Northwest NEWS

September 21, 1998

Editorial

Setting the record straight

   I have never written a letter to the editor before, but this time I feel compelled to give our community the facts.
  
   Last week in the Valley View front page article concerning the current negotiations between the classified staff and Riverview School District, Dr. Ernst was quoted as saying that the employees received a "fairly large" raise in their last contract which was not supported by the state.
  
   The facts are as this. In Sept. 1993 an EAII step 2 earned $8.88 per hour. Today that same employee earns $9.89 per hour. This is an increase of 11.3% over the course of five years. The Consumer Price Index for the exact same period of time indicates an inflation rate of 12.5%.
  
   In actual dollars, the classified employees are now making 1.2% less than they did six years ago. I ask the public to examine their own wages since Sept. of 1993 and see how the district compares to the general public in wage increases.
  
   Classified staff perform a multitude of duties which directly benefit each student. It would be impossible to run the district without these services.
  
   During these negotiations we thank the community for its support.
   Debbie Kracht, Duvall