UPDATE (Sept. 8, 2022) — Members of the Kent Education Association gathered at Kent Meridian High School on Wednesday night and voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement. Highlights include:
- Additional training and collaboration time.
- Improved incentives to encourage the district to:
- Fill paraeducator positions.
- Keep class sizes smaller.
- Keep caseloads manageable for occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech language pathologists.
- New wage ranges that mean Kent is competitive with area districts:
- 7% increase in the 2022-23 school year.
- 1% + inflationary increase funded by the state.
Classes at most schools are due to begin Thursday, Sept. 8.
Kent educators, school district reach tentative agreement
The following is from the Kent Education Association:
KENT, Wash. (Sept. 7, 2022) — After bargaining throughout the Labor Day weekend and into the wee hours of this morning, the Kent Education Association and Kent School District reached a tentative agreement on a new contract at 2:43 a.m.
No picket lines will be in front of schools today.
Members will gather at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept 7, at Kent Meridian High School to vote on ratification of the new agreement. If the agreement is approved, classes begin Thursday, Sept. 8.
Union members have been on strike since Aug. 25, the scheduled first day of classes. Their primary concerns have been:
● Manageable class sizes.
● Enough staffing to provide student supports.
● Wages to ensure that the district can attract and retain enough educators.
Kent Education Association is made up of 1,700 classroom teachers in the Kent School District. Unions representing other staff have also been facing difficult negotiations with the district this year. Kent EA is affiliated with the statewide Washington Education Association and National Education Association, both of which represent K-12 teachers, support staff and higher-education employees.