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News / Clark County News

Battle Ground teachers reach tentative agreement on new contract

Union to meet Sept. 26 to vote

By Griffin Reilly, Columbian staff writer
Published: September 21, 2023, 3:02pm

The Battle Ground Education Association reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with Battle Ground Public Schools Wednesday, potentially ending a monthslong bargaining process.

The union — which represents about 800 teachers, counselors and other staff — will vote on the tentative agreement Tuesday, Sept. 26.

A copy of the finalized contract is not yet available. The district said in a release Thursday it would be posted on the district’s website pending approval from both the union and the district’s board of directors on Oct. 9. Union representatives said in recent weeks that major points of contention in negotiations stemmed around cost of living increases, support for special education and maintaining smaller class sizes.

“I am grateful to both bargaining teams for working diligently over several months to reach this agreement,” said Superintendent Denny Waters in a statement Thursday. “Battle Ground Public Schools is fortunate to have a talented, dedicated workforce, who will continue to do great things on behalf of our students and communities. I thank our staff, families, students and community members for their patience and understanding as we completed the collective bargaining process.”

Union members have been working without a new contract since its previous contract expired Aug. 31. The union voted against going on strike on Aug. 29 and the district opened its doors for the 2023-2024 school year as planned on Aug. 30. The route was different from unions in Evergreen and Camas, which went on strike for seven and six days each, respectively, before reaching deals on new contracts.

“I also want to thank both teams for all their hard work,” said Battle Ground Education Association President Kim Bettger. “Although collaboration and innovation take time, this process allowed us to explore new ways to better support students and families. We look forward to a great school year.”