Breaking News

January 9, 2020 Fact-Finding Session
This evening, the Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) and the National Education Association - Shawnee Mission (NEA-SM), who are currently still negotiating a contract for certified staff for the 2019-2020 school year, engaged in a fact-finding session with a neutral fact finder, selected jointly by the two parties. SMSD and NEA-SM both presented information about the issues that are still under discussion between the two parties. This presentation follows individual sessions that SMSD and NEA-SM had with the fact finder in early December.

The fact finder will take the information from all of these presentations and present a report on recommendations to both parties in about a week. After that report is received, SMSD and NEA-SM will sit down again for another negotiation session, to see if they can come to agreement on a contract. If that bargaining session is unsuccessful, the Shawnee Mission Board of Education will make the final decision on a contract.

If you are interested in watching the fact-finding session, you can view it here.

December 13, 2019 Pre-Hearing Reply Brief
This week the district provided a response to the Fact Finder regarding NEA-SM’s Fact Finding document. Our response can be found here. The original document the district provided to the Fact Finder is available here. These documents provide factual information about the district’s positions on topics related to negotiations, including salary proposals, with financial implications for the district.

December 9, 2019 Board of Education Committee Application Open
The Board of Education has opened the application process to serve on the newly formed Finance & Facilities committee. If you are interested in applying to serve on this committee, click here to go to the application page found under the Board of Education menu on the website. 

Applications are due by December 31, 2019. 

November 25, 2019  Health Insurance Update
At the November 25, 2019 Board of Education meeting, the board unanimously voted to increase the contribution to health insurance premiums for all staff by $45 per month, The National Education Association – Shawnee Mission (NEA-SM), along with representatives for school psychologists and Parents as Teachers, have accepted that offer. 

This agreement matches the Board’s previous plan to provide that same increase for classified staff and administrators, in order to help offset increased health insurance premiums, which go into effect on January 1, 2020.

To see a chart that details the changes in health insurance premiums, click here.*

*  Note that the District is advised by a Benefits Committee comprised of both classified and licensed staff members (including direct representation from NEA-SM and their Uniserv director). This Committee reviews plan options and costs, and provides recommendations for selection of benefit options.

November 22, 2019 Fact Finding Date Set
January 9, 2020 has been set as the date with the fact finder for contract negotiations.

After this date was set, Jay Senter from the Shawnee Mission Post e-mailed several questions to district Chief Communications Officer David A. Smith. Here is the full text of Mr. Smith’s response to those questions.

What are the details on time and location for the meeting?
The meeting is scheduled for 5:00 – 7:30 pm on January 9, 2020, at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st Street. It will be simulcast to overflow rooms and broadcast live on YouTube.

Could you provide any info about why the meeting had been bumped to January. Brad had mentioned he'd hoped to have it on the books for early next month.
Here is what I can tell you: We remain committed to getting a contract for our teachers as quickly as possible. We know that our teachers are struggling with not having the contract settled.

We offered multiple dates in November and December, including being willing to cancel either of the next two Board meetings (since those dates are already on everyone’s calendar). We offered to meet during the day, at night, or over the weekend, and both record the hearing and post and simulcast it on YouTube, so people could watch it live.

We are still willing to have it any day in December, and will make the sacrifices in our schedules necessary to make that happen.

Can you confirm teachers will see an increase in their health insurance premiums starting in January. If so, what are the new rates?
Yes, health care costs will be increasing in January. In discussing the hearing date, we specifically expressed our concern about the impact of a January hearing on the health care increases, which will impact classified staff as well. This is another of the reasons we have pushed so hard to get fact finding done before the end of the year. Our offers have all included putting $45 a month into offsetting increased health insurance costs for our staff.