Bargaining teams for Vancouver Public Schools and Vancouver Education Association met on Saturday, Aug. 25, and Sunday, Aug. 26, 2018. Today, VPS and VEA worked with a state mediator for 14 hours to try to reach agreement on the remaining items to be bargained.
Progress was made on class size and professional development. The teams have not yet agreed on salary and planning time for professional learning communities. At approximately 10:45 p.m., VEA leaders officially notified VPS of their intent to conduct a strike/work stoppage on Aug. 29, the first day of school, unless an agreement is reached.
VPS and VEA are scheduled to negotiate again on Monday, August 27. 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 raises a host of challenges. The complex and inequitable funding system adopted by the legislature in response to the McCleary lawsuit is making the process of bargaining teacher contracts exceptionally difficult for districts throughout the state. The legislature’s solution is dividing and disrupting many communities.
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.