Statement from NEA-SM

Posted on February 5, 2020

The moms of Education First Shawnee Mission reached out to the members Shawnee Mission Board of Education to ask them for their statements regarding the three-year, unilateral contract for teachers that was proposed by the Board of Education on January 30, 2020. We published their responses here.  We also felt it was important to reach out to NEA-SM and ask for their statement regarding this contract, which we have posted verbatim below.  If you have any questions regarding this process, please reach out to [email protected].

Click here to read the final response from the NEA to the District during negotiations.

Click here to read the unilateral contract proposed by the District to the NEA.

Click here to read the fact finder’s report.


Two top priorities for members of NEA Shawnee Mission are an increase to the salary schedule that will insure that everyone sees an increase in pay from last year and contract language that addresses workload, specifically, moving secondary teachers back to teaching 5 sections a day (an reducing the total numbers of students they teach).

During mediation, NEA Shawnee Mission proposed a 3-year contract to the Board of Education’s bargaining team. Affirming that hiring the additional staff to move teachers from 6 to 5 teaching sections would cost approximately 5 million dollars, we reduced our initial one-year salary proposal from a 4% increase to a 2% increase for 2019-20, and 1% for the two subsequent years. We proposed the district hire the necessary high school staff to reduce teacher workload for 2020-21 and for middle school in 2021-22. This was an innovative proposal. Three years is a long time to wait to return to the bargaining table. It was our hope that by having salary set for three years, the Board could commit to moving secondary teachers from 6 to 5 teaching sections. It was our first attempt at tackling an issue that must be addressed if Shawnee Mission is going to continue to attract and retain high quality teachers. While the Board offered proposals for 2-year and 3-year contracts during mediation and fact-finding, none addressed the 6 to 5 issue.

When both sides met after fact finding, NEA Shawnee Mission was hopeful we could come to an agreement. And we did mutually agree to many issues. After the Board offered its final proposal, a three-year agreement that did not address the 6-5 issue, NEA Shawnee Mission countered with a one-year offer for 2019-20:

  • 1.5% increase to base salary
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  • additional $45/month for health insurance
  • previously agreed to issues dealing with supplemental contracts, hourly pay for AP/IB training during the summer, reimbursement for graduate hours required to be certified to teach College Now

NEA-SM took all other issues off the table, including the move from 6 to 5 classes for secondary teachers.  We said at the table we would look forward to seeing how the Strategic Plan report expected in June 2020 recommended action to resolve the issue. Negotiations ended when the Board’s attorney stated the Board would move for a unilateral contract.

NEA Shawnee Mission and the Board of Education are not that far apart on remaining issues and that a three-year unilateral contract will not help us heal and move forward. It simply implies that teachers will have to wait two years to bring workload and other issues to the table.