June 15, 2020
This spring your BEA Bargaining Team has been back at the table with the BSD Bargaining Team for our financial re-opener. We met three times with the BSD team (May 28, June 2 and June 15) to share positions and discuss financial proposals for salary and health insurance benefits. Today, the BEA team requested a pause on negotiating the financial re-opener until September, and the BSD team agreed. The pause was necessary due to the uncertainties in the revenue from the state and federal governments. In addition, BEA and BSD have been unable to reconcile financial inconsistencies in the proposed budget.
BEA members have saved the district money by agreeing to take furlough days through the Work Share program. During this uncertain time, the district has managed to bank approximately $50 million in reserves, almost double the School Board’s policy of maintaining 5% reserve. However, for months, BSD leaders have been talking about a budget crisis and layoffs amid worries about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the economy. Despite calling for a hiring freeze, the district has created new administrative positions and is budgeting for additional hires. The district claims there is no money to pay for the respectful and responsible 2% cost of living adjustment (COLA) that BEA has proposed, while allocating money in the budget for new hires.
Over the years, BEA has argued for a budget that reflects sustainability. BSD has often implemented growth of programs at the expense of employees, and we are advocating for plans for the growth of programs to be pulled back until the full Student Success Act funds are available to create the new positions and initiatives in BSD’s SIA plan.
The BEA Bargaining Team believes that engaging in a respectful process and building trust is important during these negotiations. Trust is built through openly sharing information, and consistently aligning words and actions. In all of our years bargaining with the district, BEA has remained steady in our honesty, transparency and trustworthiness. We are waiting for the district to take actions that build trust.
BEA and BSD will return to the bargaining table in September. The current bargaining agreement will remain in place and salary schedules from 2019-2020 will be unchanged until an agreement is reached. In the meantime, please watch your email for any updates.
Your 2020 BEA Bargaining Team,
Karen Lally, Chair, BEA Vice President
Sara Schmitt, BEA President
Lesly Muñoz, OEA Consultant
Suzanne Albrich, 4th grade teacher, Cooper Mtn. Elem
Lindsay Ray, Math teacher, Westview High School
Erin Gettling, 3rd grade teacher, Bethany Elementary
Wendy Evans, 4th grade teacher, Oak Hills Elementary
Brooke Warren, Social Studies teacher, ACMA
Vince Kirnak, Social Studies teacher, Aloha High School