Teachers, EAs reach tentative agreement

June 8, 2010

Issaquah School District and union officials have reached a tentative contract for teachers and educational assistants.

The tentative agreements were reached May 27 for educational assistants, and June 1 for teachers, according to a district press release.

“The association is very pleased that we have a tentative agreement to bring to our members,” Issaquah Education Association President Neva Luke said in an interview. “The bargaining teams of the district and the association made completing this important work a top priority and spent many, many hours working to achieve this settlement.”

Few details are known about the agreement, since it has yet to be ratified by the unions’ members and the school board.

Teachers were scheduled to meet June 8, after The Press’ deadline, to vote on the contract; the educational assistants will meet June 15.

If the contracts are approved, they will go to the school board for approval at an upcoming meeting. The next school board meetings are June 9 and 23.

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School district contract negotiations begin

April 13, 2010

Issaquah School District and union officials are rolling up their sleeves and coming to the bargaining table as four employee groups’ contracts expire this summer.

Contracts for teachers, bus drivers, secretaries and educational assistants expire Aug. 31.

Public employees in the state are required to join unions and bargain for wages, hours and conditions of employment.

District and union officials started meetings even as the final state budget and potential cuts to education are in flux. They are also taking a different approach to negotiations this year.

The Issaquah Education Association “has met with the district for three all-day sessions,” President Neva Luke wrote in an e-mail. “Both sides have worked very hard to get negotiations off to a good start.”

For instance, district and Issaquah Education Association officials — the teachers’ union — participated in interest-based bargaining training with officials from the Public Employment Relations Commission, according to the district’s Web site.

The training included negotiation methods that asked each side to bring interests to the table, rather than positions, and work toward collaborative solutions. The training also included brainstorming and consensus decision-making.

To help write the contract, teams come to a solution on an interest or issue they enter into a tentative agreement. The collection of tentative agreements makes up the final contract. However, the final contract must still be approved by the teachers’ membership and the Issaquah School Board before becoming official. Read more

School, library levies lead in election results

February 16, 2010

Dr. Steve Rasmussen, Issaquah School District superintendent, shares a high-five with Sara Niegowski, district executive director of communications, the moment after election night returns are posted showing a wide margin of passage for three levy issues. By Greg Farrar

Celebration was in the air as Issaquah School District officials gathered to welcome election results Feb. 9.

The celebration continued Feb. 12 with the results released at 3:25 p.m. showing district ballot measures leading with 65 percent for a maintenance and operations levy, 64 percent for a transportation levy and 65 percent for a technology and repairs levy.

Once the election is certified, taxpayers will pay $4.81 for every $1,000 of assessed property for the levies and the remainder of the 2006 bond.

Levy supporters gathered on election night to await early results. As the numbers appeared on the King County Elections Web site just after 8 p.m. Feb. 9, sighs of relief, high fives and victory cries erupted from partygoers.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen thanked voters for their support.

“This campaign was a community effort and took an army of volunteers stepping up because they know it is the right thing to do for our community,” he said. “Schools are the cornerstones for thriving and wonderful communities to live in. I think this bodes well for our community because they know the value and importance of education.”

The levy measures will supplement the district budget with more than $214 million by 2014. Read more

Issaquah school levies, King County library measure lead in latest election results

February 10, 2010

UPDATED — 3:17 p.m. Feb. 12, 2010

Celebration was in the air as Issaquah School District officials gathered to welcome election results Tuesday.

The celebration continued Thursday with the results released at 4:30 p.m. showing district ballot measures leading with 65 percent for a maintenance and operations levy, 63 percent for a transportation levy and 65 percent for a technology and repairs levy.

If the measures pass as expected, taxpayers would pay $4.81 for every $1,000 of assessed property for the levies and the remainder of the 2006 bond.

Levy supporters gathered Tuesday night to await early results. As the numbers appeared on the King County Elections Web site just after 8 p.m., sighs of relief, high fives and victory cries erupted from partygoers.

Superintendent Steve Rasmussen thanked voters for their support.

“This campaign was a community effort and took an army of volunteers stepping up because they know it is the right thing to do for our community,” he said. “Schools are the cornerstones for thriving and wonderful communities to live in. I think this bodes well for our community because they know the value and importance of education.”

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Education advocate loses battle with cancer

September 29, 2009

Kathy Linderman, a former educator and Issaquah Education Association president, died Sept. 26. Read more

158 teachers to get layoff notices

April 28, 2009

Issaquah School Board members voted unanimously to lay off 158 of its 1,097 teachers April 22, after district officials presented their reduction in force plan. Read more

Education reform bills are squashed

February 24, 2009

Hopes for education reform in the state were partially dashed Feb. 18 when both legislative bodies rejected further discussion on House Bill 1410 and Senate Bill 5444, two bills Issaquah School Board members and the PTSA fully endorsed.

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