption.  

Wages

More often than not, negotiations regarding wages for employees represented by each of the District’s unions take up the most time during the bargaining process.  The discussions about wages during bargaining sessions can become intense, passionate, and at times, heated.  The union bargaining team works to secure the highest possible wage for its membership while the District works to provide employees the highest possible wage but at the same time is insuring the financial decisions it makes in the short term are sustainable in the long term.  The last thing the District wants to do is agree to a wage increase that is clearly not sustainable and would eventually result in the District having to lay employees off. The already complex process of negotiating wages has become even more convoluted and complicated due to significant education funding reforms adopted by the State the past couple of years.  The reforms have, at times, resulted in misinterpretation, confusion and misunderstanding as they relate to teacher pay and that lack of clarity has been apparent during the current negotiations the District is involved in with its teachers union. While the State reforms do make more money available for certificated teacher wages they also eliminate a commonly used State salary schedule that helped guide wage negotiations between unions and schools districts across the state for decades.  It is being left up to the District’s and unions to negotiate their own salary schedules with minimal State guidance. That change alone has resulted in some interesting and difficult discussions between the bargaining teams during the current negotiations cycle.

Administrator Wages

Administrators in the Wapato School District are not represented by an organized labor union, therefore a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) does not exist between administrators and the District.  That in turn means administrators do not have the opportunity of negotiating conditions and terms of employment, wages and hours like each of the four employee unions referenced in the following document.  The administrator salary schedule, like the salary schedules in place for each of the District’s four unions, is intended to be competitive when compared to other school administrator salaries in the region.  Just like with the union salary schedules, there are step increases built into the District’s administrator schedule that employees earn based on years served, education and experience.  Any increase in wages above and beyond a step increase comes at the recommendation of the Superintendent to the Wapato School Board of Directors.  It is up to the School Board to approve increases to administrator wages, just like it is up to the School Board to approve collective bargaining agreements with each of the four organized labor unions in the District.  In June 2018 a 3.1% increase in base salaries for administrators was approved by the School Board. The increase is effective on July 1, 2018 and be adjusted to be commensurate with 2018-2019 certificated increases.  There has been a misunderstanding on some people’s parts regarding this increase. It has been questioned how an administrator salary increase could be approved while negotiations to settle salaries as part of contract bargaining with the unions in the district is ongoing?  As mentioned above, administrators are not represented by an organized labor union in the Wapato School District so there is no collective bargaining agreement negotiations process like there is with the unions.  This expedites the process for administrators. 

Local Levy Revenue and Wages

Throughout the most recent bargaining process with the District’s four unions it appears there is misunderstanding about revenues that will be generated by the local levy Wapato School District voters approved in February 2018.  In February voters approved a 4-year Educational Programs & Operations Replacement Levy.  The tax collection years for that levy are from January 2019 through December 2022.   However, as a result of the school funding reforms adopted by the State the past couple of years the guidelines for generating and using local levy revenue have changed for school districts.  The first significant change is that the State has capped the amount per $1000 of assessed value the District can propose to voters.  Wapato School District taxpayers are currently paying about $1.73 per $1000 of assessed value.  When the collections for the levy approved by voters in February start on January 1, 2019 that will drop to $1.50, which is the State cap. That means, starting in January 2019 the local levy will be generating less money for the District than it is right now.  Another significant change is how local levy dollars can be spent by the school district.  Prior to the changes local levy revenues were added to the school district’s general fund and could be used to pay for everything from gas for buses to teacher salaries.  Now the State is beginning to restrict the use of local levy revenue and only allowing districts to use it for expenditures outside of what is classified as basic education.  Most salaries in the District are considered a basic education expenditure so districts will NOT be able to use local levy dollars to help fund salaries. To summarize, the changes the State has made regarding local levies result in a negative for the Wapato School District.  The levy will be generating less revenue than it currently does and how those revenues can be used is being limited.