From the Renton Reporter archives.
                                RESP president Valisia Simpson addresses the school board.

From the Renton Reporter archives. RESP president Valisia Simpson addresses the school board.

A union win — RESP reaches deal with school district

The union voted to strike in October before the district created a tentative contract

Renton Education Staff Professionals (RESP) union members have reached a tentative contract agreement with the school district. The union brought its concerns to Renton School District board meeting after months of negotiations.

After the board meeting, RESP had another meeting with the district where they were unable to reach an agreement. On Tuesday, Sept. 17 union members voted to start striking on Oct. 1 if a deal wasn’t met. Then on Thursday, Sept. 19 union leaders went back to the bargaining table and reached a tentative agreement.

RESP president Valisia Simpson stated in an email she’s disappointed it took union members voting on a strike in order to bring up a tentative agreement, but happy that they were able to create a deal everyone can be proud of.

The main issues the union wanted to see in a contract were competitive pay and benefits, professional growth opportunities, behavior support resources and addresses staff and student safety.

RESP union has been at the table with the district 75 hours total since May, Simpson stated.

“Because our members were united and committed to bargaining what they deserved, the bargaining team was supported to do our work,” Simpson stated in an email.

The Renton Reporter reached out to the district for comment on the agreement but didn’t receive it by press deadline.

The tentative agreement will now go to RESP union members for a vote on Oct. 1.

An article in last week’s Renton Reporter titled “Union leader: ‘Give us what we deserve’” stated that RESP was the last union in the school district without a contract. The Renton Professional-Technical Association (RPTA) also remains without a contract. Simpson stated in an email that RESP stands in solidarity with RPTA, which haven’t improved in negotiations from the initial compensation offer, and “demand the district bargain in good faith with RPTA.”

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