This will be a bit of a long read but it is a CRITICAL read as it impacts your financial future. We would like to update you as to what has happened so far with bargaining and where we are headed. It is important that you think about and discuss how you want us to proceed. As a bargaining team, we will be advocating for you based on your desired outcomes.
In March we had one on one meetings with members to find out what their goals were for bargaining. The overwhelming theme that came out was people needed more money, more time or a combination of both. We first met with the district in April; most of our April and May discussions revolved around language. In terms of language, we felt good about getting a 40 minute prep for all elementary teachers (unless the school can demonstrate why it isn’t possible).
In May we began talking about the economic components. Our first proposal was based on the fact that since 2009 we have consistently given up economic components. Much of it during the Great Recession was to minimize the impact on classroom sizes and to maintain our colleagues’ jobs. For a one page summary of bargaining history, please click here.
To understand what that has meant economically, please click here.
Based on this information, here are the proposals that have gone back and forth between REA and the district.
As a point of reference, all Central Oregon districts that settled this spring (we are the only ones who haven’t) settled for a minimum of 3%. Accepting 2.5% would continue to put us further behind. In looking at the chart comparing us with Central Oregon, you can also see how our cap and the number of steps also compare with our neighboring districts.
Here’s what it means going forward. Based on bargaining law there is a 150 day negotiating window; that window closes September 15th. As long as both sides agree, we can continue bargaining. If not, mediation is the next step (minimum of 15 days). If mediation isn’t successful, the district can declare an impasse. During impasse, each side costs and presents a final offer within seven days, after which is a thirty day cooling off period. At the conclusion of the cooling off period the district can choose to implement their final offer. If it comes to that, the Association has the choice of accepting the offer or striking after a ten day notice.
Here are the next steps for YOU:
1. Think about your feelings on ALL of the information presented here.
2. Discuss with your colleagues and get a sense of how those around you feel.
3. Be prepared to answer a survey that will be coming later, and will be on the private portion of the website (behind the wall).
4. If you’re a non-member, become a member so you can be part of the process. If you’re new and haven’t turned in your membership form, give it to your building rep.
5. Register to access the private portion of the website if you haven’t done that yet.
We will be having our first REA meeting on September 11th at 4:15 at the OEA office (2532 SW Glacier — behind Redmond High School) and all members are welcome.
Our next bargaining session will take place in mid to late September after we have collected survey data.
Thank you for taking the time,
Your bargaining team — Jeff Bowman, Barry Branaugh, Tony Brown, Sarah Cochran, Josh Davis, Chris Goede, Henry Kim, and Fred Von Seggern