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Lake Washington School District, support professionals agree to new contract

Lake Washington School District and the Lake Washington Education Support Professionals (LWESP) have come to agreement on a new contract. This three-year contract will be retroactive to August, when the last contract expired, and run through August 31, 2012.

The tentative agreement was ratified by LWESP members, but will not become final until the school district's board of directors approves it. The board will consider the agreement at its May 3 meeting.

The district and LWESP completed the negotiations by engaging in a collaborative, interest-based bargaining process that was productive for both groups.

“These last three days of negotiations were very productive and allowed us to work through a number of issues,” noted LWESP President Lorraine VanKomen.

“The process helped us build a foundation for positive working relationships in the future,” said Dr. Chip Kimball, superintendent. “I really appreciate the hard work by members of the bargaining teams for both the LWESP and the district.”

Working together, the groups developed an agreement based on the district standard of bringing compensation into a reasonable comparison with other similar school districts. In addition, the salary schedule is more consistent with neighboring districts. It is more predictable for the employee and reflects the experience of staff members. The district and LWESP also worked together on contract language that clarifies district procedures and is consistent with other groups.

Under this new agreement, employees will receive a 1 percent raise in the first year, the salary schedule will be restructured in year two, and another 1 percent raise will be given in year three. As a result, employees will receive an average of just over 2 percent additional compensation per year for the life of the contract.

The district and LWESP have worked out a mutually agreeable process to make up lost work time on March 8.

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