About 50 Vancouver Public Schools support employees rallied again outside district headquarters late Tuesday afternoon, drawing supportive honks and shouts.The first day of the school year promises to be less chaotic.Union members plan to settle in at school offices, in classrooms and other facilities without protest on Wednesday, while they continue to combat what they claim is a collective bargaining breakdown.“(On Wednesday), people are going to go to work to get the job done, like they always do,” said Lynn Davidson, regional UniServ union representative for the Vancouver Association of Educational Support Professionals.The group includes school secretaries, clerical workers and classroom para-educators (assistants): about 700 employees, in all. (An earlier story in The Columbian incorrectly reported about 200 workers were involved.)Last week, one full year after the previous contract expired, the Vancouver district announced it would impose conditions of a new deal that would extend through August 2013, as allowed by state labor law. The contract incorporates provisions agreed to by both sides, but also several employee layoff and scheduling changes the union has fiercely opposed.“They want to be able to control money, days, months, hours, everything. There’s no leeway,” said Sue Prindle, VAESP co-president and longtime district warehouse worker who prepares all science kits and supplies for Vancouver students.
Vancouver school support staff pickets district HQ