Shawnee Mission administration, teachers union set first negotiating session for Monday

Negotiating teams from the district and the National Education Association – Shawnee Mission will meet Monday, June 25.

Representatives of the Shawnee Mission School District’s administration and the National Education Association – Shawnee Mission will hold their first negotiating session on a 2018-19 contract for teachers early next week.

The negotiating session, which is open to the public, will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 25 at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st Street.

June is later than is typical for the first negotiating session for a teachers contract, but both parties agreed to the date in part as a result of the protracted K-12 funding legislation debate in the capitol, hoping that delaying the start of negotiations would provide some clarity as to how much state funding the district could expect to receive. Gov. Jeff Colyer signed a “fixed” version of the legislature’s updated school funding bill in May. Under that bill, Shawnee Mission schools would see an increase of approximately $4.2 million in funding next year. The Kansas Supreme Court, however, has yet to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of that plan.

The district’s total projected spending for 2018-19 operations (excluding capital projects) under the administration’s proposed budget, which was introduced to the school board late last month, is $236,535,478. Teacher salaries and benefits make up approximately $113 million of the administration’s 2018-19 operating spending plan, or about 48 percent of that budget.

Last year’s negotiations started in the spring but lasted until early September, when the parties agreed to a package that included a 4 percent raise for teachers, as well as a $48 per month heath insurance premium payment.

The NEA-Shawnee Mission negotiating team this year will include Karen Myers, Jill Johnson, Jay Sharbutt, Lauren Ingraham, and Lindsay Atchison. It will be the first time in several years that Ramona Weigel, the Shawnee Mission South teacher who led negotiations for the union in recent years, will not be part of the team, as she retired from the district at the end of this school year.

The negotiations team for the administration will be Kenny Southwick, Doug Sumner, Christy Ziegler, and attorney Curt Tideman.