August 31, 2023
Dear Northshore staff and colleagues:
I am pleased to share that following many months of interest-based bargaining between the Northshore Education Association (NSEA) and Northshore School District, last night our educators ratified a two-year contract agreement. The contract will begin with the 2023-24 school year after approval by the Northshore School Board.
Throughout the process, all involved remained committed to our shared interests:
- Student achievement and well-being including racial and educational justice
- Fiscal responsibility now and into the future
- Manageable educator workloads and professional growth; and
- Student and staff belonging
Highlights of the agreement include:
- A 3.7% raise for the 23-24 school year, and another increase the following year that will be equal to the inflationary factor approved by the legislature for the 24-25 school year;
- Support of educators in directing their own professional learning and growth;
- Emergency Preparedness and Reunification Training for staff is now required of all schools yearly before October 15, starting in 2024 (for 2023, it needs to be done by the end of first semester);
- Continued commitment to our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Whole Child Framework; and
- Agreements that help ensure students who qualify for services such as English Language Development support, Highly Capable Services, and Special Education are provided what they need when they need it to thrive.
I want to personally express my gratitude for the hard work that the teams from NSEA and the District put into this bargaining effort. The interest-based bargaining team worked diligently to achieve an agreement that continues to put the needs of students first, supports the career growth of certificated educators and education support professional staff, and creates a more inclusive, equitable education system for all students.
Our collaborative work was especially important as the District navigates future budget shortfalls. The approved agreement reflects common interests shared on many issues affecting the District, including the challenges posed by inadequate state funding.
I am deeply grateful to the educators, staff, and school leaders who are preparing to greet our 22,000 students next week. Our students will come through our school doors with high expectations and ready to learn on day one. These contract agreements set us on the right path to fulfill our commitments.
I look forward to continuing our joint efforts with NSEA to provide a supportive work environment for staff and an excellent education for each and every one of our students. I am excited for the 2023-24 school year and hope you are too!