Reynolds School District Falls Short with Increased Offer that Moves REA from 14th to 13th in the Metro 14 Districts
Thank you to all the REA members who have been showing up for these negotiation meetings. Your support is essential and sends a message of Solidarity to the district. Thank you!
In this past session the district and REA had a brisk and meaningful exchange of proposals. The district and REA were able to collaborate on Article 25 (Reduction in Force), and this article will be tentatively agreed to. The district and REA are close on Article 23 (Fringe Benefits), but still have a couple wrinkles to iron out. The district increased their offer in Article 22 (Compensation), but it only moves us from 14th in the Portland Metro Area to 13th over the three years of the contract. Here are the details.
A#27, Class Size and Case Load Workload: REA and the district are still in agreement on using the word “limits” in place of “guidelines” (as per Senate bill 580) and are in agreement on REA’s proposed language reducing class size limits for K-1 to 22 students. The district continues to agree to a review process for caseload relief. The work on this article is now completed but it is not tentatively agreed to as 27 is still in a package with 26 and 22.
A#26, Student Services, Section C, Social-Emotional and Wellness Support Services: The district and REA have informally agreed on the language for this article for sections A, B, and C. REA see’s this language change as a positive for all. Again, there is no official tentative agreement on 26 as it is packaged with 27 and 22.
A#25, Reduction in Force: There has been a change in the law which impacts this article. The district and REA have been in discussions about how and when to implement ORS 342.934. REA and the district have agreed to negotiate an MOU by June of 2022. Both sides believe this will allow for any changes in the new law to “shake out” and for interpretations and guidelines from ODE to be distributed to districts. This article will be tentatively agreed to.
A#23, Fringe Benefits: The district and REA have been very close to informal agreement on this article. However, in the information request response that the district just shared with REA, there are some ambiguities regarding the insurance pool. Your Bargain Team has determined that the district has been making over-sized payments to the pool which results in dollars not being used effectively. We will be seeking a sidebar to discuss the pool further and may make suggestions regarding future district contributions to put the money towards items like COLA. More to come on Article #23.
A#22, Compensation: RSD and REA met in a sidebar on Tuesday, 11/16/21, to work out costing differentials prior to the 11/18/21 bargain session. The District team and our team had different methods for costing our respective salary proposals. We were able to bridge the gap on many of the issues impacting costing. Unfortunately, there remains some disagreement on costs for steps. We are still nailing down the number of FTE the district should be costing out of the general fund versus grants and other source funds. Overall there was a good deal of progress in bringing the figures into alignment.
As a result, RSD brought forward an increased COLA proposal of: 5% in year one, 4% in year two, and 3% in year three, for a total three-year COLA compensation of 12%. REA is still holding strong at 7.5%, 5%, and 4% for a total of 16.5%. So, we are closer in total compensation, but far away in terms of moving REA members up the Metro 14 salary rankings. This means the district is still far away from being able to effectively retain current staffing and attract new staffing.
The district still agrees to REA’s proposed longevity language calling for a salary adjustment of 1% at 15 years of service, 2% at 20 years of service, and 3% at 25 years of service. The district still agrees to our language calling for a 1.5% hourly rate increase for members who assume the duties of an absent administrator.
The district relented on their position of not increasing the early retirement monthly payment. This monthly payment had been stuck at $600 per month for the last 25 years. The district has agreed to REA’s language calling for an increase to $800.
Once again, we want to remind everyone that articles 22, 26, and 27 are being discussed as a package proposal. No single article can be agreed to without the others also being agreed to.
REA has called for another sidebar tentatively scheduled for November 30th. REA is hopeful that this sidebar will be as solution-focused as the previous one and result in a final push to an agreement.
A tentative next bargain date has been established for Tuesday, 12/7/21, Pearl Harbor Day. REA is calling for the district to make this session an in-person meeting. The district denied this same request for the last session because of, “concern for the safety of staff.” Your Bargaining Team believes that if the district can keep us safe in schools with unvaccinated students, they can also keep us safe in socially distanced auditoriums or multi-purpose spaces, with everyone wearing masks, and all in-person participants showing proof of vaccination. Look for further messaging from your Organizing Team.
Your Bargaining Team: Molly F., Bruce M., Bruce S., Joyce R., and Brian Jay
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