KNENNEWICK, Wash.-– Kennewick Paraeducators have reached a tentative agreement with the Kennewick School District.
They will vote to ratify a tentative contract agreement with KSD on Thursday, January 17th.
Following rallies and pickets throughout this week, negotiations with the district resumed earlier today.
The negotiating team for the chapter reached a tentative agreement with the district, and will take it to the entire membership for a ratification vote.
“We have urged Kennewick School District to negotiate livable wages for over 600 members in our chapter, and we are glad that they heard our voices and decided to come back to the table,” said Brandy Strait, paraeducator at Canyon View Elementary and co-president of the chapter. “We will present the tentative agreement to our membership and decide next steps pending the outcome of the ratification vote.”
The Kennewick School District released a statement Friday saying, "Kennewick School District is pleased to announce that it has reached a tentative contract agreement with paraeducators. Paraeducators will hold a contract ratification meeting on Thursday, January 17. The district would like to thank the members from both bargaining teams for all of their hard work to reach this tentative agreement."
Paraeducators, who work with vulnerable special needs and behaviorally-challenged students, are required to hold an AA degree or pass an equivalency test to be hired. Entry-level paraeducators currently make under $14 an hour in Kennewick and are paid for under 200 days per year.
A strike vote will still take place if chapter members vote down the tentative agreement next Thursday.