Camas teachers’ strike continues

Camas teachers are shown here picketing. The strike in the Camas School District reached Day 2 Tuesday. Photo courtesy Camas Education Association Facebook page
Camas teachers are shown here picketing. The strike in the Camas School District reached Day 2 Tuesday. Photo courtesy Camas Education Association Facebook page

District officials request mediation to resolve differences with Camas Education Association

Ken Vance, editor
Clark County Today

As the teacher’s strike in the Camas School District continued on its second day, there was no reported progress in the stalemate between the district and its teachers.

In a communication with district families late Tuesday morning, Camas Superintendent John Anzalone offered a positive outlook despite the bleak update of the impasse between district officials and the negotiating team from the Camas Education Association (CEA).

“We’re going to get through this,’’ Anzalone wrote in a message posted on a website set up for Camas families. “And we’re going to come together when it’s all done. But it’s probably going to take longer than any of us want. We’re hopeful a mediator will help our teams bridge the gap. I’m sorry not to have better news this morning.’’

Anzalone said the district had requested mediation to assist with the bargaining effort. He also reiterated that on Sunday, “our district’s bargaining team presented its best offer before CEA’s self-imposed strike deadline …’’

Anzalone said the district’s proposal included the following:

  • Offered lowered class sizes
  • Offered additional music, P.E., and library funding 
  • Offered additional collaboration time for teachers 
  • Offered to increase teacher salaries by 5.7 percent this year and another 5.9 percent next year

Anzalone pointed out that, “In response, CEA went on strike. They have not presented another proposal since declaring a strike.  

“CEA’s current monetary demands are unsustainable,’’ Anzalone added. “As our district’s team shared with CEA this summer, their demands would exhaust all state and local revenue sources and deplete all current reserves in the second year of the contract.’’

In a video message posted on the Camas Education Association’s Facebook page, CEA Vice President Michael Sanchez, a member of the union’s negotiating team, did not address the district’s proposal for mediation. He did state that on Monday evening, “the district asserted they expect CEA to accept their proposal without any further discussion. Furthermore, the community was notified on August 28th that the school board approved legal action to end the strike. Despite these threats the bargaining team, in good faith, is meeting with the district today, August 29th. We look forward to continuing negotiations to reach a speedy, fair and sustainable settlement.’’

The CEA also provided a summary of its bargaining proposal on its Facebook page. The union is asking for a Cost of Living Increase for each of the three years of the agreement. In addition, it is asking for an additional 4.8 percent in 2024-2025 and an additional 7.3 percent in 2025-2026.

The CEA is also asking for additional student support and learning outcomes in the form of Music, Physical Education, Health and Library program funding. 

The teachers are also asking for class size limits beginning with 18 for kindergarten, 22 for grades 1-2, 24 for grades 3-5, 30 for grades 6-8 and 34 for grades 9-12.

For a complete summary of the CEA proposal, visit  CEA proposal.

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