Gresham-Barlow Chapter 8 and their school district reached a tentative agreement on a July 1, 2020-June 30, 2023 contract. The agreement includes a $2.50 per hour wage increase in year 1; $1 in year 2, and another $0.75 cents in year 3. Additionally, the current step 12 and 13 will be doubled to 4 percent each (increased from 2 percent). Other gains include a 3-year increase of $175 to the insurance cap and the ability to cash out unused personal days ($50 per day for full-time employees, $25 for part-time employees) and gains in union rights related to House Bill (HB) 2016.
The new three-year tentative agreement came about after the union and administration both invested in the collaborative Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) process. This year was the fourth contract negotiated with IBB facilitators, which has allowed both bargaining teams to develop a mutual respect and trust that all issues will be fairly addressed. The ongoing success of the IBB process is due to leadership from Chapter 8 Co-Presidents Renni Ferguson and Erika Fuller, as well as Superintendent Dr. A Katrise Perera and Deputy Superintendent James Hiu.
“We are very happy with the results, both with language as well as wages and benefits,” said Chapter Co-President Erika Fuller. “The district realized it had a responsibility to classified members to bring their wages up, in order to attract and keep quality employees. They came through with what needed to be done, both for our benefit and theirs.”
One grateful member even wrote a poem to thank the bargaining team:
If we had a million dollars, we’d pay you for your time.
If we controlled the weather, you’d have only sunshine!
If we could replace time away from your family or a friend,
Just so we’d have a good contract with more money to spend,
Believe me we would, if we only could.
But you do have our deep gratitude for your skills and attitude!
Working together to make things better for kids and for us,
You put up with a lot of back and forth and stress and fuss!
Thank you! Thank you! Yes, we’ve all seen
That we have the best of the best in our bargaining team!