Washougal teachers ratify 3-year contract

Board of Directors will adopt new agreement at Sept. 11 board meeting

Washougal teachers overwhelmingly approved a new three-year contract on Thursday.

The new agreement came after negotiations between the Washougal Association of Educators and the School District.

“I am very pleased with the negotiation process,” said Dawn Tarzian, district superintendent. “It is important and we have learned a lot, and reached an agreement that the association, board and administrators can feel good about.

“Washougal teachers feel that this was an equitable contract, given the current economy,” said Sheila Good, WAE co-president. Highlights of the new contract include the following:

• Instead of a yearly $1,025 professional development stipend that teachers had to apply to use, each educator will now receive $730 in their paychecks instead. The remaining $295 will be put into a fund for district-guided staff development for new curriculum standards and teacher evaluation system.

• Overload pay will be increased from $7 to $8 per day. It is enacted when a class size goes beyond 25 students at the kindergarten through third-grade level, and beyond 28 for fourth-grade through 12th-grade.

“We are hoping we don’t have to pay that and plan to convene a team of teachers and principals twice a year to study where we have overloads and discuss potential solutions,” Tarzian said. “We’re committed to making it possible for teachers to have class sizes where they can engage the kids and give individual attention.”