Dear VPS families,
To keep you informed during contract negotiations with the Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals, I am writing to let you know that the VPS and VAESP bargaining teams worked all day with a state mediator on Monday this week. While both sides moved somewhat closer to an agreement, we unfortunately are still far apart.
VAESP’s latest proposal calls for a 20.6 percent salary improvement compared to its previous proposal of 21.9 percent. This proposal would increase costs by $4.93 million over the 2017-18 salary schedule.
VPS countered with two possible options. One option maintains the previously proposed 6.6 percent salary improvement in 2018-19 and includes workload relief items for a total cost of $1.7 million. The second option reduces the amount of workload relief and increases compensation by 7 percent in 2018-19 for a total cost of $1.7 million. Both options provide a 1.9 percent increase in 2019-20 for a total improvement of either 8.5 or 8.9 percent. VPS’ proposal is $400,000 above VAESP’s proportionate share of the net McCleary funding provided by the state.
As explained in previous communications, the district projects a budget shortfall of approximately $9.1 million for 2018-19 to meet the requirements of the contract recently settled with the Vancouver Education Association. Any amount provided to VAESP above the net state funding provided to VPS would increase the shortfall. Additionally, the district must negotiate a new contract with the Service Employees International Union in 2019.
The state mediator will not be available to meet with the bargaining teams again until Dec. 12. We will provide further updates as the negotiations move forward.
The board of directors and district leadership team are committed to full transparency throughout this process. Our goal is to provide fair and competitive wages for all VPS employees while ensuring fiscal responsibility and sustainability.
Steven T. Webb, Ed.D.