March 5 Mediation Update

Dear SPFE Member,

Your SPFE bargaining team spent another long day in mediation, only heading home because of the inclement weather. 

Despite our continued efforts to secure key agreements, very minimal progress was made today. We spent most of the day waiting for a counter on Schedule C and wages and benefits but have still not received anything from the district. The only positive progress was the district dropping their proposal to eliminate the married couple health insurance benefit  proposal. The district also dropped their proposal on moving all staff to 21 paychecks for licensed staff.

After a day like today, with the district again refusing to expand their financial parameters for our bargaining units, we can’t let our guard down. We still haven’t reached agreements on three major priorities— keeping our class size language and caps, guaranteeing mental health supports for our students, and recognizing the work of our educators, particularly our education assistants, with increased compensation.

Over the past several days, nearly 1,000 public education supporters have sent messages to the school board and the superintendent urging them to settle a fair contract. This afternoon educators and parents held a flash rally before a board meeting, showing up in person and letting the board know that we won’t accept rollbacks on critical supports for our students. Despite all of these efforts, the district is still dragging their feet – so we have to turn up the pressure.

We ended the day passing our latest counter on Restorative Practices. 

We will return to the bargaining table tomorrow morning, and will continue to work toward a contract that gets our students and educators the resources they need. At the same time, educators need to continue to prepare to strike on Tuesday.

In Solidarity,

Your SPFE Bargaining Team