District likely to OK Everett teachers’ contract

EVERETT — The Everett School District board of directors is expected to approve a new three-year contract with teachers Tuesday.

The pact will be one of the first matters considered in the board’s 4:30 p.m. meeting in the district offices at 3900 Broadway.

Under the agreement, the district will fund salary increases totaling 7.75 percent in the next three years. It will be broken down in annual raises of 2.25 percent, 2.5 percent and 3 percent.

In addition, the state is providing money to give teachers a cost-of-living adjustment of 3 percent this year followed by 1.8 percent in 2016. While these hikes are not part of the contract, they will enable teacher salaries to rise 12.5 percent in the next three years.

Union and district negotiators conducted 14 negotiating sessions over a four-month period before reaching a tentative deal Aug. 28. Members of the Everett Education Association overwhelmingly approved the agreement Sept. 1. The association represents roughly 1,100 instructors.

In addition to higher salaries, the contract provides mentors for new teachers, adds staff support for special education instructors and sets a goal for a minimum of three counselors at each middle school.

And the agreement contains provisions to improve how the union and school district interact on the teacher evaluation process and assessment system.

Information on the contract and board meeting can be found online at www.everettsd.org/

The new school year is to begin Wednesday in Everett.

Parents and students in the South Whidbey School District still don’t know if school will start as scheduled Tuesday. The district and the teachers union were in contract negotiations Sunday, said Jessica Upton, of the Washington Education Association.

South Whidbey teachers and supporters marched last week in response to the contract the district offered, which included a 1.5 percent salary bump and a 3 percent cost of living raise. It was rejected and 97.4 percent of teachers voted to strike, Upton said.

The South Whidbey teachers don’t expect to be paid as much as their counterparts in Everett but they do want their salaries to be more in line with nearby districts, such as Coupeville.

After talks with district officials Sunday, South Whidbey educators plan to meet Monday. They will decide to strike or ratify the contract and start school Tuesday, Upton said.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

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