Northshore educators overwhelmingly approve new three-year contract

On Sept. 9, the Northshore School Board will decide whether to ratify the tentative agreement.

Members of the Northshore Education Association (NEA) have voted to approve a new three-year contract with the Northshore School District (NSD).

On Sept. 9, the Northshore school board will decide whether to ratify the tentative agreement. The agreement, ratified at more than 90 percent, focuses on targeted improvements to resources that will support the whole student by creating additional school counselor, nurse, psychologist, special education, English Learner instruction and audiologist positions throughout the district, according to a press release. In addition to the new staffing positions, the district and union have agreed to set aside $700,000 for continued negotiations over how to expand resources that support student mental health beginning in the next school year.

“The strength of our district lies in the quality of the people,” NSD superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid said in the release. “I couldn’t be prouder of the educators in this great district. This vote reflects our shared dedication to continuing our work in supporting and preparing each and every one of our students for success beyond graduation.”

The contract builds on the 19.2 percent average pay increase negotiated for NEA-represented employees last fall. This year teacher salaries will range from $61,200-$119,379, an increase of 2 percent over the previous year, while salaries for paraeducators will increase by 5.14 percent.

“I’m very proud of the membership of the Northshore Education Association. Throughout these negotiations, Northshore educators continued to prioritize the needs of the whole student, as we have always done,” Tim Brittell, NEA president, said in the release. “These contractual improvements will help us as we face the continued challenges of unprecedented growth in our district. While the McCleary decision has provided a significant increase in resources available to support our students, our state Legislature still has work to do to provide adequate funding for students with disabilities and to provide all students with class sizes that support more individualized education for our students.”

According to the release, school board president Sandy Hayes applauded both the teams who negotiated the contract and the educators who voted on it.

“A lot of thoughtful work was invested in the negotiations process, and this vote is a vote for our students and our entire district community,” she said in the release. “I am thrilled for everyone involved.”