School was almost interrupted this year by a teachers strike. Frustrated teachers reluctantly voted 59-to-41 percent to return to their classrooms and accept a meager pay increase of 2 percent per year, and high class size trigger numbers in order to return to the students they care deeply about. Understand that health care for Group Health members went up 27 percent for teachers in our district and Aetna members will be paying 7 percent more.
In the article “Down to the Wire,” in the Sept. 11 paper, it was stated that the negotiated pay increase will be 12 percent over the next three years. This is in error. The increase teachers will see this year is a 2 percent increase over what they were paid last year, the next year will be another 2 percent and the third year of the contract another 2 percent.
Two years ago, the 2011-12 school year, the legislature decreased the funding for teachers pay given to each school district by 1.9 percent. The Snoqualmie Valley School District paid that amount to the teachers in order to keep them whole. They did that same amount last year, 2012-2013. So, basically the teachers received no pay increase from the district or the state for the last two years. This year, the legislature is restoring that 1.9 percent funding. It is automatically passed through to the teachers. They have not given any cost-of-living increase in six years. So, instead of paying the 1.9 percent, the legislature is now funding, the school district will be paying 2 percent this year—an increase of 0.1 percent over what they were paying for teachers salaries for last year. The total amount is 6 percent.
Snoqualmie Valley Education Association President