Oct 23, 2007

district secretaries hold candlelight vigil

Before the most recent Board meeting, Olympia School District secretaries demonstrated outside Hansen Elementary:
The Olympia Educational Administrative Professionals Association, which has more than 50 members, overwhelmingly rejected the district’s last offer in contract negotiations for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 school years. And the big issue was pay raises, said Dan Cuomo, a union representative with the Washington Education Association UniServ Council.

In the 2007-08 school year, for example, the district offered to give the secretaries a 3.7 percent cost-of-living salary increase that would be funded with state and local dollars.

Plus, the district offered to use local funds to increase pay for employees at a handful of steps on the secretaries’ salary schedule.

But about three quarters of Olympia’s secretaries have so much work experience that they have reached the upper end of the district’s salary schedule. And those employees wouldn’t see much additional money beyond the 3.7 percent cost-of-living increase, Cuomo said.

“The additional monies were almost nonexistent,” Cuomo said. “The very little they were offering was not across the board. That’s the big stumbling block.”

That’s why nearly 50 secretaries and supporters decided to have a candlelight vigil at Hansen Elementary on Monday before the Olympia School Board meeting there.
Commentator X-TAR gets it half right:
Here is a small bit of advise [sic].

If you don't like it..QUIT and find another job that fits your pay requirements.
That cuts both ways. If you want to hire and retain effective staff, you have to pay them a decent and competitive wage.

Oh, and to those who say that school secretaries are replaceable, transferable, or otherwise redundant: with any more than a day's experience in any school, you'll know just how wrong that is. School secretaries of all stripes are the glue that holds the system together.

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