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News / Clark County News

Vancouver school board to vote on contract approved by paraeducator union

By Griffin Reilly, Columbian staff writer
Published: November 17, 2021, 5:55am

The Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors will vote on the newly approved contract with the Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals at its meeting Dec. 14.

The four-year deal was tentatively reached in a mediation session Nov. 3. The union — which represents many certified and classified staff who work in one-on-one roles aiding students and teachers — then approved the deal Nov. 8. Approximately 98 percent of the 300 union members present voted yes.

The board of directors met Nov. 9 but had not yet included the contract on its agenda for that evening.

VAESP members had been working without a contract since Aug. 31 while going through several rounds of negotiations with Vancouver Public Schools, including five sessions with a mediator from the Public Employment Relations Commission. The district has an estimated 85 unfilled paraeducator positions, a shortage that union President Barb Plymate hopes the contract will help alleviate.

“I’m extremely pleased,” Plymate said. “This is the best deal I’ve ever seen the district give us, and I’ve been working here for 35 years.”