Labor Relations Update 8/16/18


Greetings from Hockinson School District.

Our district has been in contract negotiations with its two unions over the past few months.

As of Aug. 16, 2018, the district and the Hockinson Education Association (HEA)—teachers union—have negotiated tentative agreements for 23 changes requested by the union.

However, at the Aug. 15 meeting of HEA and district negotiators, there remained a considerable difference between the union’s compensation requests and what the district’s budget can afford.

The district and HEA jointly filed a request for contract mediation with the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC). Both parties agreed to request the same mediator with whom we worked successfully in 2016.

Our district negotiating team has great respect and care for our staff, our students and our community, as we believe the HEA team does as well. Our goal remains to continue with this collaborative effort to reach an agreement without a work stoppage. Both parties have bargained and will continue to bargain in good faith.

Part of the process

Hockinson and its unions have worked with PERC mediators twice in recent years and in both cases have reached successful contract resolutions.

Each of the past two union contracts were ratified by the School Board after the start of the school year. HEA’s 2016-17 through 2017-18 contract was ratified Oct. 24, 2016, and Hockinson Educational Support Staff’s (HESP) contract for the 2017-2018 through 2018-2019 school years was ratified Dec. 11, 2017.

In both cases, the school year began on schedule with the existing contract remaining in effect until the new contract was ratified. Once ratified, the new terms took effect retroactively to the beginning of the new contract term.

Classified union update

HESP currently has a closed contract, which included a 3 percent scheduled increase for the 2018-2019 school year. The district agreed to reopen the contract this year in light of state funding changes. We have met with union negotiators three times with the last date being July 30. A meeting had been scheduled for Aug. 2, but it was cancelled by HESP. Their next available timeslot to continue negotiations is Sept. 11.  

Next steps

The district is thankful for the respect and kindness of the union negotiating team and is eager to continue this process.

We are setting up a webpage at and will be adding to it to keep our community informed as this process proceeds.

If you have additional questions, please email We will respond as soon as we are able, but please understand we are all working hard to complete these negotiations and prepare for the start of the 2018-19 school year.

Click here to visit the Labor Relations webpage.

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