Schools open following contract

PAPEA, district reach tentative agreement

PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles School District and the union representing paraeducators reached a tentative contract agreement after bargaining for more than seven hours Sunday, opening all schools Monday at their usual time.

It will be the first day of class for students in two weeks.

Port Angeles Paraeducator Association members voted 96 percent in favor of the contract when they met Sunday night.

“We’re thrilled to be heading back to school,” PAPEA President Rebecca Winters said in a press release. “We’ve missed our students so much and we’re so thankful for the support of our community, especially our PAEA colleagues.”

The school district and PAPEA bargaining teams met after a one-day break Saturday that came after six straight days of negotiating.

The 130 members of the PAPEA walked off the job April 8 on what would have been the return from spring break, beginning a five-day strike to protest for better pay.

Paraeducators and their supporters picketed every day during bargaining sessions at schools and the administration building.

A rally at Shane Park on Thursday drew more than 130 people and the participation of former Port Angeles School Board member Cindy Kelly, Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO President April Sims and State Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton, who is running for Congress in the 6th District, which includes the North Olympic Peninsula.

On Friday, a group representing Port Angeles Parents for Education assembled in the foyer of the administration building and demanded to speak with Superintendent Marty Brewer.

They pressed him for explanations on district claims it could not afford wage increases to paraeducators, criticized his compensation package, and demanded to know the dollar amount the district had spent on attorney and mediator fees related to the bargaining process.

The school district and PAPEA began bargaining Sept. 19. Since February, the two sides have met 13 times in sessions mediated by the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission.

The previous strike by district paraeducators in November 2018 closed schools for two days.

________

Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached by email at paula.hunt@peninsulanews.us.

More in News

Turns restricted during roundabout construction

Drivers will not be able to make left turns at… Continue reading

Scheduled bridge closures canceled

Overnight closures of the Hood Canal bridge on state Highway… Continue reading

Sen. Kevin Van de Wege.
Van de Wege honored as Legislator of Year

The Washington Farm Bureau has recognized state Sen. Kevin Van… Continue reading

U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, with Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Kilmer recognized by committee as Fiscal Hero

U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer has been recognized as Fiscal… Continue reading

The rhododendrons in front of the Clallam County Courthouse are in full bloom on Monday. Spring weather will turn to showers for the rest of this week with high temperatures in the high 50s to low 60s. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula News)
In full bloom

The rhododendrons in front of the Clallam County Courthouse are in full… Continue reading

Officials cautious about shelter

Jefferson considers taking over operations

Habitat of Clallam County to open homes for veterans

Ribbon cutting for four-unit project set for May 28

Clallam commissioners reject McDonald Creek fish passage bid

Estimate more than doubles engineer’s projection

Volunteers work to construct the main play structure of the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles on Sunday, the last day of a five-day community build to replace play equipment destroyed by arson in December. The playground, built entirely with donated labor, will be substantially complete with primarily detail work and play surface installation still to come. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula News)
Finishing touches

Volunteers work to construct the main play structure of the Dream Playground… Continue reading

Seabrook CEO Casey Roloff talks with community members about a planned 500- to 600-home development near Sequim Bay on April 23 at John Wayne Marina. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Sequim site could include 600 homes

Developer eyeing property near John Wayne Marina

Wait times at Olympic Medical Center emergency department improving, board told

Hospital aims to see patients within 30 minutes of arrival

Clallam to develop Salt Creek campsites for trail

Estimated development cost is $15,000 with annual maintenance at $1,500