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Snoqualmie Valley teacher contract talks down to wire

Encouraging teachers, Snoqualmie Valley Education Association President Art Galloway discusses contract negotiation efforts prior to a Snoqualmie Valley School District board meeting Thursday, Aug. 18. The association is considering a technology kick-off boycott if a tentative deal isn’t made this week. - Carol Ladwig / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Encouraging teachers, Snoqualmie Valley Education Association President Art Galloway discusses contract negotiation efforts prior to a Snoqualmie Valley School District board meeting Thursday, Aug. 18. The association is considering a technology kick-off boycott if a tentative deal isn’t made this week.
— image credit: Carol Ladwig / Snoqualmie Valley Record

After months of negotiations, including a marathon session that began Monday, Aug. 22, and ended some time after 5 a.m. Tuesday, Snoqualmie Valley teachers still have no contract. School starts Tuesday, Aug. 30 in the district, and the teachers' current contract expires Aug. 31.

As a result, the Snoqualmie Valley Education Association (SVEA) is expected to boycott the district's Technology Kick-off Day Thursday, Aug. 25. Teacher representatives from all 10 schools in the district authorized the boycott last week, if the SVEA did not have a new contract by then.

SVEA union president Art Galloway, speaking after only a couple of hours sleep following Monday's negotiations, could not comment on the possibility of a teacher's strike.

"All we have now is a recommendation for the boycott of the Technology Day," he said.

The SVEA meets today at 4:30 p.m. and again Thursday at 8:45 a.m.

Further bargaining sessions have not been planned, but Galloway said the district and union were in contact to resolve the remaining sticking points of the contract.

Galloway is not a member of the union's bargaining team this year, but he has been involved in bargaining for 21 of the 30 years he's worked in this school district. He expressed disappointment with the entire process, which repeats itself every negotiation year.

"We should not have had to bargain all night long," he said. "Most of these issues could have been worked out over the last few months."

Union members of the bargaining team are Lisa Radmer, negotiating lead, and Jim Ullman, Chris Jackson, and nancy Byrnes. Representing the district at the bargaining table are Finance Director Ryan Stokes, Curriculum Director Don McConkey, Technology Director Jeff Hogan, Principal Dan Schlotfeldt, and Assistant Principal Marty Barber.

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