Collective Bargaining

  • collective bargaining spring 2019 Sumner-Bonney Lake School District is committed to bargaining in good faith. We value, appreciate, and respect our employees, and the work they do for the students in our community.


    Sumner-Bonney Lake School District is committed to bargaining in good faith. We value, appreciate, and respect our employees, and the work they do for students in our community. Every member of each bargaining unit is a valuable to Sumner-Bonney Lake School District.  A recent communication went out to some individuals related to the Sumner Paraeducator Association (SPA) bargaining, which included incorrect information. 

    The recent communication stated that the District received $8 million in extra revenue (or extra money available to spend this year). Unfortunately, this statement is incorrect.  The District did not receive an additional $8 million in revenue. In spite of an additional $3 million in revenue, the District had to reduce the budget by an additional $5 million to cover the following additional expenses:

    • Certificated salary increase of $2.5 million 
    • Classified salary increases of $800,000 
    • Employee benefits costs increase of $3 million (including SEBB cost of $2.2 million)

    Additionally, it was inaccurately shared that the District currently has $30 million in revenue. For an accurate picture of the District’s budget, please click on the following link: August 2019 Budget Adoption

    Finally, as part of the bargaining process, salary analysis with comparable districts are used to have meaningful discussions between the District and SPA. This conversation will continue as the District bargains in good faith. The next scheduled bargaining meeting between the District and SPA is Thursday, Sept. 26. 

    The hard work and collaboration of all staff members is appreciated during this time.  Each position plays a critical role in providing an excellent education and safe learning environment for every student.



    This spring, the District is bargaining with eight employee groups for new Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs).  CBAs are agreements the District negotiates with each employee bargaining group in the District about such issues as wages, hours, benefits and working conditions of employees.  Bargaining is an important part of the District’s budget development process, as staffing costs represent 85% of the District’s expenditures.

    As District teams bargain, they will work toward providing fair compensation, while reaching a sustainable, long-term budget. Find bargaining dates at  

    The District is bargaining with these employee groups:

    1. International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Local 286: Transportation and Child Nutrition
    2. IUOE, Local 286: Maintenance and Diesel Technicians
    3. IUOE, Local 286: Custodians
    4. Sumner Paraeducator Association (SPA): Paraeducators
    5. Sumner Education Association (SEA) Extra-Curricular: Employees who conduct extracurricular activities
    6. Administrative Professional Group (APG): Administrative Professional employees
    7. Sumner Support Services Directors Association (SSSDA): Classified Directors (wage reopener only)
    8. Sumner Principals and Directors Association (SPDA): Principals, Assistant Principals and Certificated Directors (wage reopener only)


    Recent legislative changes to public school funding have had dramatic impacts on school districts across the state, including ours.

    This year, we were hoping the Legislature would delay the requirement for K-3 class size compliance and the implementation of the School Employees Benefit Board (SEBB).  Both legislative mandates are general fund expenditures and cost the District approximately $3 million.

    Special Education
    Legislative changes will not fully fund special education.  Last year, the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District spent $4.5 million from its general fund to supplement special education services. Current funding from the state doesn’t even come close to funding the gap between what is needed by our District and what is received from the state to educate students receiving special education.  Like last year, we will again be required to use general fund dollars to supplement the shortfall for 2019-20.

    Levy Funds
    Even with the increase in our District’s ability to collect local levy funds, which was authorized in the latest Legislative session, due to recent legislation we are still facing funding challenges.

    Budget Process
    Over the past several months, our budget process included finding ways to mitigate these challenges by cutting $5 million from the 2019-20 budget. We did this by leaving unfilled positions open, decreasing classified and administrative staffing, eliminating academic intervention programs, reorganizing departments, postponing curriculum adoptions, eliminating travel, and eliminating and reducing professional development. Every budget reduction was difficult and painful.  

    As we continue to build our 2019-20 budget, we will make decisions about how to prioritize our resources based on our values and goals as identified in our strategic plan while minimizing the impact to students in the classroom.