Vancouver schools OK teachers pact

Two-year contract takes into account state pay cut

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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The Vancouver school board approved a new two-year contract Tuesday with the Vancouver Education Association.

The VEA, which represents the district’s certificated teaching staff, had ratified the agreement a week earlier, on Oct. 4.

The Vancouver Public Schools board of directors approved the agreement 5-0 at its regular meeting at the Robert C. Bates Center for Educational Leadership.

The contract was negotiated following a state budget reduction that forced a 1.9 percent cut in Washington’s salary allocation plan for teachers.

It is effective Sept. 1, 2011, through Aug. 31, 2013.

Missy Hallead, Vancouver Public Schools executive director for human resources, said the 1.9 percent state reduction was the equivalent of about 3½ days of work lost for the district’s teachers.

The contract includes some measures to partially offset the salary cuts, including two flexible leave days. Those days can be used for personal leave or cashed out.

The district also will temporarily eliminate professional development for the two-year contract.

The VEA represents about 1,350 certificated teachers who fill the equivalent of 1,200 full-time teaching positions.