Skip To Main Content

Bargaining Update – Latest SKPS Offer to ASK ESP

Highlights of SKPS offer to ASK ESP January 30, 2024

During the most recent mediation meeting on Monday, January 29, 2024, the district and the Association of Salem-Keizer Education Support Professionals (ASK ESP) met for a 14-hour mediation session to work toward fair, sustainable and student-centered contract. The parties have been involved in contract negotiations since April. 

Included in the latest package, the district made substantial offers, including a one-time $5,000 retention bonus for eligible classified staff.

The district made significant movement in many articles, as district leaders are working urgently to settle a contract that best benefits employees and students. The district’s latest offer is valued at $45 million dollars over the three years of the contract.

Along with the details of the offer outlined below, go to video message from Superintendent Castañeda on YouTube about the district’s latest offer.

SKPS offer to ASK ESP

ASK ESP 3-year contract includes $45 million in financial offers broken out into 5 areas.

ASK ESP 3-year contract includes $45 million in new financial offers to ASK ESP. $16.3 million for recognition and retention bonus. $14.6 million in new wage offers. $3 million in new insurance contributions. $3 million in new earning opportunities. $8.1 million specific position increases.

“For all of January, ASK ESP and our district bargaining and leadership team have been in a focused, month-long period of listening, collaboration, and negotiation,” said Superintendent Castañeda. “We have a shared commitment to reaching a fair contract even in dire economic conditions.”

ASK ESP areas that will be improved with the offered contract.

Highlights of SKPS offer to ASK ESP - January 2024. Salem-Keizer Public Schools is committed to working alongside both labor associations through the mediation process to reach a fair, sustainable and student-centered contract. Details below.

One-time payment: Recognition and Retention Bonus

We are pleased to offer a $5,000 recognition and retention bonus that we will pay within 10 days of contract ratification. This bonus will be paid using one-time federal funding.

The bonus will be a one-time payment of $5,000 per full-time employee at or above 0.5 FTE and a $2,500 one-time payment for part-time employees below 0.5 FTE.

Better Pay

We are offering 13.5% increase over three years. This year, we are offering a 6% increase. Next year, we are offering a 4% increase. And we are offering a 3.5% increase for the 2025-2026 school year. These increases are in addition to step increases for anyone who is eligible.

Better Benefits

We want our employees to have access to a range of great health insurance plans with little to no out-of-pocket expenses for premiums. Our offer increases district contributions to employee health insurance by $100 per month this year. By the third year of the contract, we will have increased our contribution by $165 per month.

Better Working Conditions

We’ve made an offer that includes increases in vacation accrual, increases in employee breaks, and additional support for workplace safety. 

New Earning Opportunities

We are working with the association to provide more options for staff to earn additional pay based on role and skill through a 4% bilingual differential for classified staff. 

Addressing the Statewide Funding Formula

Oregon’s funding formula is collapsing under the weight of the real cost of paying our staff what they deserve and providing the schools our students deserve. 

Harm is falling first and hardest on diverse urban districts like Salem-Keizer and upon agreement of contracts, it will take the entire community together to identify the unavoidable reductions that will need to be made to our system to function within the real and inequitable economic conditions the district faces. 

Bargaining Progress with ASK ESP

To date, the parties reached tentative agreements on 11 of the 31 articles in the collective bargaining agreement.

Stay up-to-date on the bargaining process with the district’s labor associations through the district's Labor Relations web page.