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News / Clark County News

Washougal schools, union reach agreement

One-year deal covers classified positions in school district

By Adam Littman, Columbian Staff Writer
Published: November 5, 2018, 6:00am

The Washougal chapter of the Public School Employees union and the Washougal School District have a new one-year agreement, which was approved by the school board this week.

The union represents most classified positions, such as custodians, bus drivers, secretaries and staff assistants.

The agreement provides a salary increase of 9.6 percent for most job classifications, with additional higher adjustments to some titles to bring those to a median level of pay with comparable positions in other local school districts. The agreement is a modification of the previous three-year deal, which runs from 2017 to 2019. That deal included a reopener clause for salaries for this year.

Earlier this summer, teachers in Washougal went on strike when negotiating new contracts, delaying the start of the school year. The strike ended when teachers voted unanimously to ratify the new deal, which saw teachers receive an 18 percent increase in total compensation in year one and another roughly 5 percent raise in the second year. The deal also lowered the class size cap in K-3 and grades 4-5, and made it more difficult to offer split classes, where elementary teachers have more than one grade per class.

Teachers and classified staff unions around the county faced tense negotiations this summer after an influx of money to education thanks to the McCleary legislation. The Legislature allocated $7.3 billion over four years toward basic education during the 2017 session, then put another $1 billion toward teacher salaries this year.

Negotiations on the Washougal classified staff agreement started in May, with the two sides meeting in nine sessions through September.

Columbian Staff Writer