Bargaining teams for Vancouver Public Schools and Vancouver Education Association met again on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018. Today, VPS and VEA worked with a state mediator for 13 hours to try to reach an agreement on a new contract for teachers’ union members.

To date, progress has been made on class size, professional development and planning time for professional learning communities. Salary is the most significant remaining item. VPS and VEA are scheduled to negotiate again on Tuesday, August 28. Both teams continue to bargain in good faith with the mutual goal of starting school on time.

The McCleary “fix” legislated by ESSSB 6362 in 2018 is dividing and disrupting many communities by pitting teachers’ unions and districts against one another as they navigate a complex and inequitable funding system. On Sunday, a Seattle Times editorial summed up the financial challenge for districts in Clark County and throughout Washington:

“Without a doubt, teachers across the state can expect raises this year. But not all of the money approved by the Legislature can go directly toward increasing teachers’ take-home pay. Instead, some of the new state dollars will be needed to offset mandatory reductions in local school district property taxes, which are set to take effect next year.”

The VPS board of directors and leadership team are committed to providing teachers and other district employees with fair and competitive wages in a fiscally responsible and sustainable manner. Please continue to check the contract negotiations webpage daily for updates.

VPS families are encouraged to develop contingency plans in case a VEA strike/work stoppage delays the opening of school.