In an effort to resolve a dispute over the terms of a tentative agreement on a two-year contract between Vancouver Public Schools and the Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals, VPS proposed to add a third year to the contract and provide additional enhancements if sufficient funding comes from the state to cover those costs.

VAESP rejected the district’s proposal. VAESP leaders stood firm in their position that VPS withdrew from the tentative agreement reached on Dec. 21 after VAESP asserted that total salary improvements did not include the state cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA. The state mediator confirmed again today, however, that the tentative agreement signed by both parties included the state COLA as part of total salary improvements.

The proposal presented by VPS today included the following:

  • 2018-19—10.2 percent total salary improvement on average, inclusive of the state COLA
  • 2019-20—State COLA (estimated at 2 percent)
  • 2020-21—State COLA (estimated at 2 percent); $125,000 for workload relief; and either $250,000 to improve staffing positions or a one percent salary improvement on top of the state COLA

Over the three-year contract, total salary improvement on average would be 15.2 percent, contingent on changes to state law that would improve funding for school districts.

At the end of the day, VAESP presented a one-year, 12.2 percent total salary improvement on average, inclusive of the state COLA, for 2018-19. This proposal increases costs by an estimated $500,000. The district intends to respond at the next scheduled mediation.

The next mediation session is scheduled for Jan. 30. VPS intends to move forward in filing an unfair labor practice claim against VAESP with the Public Employment Relations Commission. The district’s position has not changed that VAESP and VPS signed the Dec. 21 tentative agreement with a mutual understanding of the terms.