Collective bargaining is sounding less collective and less like bargaining every day between the Teacher’s Union and the Aberdeen School District. The district now says they’ve requested a mediator.

After missing a meeting yesterday, a post to the school district’s website said that “Due to a miscommunication, the District and AEA did not meet today. Attempts to reconvene were unsuccessful.”

Michelle Reed, President of the Union, said in an email that members of the Aberdeen Education Association bargaining team met at the district offices ready to bargain at 10:25 am at the designated area. She said that “at 11:00 am, the AEA team left because the district did a no-show, no call, no contact.”

The school district’s website features notes from previous collective bargaining meetings. In those notes, the district said they scheduled the meeting for 10:30 am on August 21st during their August 15th meeting.

Reed added, “This will get you fired at McDonald[‘]s.”

Notes from the August 15th meeting continued, “The District shared documents to clarify that the salary offer is for a 15 percent raise on top of the 195 days teachers were paid in 2017-18 (180-day base contract plus 15-days for time, responsibility and incentive). Base Contract 2017-2018Base Contract plus 15 percent, plus 15 days TRI (The District’s offer of July 30)

The District said on their website that they have “requested mediation through the Public Employment Relations Commission.” and that, “Additional information will be posted as it becomes available.”

A town hall-style meeting that was planned for Monday, August 20th, by the district was postponed when administrators heard of plans by the Union to demonstrate in front of that meeting. Union members and supporters showed up in force that evening, I was unable to attend due to the fire at Harbor Saw and Supply. I’ve received no word from the district on when the town hall meeting will take place.

According to notes from the August 15th meeting posted on the district’s page, the following meetings were scheduled:
August 21, 10:30 a.m.
September 5, 4 p.m.
September 12, 4 p.m.

A post to a support page on Facebook from WEA-Chinook representative Dan Cuomo yesterday said, “The AEA Bargaining Team will be at the Board Room, in the District Office, on September 5th, at 4:00 pm, to bargain in good faith. We encourage the District to do the same. Stay tuned…”

District Superintendent Alicia Henderson was on CoffeeTalk earlier this week – you can listen to that interview in our archives during the 7 am hour on 08/21/2018.




The Union’s Bargaining Support Chair, Myka Jugum, wanted it clarified that a previously-approved strike authorization vote of members was only an approval to ask for a vote to strike. An actual strike would still require a vote of the union members.

School starts for teachers on Monday of next week with two district days. The first day of school for students in the Aberdeen School District is on Wednesday, August 29th. Jugum added that on Monday of next week, “We go to school. We go to work. We start the school year without a contract.”

Jugum suggests that parents and supporters contact the school board members listed below to show their support for continued bargaining efforts.

Sandra Bielski, president,  was elected to the board in 1987 and holds Position No. 5. She was re-elected again in 2017 and her current term will end in 201. Sandra and her husband own Fern Hill Cemetery. They are both very active with music boosters. [email protected]
Jennifer Durney was appointed to the Board on June 20, 2017, to fill Position 1 through the November 2017 general election when she won election to the remainder of the term, which expires in 2019. She is a 1995 graduate of Aberdeen High School and her two children attend Aberdeen schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Washington State University and is employed by Durney Insurance of Hoquiam where she is a licensed Property & Casualty Insurance agent managing day-to-day operations for the business. [email protected]
Erin Farrer was appointed to Position No. 2 on the Board in October 2015 and was elected to the remainder of the term in 2017. She will be up for election in 2019 to complete the remainder of the term.  She holds a degree in business management and administration from Brigham Young University. Mrs. Farrer and her husband, Dr. Ryan Farrer, have four children.  [email protected]
Jeff Nelson was elected to Position 3 on the Board in 2015 and is currently serving his first term.  He is the Director of the Environmental Health Department for Grays Harbor County. Mr. Nelson graduated magna cum laude from Washington State University with a bachelor of science degree in microbiology and a minor in chemistry.  He is a lifelong resident of Grays Harbor County and has a daughter who attends Stevens Elementary School. [email protected]
Dr. William Dyer was elected to Position 4 on the Board of Directors in 2017.  His term will expire in 2021. He has been a music educator for 28 years and currently is the director of music for Grays Harbor College. Dr. Dyer and his wife Melinda have two children who attend Aberdeen schools.  [email protected]