We are NOT Out of the Woods
Recently, KEA and community members let out a collective sigh of relief when Dr. Watts announced that the District did not intend to enact a RIF of teaching staff. He did not, however, announce that he intended to reduce 50 positions this year, 60 positions next year (2018-2019) and 60 positions the following year (2019-2020). Unfortunately, we had to find out when he interviewed with KING 5 News. As a result, 170 KEA positions will be eliminated within a three-year period. This is yet, another example of how the lack of transparent communication is further jeopardizing labor relations between KSD and KEA. More importantly, eliminating teachers will jeopardize our school district's ability to "successfully prepare our students for their futures."
Speaking of labor relations, we have learned that the new message from KSD leadership is that labor relations are strong with all unions and non-represented staff except for KEA. We have heard from many of our labor partners that this is not the case. This type of communication from the District is an attempt to divide and conquer labor groups. It will not work. If a member from another labor group has questions about KEA, or has information provided to them by the District, please have them email Christie Padilla, who is happy to meet with anyone who has concerns.
Lastly, the District has communicated that the Vote of No Confidence is a tactic used by KEA to strengthen our position in bargaining. The resolution clearly outlines the reasons for the Vote of No Confidence and is not a bargaining tactic. We don't need a tactic. The legislature is providing money to our district for teacher salaries. It is not "newly discovered money" to be used for a district bailout, which is the only "tactic" we need.