District officials, teachers rest easy with new contract approved

June 15, 2010

By Chantelle Lusebrink

The Issaquah School Board unanimously approved a four-year teachers’ contract at its meeting June 9.

Teachers and district officials reached a tentative agreement June 1. The contract was approved by the Issaquah Education Association membership June 8.

There are several policy and language revisions to the contract this year, but there are no raises in teachers’ cost-of-living adjustments or to their direct salary next year, Director of Communications Sara Niegowski wrote in an e-mail.

However, all certificated employees, like teachers, therapists and nurses, have access to more money from the Professional Growth Incentive Fund and there are larger stipends available for employees who take on leadership roles.

Changes to the contract include:

  • Language changes including higher-level technology training for teachers.
  • All teachers by the third year of the contract must have an up-to-date online presence, like a website.
  • School calendars must be established three years in advance.
  • Additional well-defined individual, professional growth goals. Includes teachers and supervisors collaborating to create them and at least one goal tied to school, district or state learning goals.
  • Increases from $11,000 to $15,000 for elementary instructional leadership roles.
  • Stipend increases for therapists, pathologists and nurses who assume leadership roles to $3,000.
  • The Professional Growth Incentive Fund grows from $1,500 to $1,750.
  • The teacher’s current contract expires Aug. 31. The new contract expires Aug. 31, 2014.

In addition, district officials agreed to continue to fund the two professional improvement days the state has cut to keep all employees salary steady.

“We are thrilled to be sending our teachers into summer break with a labor agreement,” Superintendent Steve Rasmussen said in a press release. “Our bargaining teams came together dedicated to working through the tough issues collaboratively to create a contract that is good for educators and good for our students. I am proud of what they accomplished.”

Educational assistants’ union representatives reached a tentative agreement with district officials May 27. The union’s membership was set to meet June 15, after The Press’ deadline, to approve or reject the agreement.

If approved, the contract will likely go to the school board for approval at its June 23 meeting.

Secretaries’ representatives and district officials continue to meet for negotiations. Their next meeting is June 23.

District officials and bus drivers reached a negotiated three-year contract in early May. School board members approved the drivers’ contract May 12.

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

On the Web

Learn about the district’s labor negotiations here.

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