The Lake Washington School District and members of the Lake Washington Educational Support Professionals announced Wednesday afternoon they have agreed to a collaborative bargaining process to reach a settlement in the support staff’s year-long contract negotiations.
“The goal of this type of bargaining is to meet the interests of both parties,” noted Deputy Superintendent Janene Fogard. “We have found with other bargaining units that it helps to foster good working relationships.”
LWESP members have agreed to suspend all community organizing activities while the process unfolds. The district will postpone employee investigations it launched last week, and union staff for the LWESP will suspend any challenges to those investigations.
“We have mutually agreed to seek collaborative bargaining in an effort to settle this contract. We need to return to our focus of providing a high-quality education for all students,” LWESP Chief Bargainer Donna Lurie said.
The two sides will work with John and Carol Glaser, a highly skilled pair of facilitators. Both the district and union are committed to reaching a contract settlement through this process. Timing of the sessions is still being worked out, but the sessions are not expected to begin before the district’s spring break begins on March 29.