The Seattle Education Association Tentative Agreement: What You Need to Know
The Seattle Education Association (SEA) has recently reached a tentative agreement with the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) on a new contract for teachers and other school staff. This agreement is the result of months of negotiations and consultations between the SEA and the SPS, and it has significant implications for education in the city of Seattle.
Here are some of the key points to note about the SEA tentative agreement:
1. Compensation and Benefits
Under the new agreement, teachers and other school staff will receive a three percent increase in salary for the 2021-22 school year, followed by a two percent increase for the 2022-23 school year. In addition, they will receive a one-time $500 bonus for the 2021-22 school year.
The agreement also includes a number of improvements to benefits, including increased employer contributions to health insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance.
2. Workload and Student Support
One of the major issues that the SEA has been advocating for is a reduction in workload for teachers, counselors, and other staff members. The tentative agreement includes several measures aimed at reducing workload and improving working conditions, such as:
– Reduction in workload for high school counselors
– Reduction in mandatory meetings outside of work hours
– Greater clarity around the roles and responsibilities of teachers and school staff
In addition, the agreement includes provisions to increase support for students, such as additional staffing for English language learners and special education students.
3. Racial Equity and Social Justice
The SEA has been very vocal about the need to address systemic racism and promote social justice in schools. The tentative agreement includes several measures to promote racial equity, such as:
– Establishment of a joint union-district committee to evaluate and address disparities in student outcomes
– Additional training for teachers and staff on anti-racism and culturally responsive teaching
4. COVID-19 Protocols
The tentative agreement includes provisions to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, such as:
– Continued implementation of safety protocols, including mask mandates and ventilation improvements
– Paid leave for staff who are required to quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19
The tentative agreement still needs to be ratified by the SEA membership and approved by the SPS Board of Directors before it goes into effect. However, both sides have expressed optimism that the agreement will be approved.
Overall, the SEA tentative agreement represents a significant step forward for Seattle schools and for the teachers and staff who work in them. If approved, it will provide much-needed compensation and benefits improvements, as well as measures to reduce workload and improve support for students. It also shows a commitment to addressing systemic racism and promoting social justice in schools at a time when these issues are more important than ever.