January 13th Mediation Update

The SPFE bargaining team met with the district team and mediator on Thursday, January 13th. The focus of the session was proposals relating to the education assistants bargaining unit.

SPFE made counter proposals for much needed wage increases for EA’s but the district rejected any wage increase that would increase the SPPS budget by more than 1.5 percent. 

They proposed to move EA’s with a 4 year degree into the SCSP bargaining unit, a change that would offer no significant improvements. The SPPS bargaining team offered repeat responses to proposals the bargaining team had already discussed in previous sessions—because they are trying to divide us by bargaining unit.  Some new responses we received were: 

  • Refusal to negotiate over our EA technology demands including increasing access to laptops and cell phones to better communicate with district families. 
  • Rejection of our proposal to better onboard licensed staff and our proposal to make Juneteenth a holiday. 

We have a tentative agreement on one item. EA’s will get an additional personal day, consistent with the number of personal days licensed staff have.

The SPPS team then left bargaining early, they said to work on the district wide COVID plan, however made no improvements to the plan since sharing it with union leadership the day before and being told it was inadequate. They did instead send the email to SPPS staff blaming the union for the inadequate COVID response and failure to go remote.