Bargaining Update #5

Union Elections!
Today, our elected bargaining team approved our union bylaws, so we are now ready for elections! Liz DeOrnellas (Expeditions), Sarah Prabala (Denali MS), and Eric Doan (K2 MS) stepped up to serve as our elections committee. 

Nominations for our union’s leadership are now open — including for president, vice president, treasurer, and reps for each site. Fill out this form to nominate a coworker — or yourself! And see below for more information about the positions. Nominations close at 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 10.

Unite Summit and the SPS bargaining team held our fifth contract negotiation meeting today. 

Summit presented original proposals on:

Unite Summit presented original proposals on:

  • Compensation – this proposal seeks to align to the current salary schedule, with the addition of stipends for extra duties and a revised salary schedule calculator that more accurately takes into account the daily pay rates of our competitors
  • Benefits – following member feedback, this proposal aligns to the current compensation proposal
  • Shared Governance – this proposal delineates decision-making responsibilities and processes, with the goal of returning increased autonomy to our school sites and teams
  • Calendar – this proposal aligns to our previously presented proposal regarding the 2020-21 school year, with the goal of reducing required meeting minutes and increasing job sustainability without extending the school year. Unite Summit is continuing to advocate for a separate agreement that would apply to next year as we feel this is important to our teachers and their families; SPS leadership has refused to discuss next year’s calendar separately from the rest of the contract. 

Unite Summit also presented counter proposals on: 

  • Union Rights – this counter proposal seeks to preserve our rights under the Educational Employment Relations Act, especially concerning the union’s right to communicate with its members
  • Negotiations Procedure – this counter proposal largely accepts Summit’s latest proposal, with the stipulation that negotiations should not default to remote video conferencing unless necessary due to emergency circumstances
  • Recognition – this counter proposal aims to more clearly define the bargaining unit, as well as to codify union expansion rights 

The following Unite Summit Bargaining Team members attended today’s meeting: Liz DeOrnellas, Expeditions; Sarah Rivas, Denali High; Amber Steele, Denali Middle; Hillary Odom, Shasta; Dan McClure, Prep; Evan Anderson, Everest; Douglas Wills, Tahoma; and Isela Mosqueira, Rainier. Ona Keller and Daryl Hemenway from CTA also joined the discussion. K2 representative Fuchsia Spring was absent due to AP test prep duties. 

The following Summit Bargaining Team members attended: Diane Tavenner, CEO; Kelly Garcia, Chief of Staff; and Jimmy Zuniga, Everest Executive Director.

Our next bargaining team session is scheduled for May 22. 

If you have questions, please reach out to your site rep or contact us at

Responsibilities and Time Commitment for Positions up for Election

Representatives from each building/team

  • Attend one hour-long virtual Rep Council meeting once a month. 
  • Meet in-person 1-2 times per year. 
  • Keep their sites informed and involved in our union and bring any site concerns to our union’s leadership.

President, Vice President and Treasurer

  • Attend one hour-long virtual Rep Council meeting once a month.
  • Attend one hour-long Executive Board meeting once a month.
  • Meet in person 1-2 times per year.


  • Act as the chief spokesperson of our union.
  • Prepare agendas for meetings.
  • Conduct other duties as necessary.

Vice President

  • Step in if President is unavailable.
  • Keep updated and accurate list of members and their contact info
  • Distribute information (newsletters, etc.).


  • In charge of the union’s finances.
  • Since we won’t be collecting dues (and thus won’t have any money) until we ratify our first contract, the Treasurer’s duties are minimal right now.