We have re-formatted the listing of the notes from each bargaining session below to show the last bargaining notes first and the first bargaining notes last (just like reading a string of e-mail)... **Please scroll down the page to see what has happened at each session.
What is bargaining? Good-faith process between an organization's management and a trade union representing its employees, for negotiating wages, working hours, working conditions, and other matters of mutual interest. To the management, this process presents (usually) one set of people to negotiate with; to the employees, it gives greatly enhanced bargaining-power. Collective bargaining is the fundamental principle on which the trade union system is based.
In essence, the bargaining for our district is to better our working conditions by changing our Collective Bargaining Agreement (contract). We make proposals to the District and in return, the District makes their own proposals to the bargaining team. The proposals are either new language or changes in language in our existing contract. The SEA and the District negotiate to make the proposals work for the both of us. Basically, we give and take to work together and make those proposals become changes in our contract that both sides can agree to.
Will we work without a contract? It is possible. If the bargaining does not get done, agreed upon, or ratified (approved) by the teachers, it could happen. Teachers would continue working under the existing contract until it is approved by the teachers (ratified).
How is bargaining finished and ratified? After the bargaining is completed with the District, a general membership meeting is conducted. At that meeting, all the changes are explained and voted on by all the teachers that are in attendance. If the majority of the votes are for keeping the language, the contract is ratified and it goes into our new contract. If the majority of the votes are not in favor of the new language, the contract does not get ratified and the bargaining team goes back to the table with the District and re-negotiate changes to the language that the teachers oppose and the process starts over.
What are the risks? The risks are only what the teachers accept. The bargaining team is not there to accept all proposals from the District. They are there to improve the contract in the favor of the teachers. If the teachers do not like what the bargaining team has done, they do not ratify the contract and make the bargaining team go back to the table to get what they want. It does require support and trust that the bargaining team is doing their best to improve the working conditions of all the teachers. Teachers may be called upon to help out the bargaining team by going to meetings, make public announcements, etc, to show their support of the bargaining team.