HEA General Membership Meeting
The HEA leadership and bargaining team hosted the HEA General Membership Meeting on Monday, Aug. 31. Thank you for your large presence! 2015 has brought our two largest membership meetings in more than a decade. It's time! To get involved!
HEA Membership voted to ratify the new HEA/HSD 2015-18 Collective Bargaining Agreement with a 97.4% approval. Our HEA Bargaining team was committed to bringing back an agreement worth approving! There were cheers in the audience for several improvements such as: a limit of one staff meeting per week, a drastic decrease in paperwork documentation for TRI, an increase in practitioner voice in curriculum adoption, and significant steps to address HEA member concerns regarding competitive compensation. HEA/HSD have agreed on the importance to be more competitive in attracting and retaining high quality educators by creating a TRI package that will keep pace with our colleagues in surrounding school districts and by beginning longevity stipends for our most experienced educators, demonstrating that HSD values our commitment to Highline School District.
Does this mean we are finished? No, however, the seeds are planted. Let's work collectively to continue to grow the momentum that has begun within our HEA membership! It's time for all of us to make sure our working agreements are honored. It's essential to us and to our students.
Highline School Board
On Wednesday, Aug. 2, our Highline School Board voted unanimously to approve the Tentative Agreement between HEA/HSD. Several board members shared their appreciation for the joint bargaining teams finding solutions so that school could start on time!
Why meeting to learn about the Tentative Agreement is our practice ...
Why not release some details of the agreement prior to the meeting? How much harm could that do? A collective bargain is a living, breathing human endeavor. The agreement our team negotiated is complex and has many moving parts.
Our goal is to share accurate, well-understood information to members. Releasing details of the tentative agreement without context or explanation has the potential to create misunderstandings that can have negative implications in the long term, and hinder our collective ability to effectively implement our new collective agreement. It is important that we achieve a common understanding of newly negotiated contract provisions.
Many pieces of the agreement interact with one another. Who better to explain the agreement than our colleagues who negotiated the deal at the table? What rationale did our team have for the choices it made? How did member bargaining priorities inform these choices? How did BarGAINing Support efforts impact the final agreement?
We Are A Union and A Union Meets
As educators, we know that a successful learning experience for our students is only as good as the quality of the learning community we create with them. A General Membership Meeting gives us a chance to learn together, as we discuss, ask questions and ultimately hold a ratification vote on the contract that will influence our professional and personal lives for the foreseeable future.
Meeting together allows us to learn together and participate in the same conversation. This helps to avoid misconceptions about the tentative agreement, and we maximize our changes to have everyone to have a clear, accurate understanding of what we just voted on and its ramifications for us collectively and for our students in our classrooms.
Our HEA Bargaining Team Deserves Our Attention
Our HEA Bargaining Team spent enormous amounts of time meeting and advocating on the behalf of all HEA Members since February 2015. We had the largest participation in any HEA BarGAINing survey ever! Thank You! Our HEA team took the results and advocated based on the priorities of the membership. Our HEA team met "in caucus" for 95 hours over 13 days in preparation for our joint sessions. The HEA/HSD joint teams met for 80 hours from March 27 to June 26. Our final week of bargaining in August included 35 hours in 3 days, with a final 18-hour day that resulted in a tentative agreement in the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015.
Our HEA Bargaining Team is an AWESOME group of professionals. They are in their classrooms today on the first day of school to welcome our students to a new year.
|Sept. 3, 2015
In this Issue ...
- HEA General Membership Meeting
- HSD School Board Meeting
Q: When will the new contract be available?
A: HSD and HEA work together to make sure the language is correct. Following that, HSD sends the contract to print. Paper contracts may be available mid-October. The contract will be posted electronically shortly after the new changes are finalized.
Q: Is there a training on the new contract?
A: YES! HEA/HSD are planning a joint training for building principals and building representatives on Sept. 23 at ERAC.
Q: How can we continue to show our HEA solidarity?
A: Wear Red Days! On Wednesdays -- stay tuned to your HEA building rep.
THE HEA/HSD Collective Bargaining Agreement is available on the HEA website. There should also be a print copy in each school. More information may be found here.
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